VancityWild | British Columbia Based Adventures

The Road Back to Nature with the Mazda CX-9

The craziness of the past year has been piling up on us lately, not to mention the work changes and overall life changes that have recently come up. It’s a lot, and we’ve been holed up at home feeling the pressure of it all. With spring finally upon us, Mazda Canada reminded us of the importance of finding time to take the road back to nature. Even if it’s raining, even if we only have a short period of time to make our great escape, immersion in nature can do wonders for your body and mind.

We teamed up with Mazda Canada to try out their brand new 2021 CX-9 on a day trip to explore some of the beautiful local gems along Vancouver’s Sea to Sky highway. We’ve learned that when things feel overwhelming, the best way to create some breathing room is to find or create an environment that feels like an escape – and the Mazda CX-9 did just that. Just getting into the vehicle was an experience – when your home feels a bit like chaos, stepping into a clean, airy, and incredibly spacious SUV immediately put us in the right headspace for getting out into the woods. We turned up the tunes, (which sounded incredible through the internal Bose system), used the wireless CarPlay to type in our destination (with a few fun stops along the way!) and set off to find a day of adventure.

First stop: a quick breather in Stanley Park. We love taking the scenic route when possible, and Stanley Park is a great way to get views of the city while experiencing the exhilarating feeling of actually leaving the city. How lucky are we to have a park like this right in Vancouver? Take in the cityscape, stop to check out the totem poles, and visit Prospect Point for some phenomenal views.

Once we crossed over the Lions Gate Bridge and hit the highway, we both remarked how while this is a bigger SUV, it doesn’t feel like one. The CX-9 handles like a car: smooth, easy driving, comfortable cabin, safe, and all the luxuries you could want from a vehicle for a long road trip. The Sea to Sky Highway is a sight to behold, with sweeping views over Howe Sound. It’s such a classic, Vancouver driver and it never ever gets old. 

On our journey, we stopped at Shannon Falls for a short hike and to take in the sights – a favourite for us! Squamish is a beautiful town with a stunning mountain backdrop that makes for the perfect destination for some yummy eats and coffee. After getting our fix at Tall Trees Bakery and Counterpart Coffee, (and picking up some treats to go!) we continued on to Alice Lake Provincial Park for some hiking in the trees and walks along the lake.

If you’ve never been to Alice Lake Provincial Park, you must go. It’s so, quintessential BC. A beautiful lake, campgrounds, lush, moss covered trees, hiking trails…this park has it all. The perfect spot to explore for the day and enjoy a picnic!

We’re not used to having a 7-seat vehicle and it’s so nice to have that option, or alternatively, the option of easily folding down the seats for extra cargo space! (UM, when you travel as much as we do or have kids, this is amaaazing!) We unpacked our cooler and set up a picnic in the most perfect spot in the woods. We didn’t realize just how much we needed this. The sound of quiet was deafening, (in the best way), and we tried to focus on each of our senses. The feeling of leaves beneath our feet, the sound of the rushing stream over mossy rocks, the birds in the trees rejoicing at the arrival of spring, the smell of fresh rain. The rain had stopped and the sun began to stream through forest. The forest = therapy, and a day finding our road back to nature was everything. Thanks to Mazda Canada for the inspiration – and for providing the perfect vehicle for our adventure family! 

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