Valentine’s Day Road Trip Tips

So the big day is approaching, and you are debating what to do with your significant other for the weekend. Why not make it a romantic getaway and take a road trip somewhere? Driving takes away all the stress of air travel, usually costs less when traveling as a pair, and gives you both some quiet alone time as you travel to your destination. For those of you who think this is a great idea, here are some tips on how to get the most out of your time together, and don’t forget to check the Ultimate Drive app for the best routes!

1: Plan everything in advance. This may seem like the obvious, but it is easy to plan the road trip and forget to buy flowers and make a dinner reservation on Valentine’s Day, or vice versa. Planning the whole thing through will avoid traffic, lines and surprises so you can focus on having a good time.

2: Don’t pick a destination too far away. As much as we all love road trips, there is such a thing as too much time in the car- especially when you are trying to get somewhere. Plan for something just a few hours away, and don’t leave at a time that will place you in traffic. Try to locate the most scenic drives around – the Ultimate Drive app is perfect for that!

3: Make sure the car is ready for the trip. Regardless of vehicle, make sure it is up to the trip and everything from tires to headlights are in top order. A quick stop by the dealer for a service or even a once-over in the garage at home will ensure it’s a Valentines Day drive you never forget, and not because of a flat tire!

4: If you have a choice of cars, pick the right one. As much fun as it may sound to take the Z4 out for the weekend; it doesn’t fit enough luggage, lend itself to comfortable long distance driving, or have all terrain tires. (It is February!) Take the X5 instead and enjoy its creature comforts.

5: Have Fun! Remember the whole point of getting away is to enjoy each other’s company and have a good time. Following the tips above will minimize any potential headaches, but remember: even if you do get that flat tire, it will be something you can look back and laugh at on Valentine’s Day for many years to come!

California Dreamin’ : A BMW Getaway

For those of you who are missing the sunshine outdoors and quality driving time in your BMW, there are some easy ways to leave town for a weekend and enjoy a drive! There is no better place for this than Southern California, and here are some pointers for planning the perfect weekend.

Thanks to the availability of several, large airports in Southern California, flying out is relatively easy and affordable. For those leaving from the East Coast there is also the advantage of the time change, enabling you to leave after work on Friday and still get to California at a reasonable hour. Depending on the roads you plan to travel, we recommend flying into LAX (Los Angeles), SNA (Orange County) or SAN (San Diego). All three airports are in close proximity to a good BMW rental, or have them on site at their own rental car terminals.

These California roads practically demand the best of cars and, in terms of renting a BMW, Southern California offers a rather large set of options. Budget, Enterprise and several other well-known rental car companies offer BMWs in their Southern California fleet. If you really want to drive a model they don’t have available, there are a number of smaller private rental companies in the area as well. Whatever you do be sure to reserve a car in advance, as there are usually only 1-2 BMWs on hand per rental location, and in Southern California they do rent out quickly.

Once you are in town and have picked up the BMW, you can relax and enjoy the trip! Naturally the best way to plan your drive is checking out roads in the Ultimate Drive app for iOS, Facebook or Android when preparing for the trip. The app features a vast variety of routes in Southern California from which you can plan a long, hard weekend drive, or a series or fast runs through the canyons and up the coast to enjoy the scenery.

Wherever the journey takes you in California, the appeal of sunshine, beautiful roads, abundant amenities and most importantly a BMW will make it a getaway to remember!

Starting your California trip in Northern California? BMW is now offering car sharing in San Francisco. Check it out here.

 If hitting the California coast isn’t in the cards this weekend, how about sharing other destinations closer to you that offer a milder climate and awesome roads for a long weekend getaway? Let us know on our Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/UltimateDriveApp !

 

Round-Up: Top Weekend Drives, November Edition

Sharing and discovering the best routes across the US and Canada is what the Ultimate Drive app is all about, so each week we choose one of our favorite user-submitted stretches to highlight as a “Weekend Drive Pick” on the BMW Ultimate Drive App Facebook page. If you’re looking for a great drive to take this weekend, or want to plan a drive for the upcoming holidays, be sure to check out these roads — there could be an adventure right in your backyard. Here is a round-up of this month’s top picks!

Northern California — Princeton Crab Run

This Bay Area drive known as Princeton Crab Run takes us 20 miles south along the West Coast from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay. With both coastal and inland stretches, this drive offers a variety of sights including beaches, buildings, parks and forests. Although an always beautiful and fun route, this is an especially great trip during crab season, which just opened on November 15. If you plan on making the trip soon, set out on an empty stomach so you can buy fresh Dungeness crab right off the boats!

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by hoa. To view this route in the new Ultimate Drive Facebook app click here: http://bit.ly/QQzp3z or get directions with Google Maps: http://bit.ly/PCW7PV.

