Vancouver transforms to become even more beautiful at this time of the year, with snow-capped mountains in the distance and crisp conditions calling for our coziest sweaters.
In adjusting to the new normal this year, we’ve all had to find creative ways to stay entertained, whether that involves baking up a storm or taking on the next TikTok challenge.
But the simple pleasure of hopping in your car to drive to an incredibly scenic destination outside of your neighbourhood is often underrated. It’s something the whole family can enjoy together, with awe-inspiring views along the way.
To practice what we preach, we partnered with Mercedes-Benz Canada to take the all-new Mercedes-Benz GLB 250 4MATIC SUV on a drive, stopping at three iconic Vancouver destinations to enjoy the autumn views before fall fades into winter.
Doughnuts and views in Deep Cove
First up on our list was the always-breathtaking Deep Cove in North Vancouver.
Departing from downtown, it was simple enough to pull up the directions on the digital cockpit in front of us using the voice-activated MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) in-car assistant. Throughout our drive, the Augmented Reality Navigation used live video with graphic overlays to show our next turn, which saved us from missing any exits.
We crossed the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge, catching a glimpse of the North Shore Mountains ahead of us. After parking up on Deep Cove Road, we walked down to the famed (and celebrity favourite) Honey’s Doughnuts to order glazed treats and tea to-go.
Browsing the stores on Deep Cove’s main street is a nice way to spend some family time before heading to Panorama Park to see an epic vista of the surrounding landscape. We highly recommend scheduling time to take it all in. (You’ll quickly realize why this location has been featured in many movies.)
With everyone’s bellies full of freshly-baked doughnuts, we headed back to the SUV. The spacious and versatile vehicle would be ideal for longer adventures due to the adjustable second-row bench seat (creating more cargo space for camping gear when you need it or more leg space for passengers when you don’t) and an optional third row of seats.
Old growth adventures in Stanley Park
Next up, we headed to the lush oasis that is Stanley Park, taking the highway through North and West Vancouver before zipping across Lion’s Gate.
Driving into this 400-hectare West Coast rainforest is always a visual reminder of why we love Vancouver, and our experience this time was no exception.
The versatility of the SUV made narrow turns less intimidating. The GLB comes equipped with standard 4MATIC all-wheel drive, which maximizes traction so you can confidently conquer narrow turns, steep hills in the snow, or the Sea to Sky Highway drive to Whistler.
Our first park stop was Prospect Point Lookout. From this viewpoint, you can see the water glistening below, the towering mountains, and the bridge you just crossed, which first opened to connect the city back in 1938. After, to warm ourselves up, explored the forested Siwash Rock Trail, listening to the last of the fall leaves crunch beneath our boots.
Stanley Park has 27 km of trails winding through it, so you can literally immerse yourself in nature within minutes. Take the Seawall down towards Third Beach to continue your walk — or, do what we did and drive over to the opposite side of the park. Here, you’ll find stories of the land carved into wooden totem poles created by Indigenous Peoples. (It’s one of BC’s most-visited attractions.)
Sunsets at Spanish Banks
The last stop on our list had to be somewhere that marries tranquillity with unforgettable views: Spanish Banks. Knowing we had just under a half hour’s drive ahead of us, we made the most of the GLB’s heated seats (plus the heated steering wheel).
With the map guiding our way, we took Stanley Park Drive into the city, crossing over to Kits. We pulled up in the parking lot just after 3:30 pm, with ample time to take a stroll along the beach and see some adorable pups at the off-leash area.
As the clock approached 5 pm, we had the pleasure of catching the sunset across the water. This was particularly special because we could see a clear picture of West Vancouver and the mountainscape in the background.
We decided to stay a little longer and gaze at the stars above the beach from the GLB — through its panoramic sunroof — while the SUV’s interior cabin boasted ambient LED lighting for the perfect mood. It was magical, and in these uncertain times, we could all use a little magic in our lives.