Arizona — Bartlett Dam Road

Just northeast of Phoenix, Bartlett Dam Road offers an escape from the hustle and bustle with beautiful views and wildlife spotting you definitely won’t get in the city! The 13-mile-drive to the lake and dam is technical and smooth, allowing experienced drivers and motorcyclists to take full advantage of the curves, hills and corners. Locals say traffic on the route is light in the mid-morning, but wildlife is most active in the evenings. If you can’t decide which you prefer best, we suggest making the drive twice!

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by AZrealtor. To view this route in the new Ultimate Drive Facebook app click here: http://bit.ly/QQA9pk or get directions with Google Maps: http://bit.ly/S9eXKm.

Colorado — Rist Canyon Road 

Northern Colorado is notorious for its natural beauty, and this drive through Roosevelt National Forest surely will not disappoint! A fun and lightly traveled stretch through the Colorado foothills, Rist Canyon Road winds through forests, ranch lands, hills and canyons. The road is very well maintained, but be prepared for ups and downs, and ins and outs of a backcountry access road. Whether you’re planning to cruise at dusk or dawn, a beautiful sunrise or sunset is guaranteed!

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by DoxJox. To view this route in the new Ultimate Drive Facebook app click here: http://bit.ly/XNQQpg or get directions with Google Maps: http://bit.ly/S9mQ2v

East Coast / Toronto, Canada — Terra Nova

Located near Toronto, Canada, and just a quick trip from Niagara Falls, New York, this rural route is a must-drive for anyone in the Great Lakes area. Known by driving enthusiasts as a destination stretch, Terra Nova has it all — tight turns, sweeping corners, very little traffic and beautiful foliage! Plus, with several lakes and ponds lining this country road, there are plenty of scenic stop-offs if your foot gets tired making the trip!

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by M3-Mike. To view this route in the new Ultimate Drive Facebook app click here: http://bit.ly/SWAmHl or get directions with Google Maps: http://bit.ly/PDeST5

Do you have a favorite weekend drive you want to see featured? If you’re in the US or Canada, submit it through the all new Ultimate Drive Facebook app. Otherwise, share it with us on FacebookTwitter or through The Ultimate Drive mobile app you already know and love. We can’t wait to see your best roads!

Great Winter Escapes for People Who Love Driving

As winter rapidly approaches, many of us are preparing our BMWs for winter storage. For those of you who will continue to drive them during winter, the weather may take away the thrills of utilizing your car’s performance capabilities. To lighten up this sad time, we thought we would lay out a few warm weather destinations to get out of town and go on a winter driving journey!

Location #1: Honolulu, Hawaii.

Honolulu is a tropical paradise, and its roads live up to that reputation. Fly into town, get a bit of sun on the beach, then hop in your rental BMW and explore the island via car! We recommend the Tantalus Drive route, from which you can then circle back to town via Round Top Drive on the other side of the state park. You can find this adventurous route in the Ultimate Drive app for iOS, Facebook or Android app here.

Location #2: Scottsdale, Arizona.

Scottsdale is well-known for being a warm-weather haven during the winter months. It boasts a major airport in nearby Phoenix, numerous hotels and amenities, and some great desert roads for all to enjoy in the winter. Our personal favorite drive is Highway 88 from the Phoenix area out to Tortilla Flats. You can find the route in The Ultimate Drive app here. If the scenery looks familiar here is a good hint as to why: many car manufacturers use this road for auto magazine test drives.

Location #3: Key West, Florida.

Our featured East Coast adventure is one of the world’s best known stretches of highway. It’s not a flat-out performance drive, but what it lacks in sport it makes up for in scenery. The route takes you from Miami’s airport southbound to the bottom of the country. Once out of town, you can hop on the famous “Overseas Highway.” On this renowned Highway you will drive over the water and through various islands all the way to Key West- the southernmost city in the continental United States. Drives don’t get much more scenic than this! Check out the route here.

Last but not least, keep in mind that both smaller and larger car rental companies have fleets of BMWs you can rent for your adventure! This is *crucial* to ensure you have a fun ride for your winter driving escape. Plan your trip soon and have something to look forward to!

Round-Up: Top Weekend Drives, October Edition

[Editor’s note: Seeing the devastation of Sandy in the U.S. Northeast this week, we realize that taking a scenic drive may be the last thing on your minds.  Once the tunnels empty, the roads drain, the trees are cleared, the businesses re-open, and life begins to return to normal, we hope you are able to get out and drive, both to refresh your senses and to bring tourist dollars into areas that could use a hand to recover.]

Each week, the BMW Ultimate Drive App Facebook page features our favorite user-submitted stretches, which we like to call “Weekend Drive Picks” — and this month’s routes highlight some of the twistiest, most scenic roads from across the U.S! Check out the October Weekend Drive round-up to get ideas for your next weekend getaway. There’s something for everyone here!

Nevada – Mt. Charleston

This Weekend Drive Pick takes us North West of the Vegas Strip to Mt. Charleston. You’ll want to squeeze this drive in before the snow hits, so pack up the car now and bring a jacket — it can get cold at the top! If you’re not in a hurry, be sure to stop into the Mt. Charleston Lodge, a favorite local eatery, for a tasty treat.

Mt. Charleston, Las Vegas - October

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by Richie. To view this route in the new Ultimate Drive Facebook app click here: http://bit.ly/UucLSB or get directions with Google Maps: http://bit.ly/O3iImu.

North Carolina – Blue Ridge Parkway to Asheville

Nicknamed “America’s Favorite Drive,” this 89-mile-stretch along the Blue Ridge Parkway (which in its entirety spans almost 500 miles!) provides breathtaking scenery and miles of solitude.  It’s a must-see and a Weekend Drive Pick you’ll never forget!

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by Ghost. View this route in the new Ultimate Drive Facebook app: http://bit.ly/VfYpAM or get directions with Google Maps: http://bit.ly/Vd3PkG.

Pennsylvania – Franklin Road

This Weekend Drive Pick features a short country road on the outskirts of Pittsburgh where real driving enthusiasts go to experience fun, twisty “S” curves and view beautiful farmland! With typically very little traffic on this stretch you’ll be able to roll down the windows, put the pedal to the metal (while still obeying the speed limit, of course!) and let the crisp fall air awaken your senses.

Franklin Rd, Pittsburgh - October

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by Jmikesdude. View this route in the new Ultimate Drive Facebook app: http://bit.ly/RQQFEA or get directions with Google Maps: http://bit.ly/QVL67x.

Bay Area – Highway 9

From Boulder Creek to Saratoga, this Weekend Drive Pick cruises along Highway 9 in the Bay Area. There are viewing spots of Castle Rock State Park plus lots of twists and turns to keep you on your toes, just be careful around those “S” curves!

Highway 9, Bay Area - October

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App bbimmer shark. To view this route in the new Ultimate Drive Facebook app: http://bit.ly/VkzFrj or get directions with Google Maps: http://bit.ly/QMco3e.

Do you have a favorite weekend drive you want to see featured? If you’re in the US or Canada submit it through the all new Ultimate Drive Facebook app. Otherwise, share it with us on FacebookTwitter or through The Ultimate Drive app for iPhone and Android you already know and love. We can’t wait to see your best roads!

Round-Up: Top Weekend Drives, September Edition

Autumn is upon us and there’s no prettier time of year to take a drive! Each week we pick our favorite user-submitted routes to feature on the BMW Ultimate Drive App Facebook page and this month’s stretches are perfect for fall. From the Northwest to the Northeast U.S., there is a drive near you just waiting to be explored. Check out this month’s featured Weekend Drive Picks for some of the most beautiful routes in the country.

Northern California: Avenue of Giants

Northern California is known for its stunning redwoods and this Weekend Drive Pick along the Avenue of Giants surely won’t disappoint! This gorgeous stretch of road winds down the 101 and traces the border of Humboldt Redwoods State Park – a must see!

Avenue of Giants

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by Lester. Google Maps directions: http://bit.ly/Q6xpSX.

Vermont: Tracey Road

This Weekend Drive Pick features Tracey Road in Eastern Vermont. Comparable to the App Gap (Rt. 17), this is one of the best twisties for miles around! On this windy yet smooth route, a BMW is the perfect car to scrape the corners without fear of grade changes — you won’t want this drive to end!

Tracy Road, Vermont

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by Tonymorr. Google Maps directions: http://bit.ly/Qkufen.

Oregon: Sister’s Loop

Sisters, a small tourist town in Oregon, is home to this Weekend Drive Pick. An 88 mile loop from scenic 126 (complete with waterfalls!) to the more technical roads of 242 makes this drive an all-around must!

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by MWGeorge. Google Maps directions: http://bit.ly/NBrjg1.

Montana: Beartooth Pass 

This Weekend Drive Pick takes us to Custer National Forest, near Billings, Montana. The sheer variety of the scenery makes this a must do on your Bucket List! According to Schnehe, our user who submitted this stretch, “Elevation, lakes, glaciers, twists, waterfalls – this has it all!”

Beartooth Pass

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by Schnehe. Google Maps directions: http://bit.ly/TsGybU.

If you take one of these scenic fall drives, be sure to review it in The Ultimate Drive app or share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page. Or, if you have your own favorite weekend drive submit it through the app and your drive just might be featured next month!

Reasons to Take European Delivery of Your New BMW – Part 3: The German Road Trip!

In our last blog post, we continued our European Delivery adventure with a tour of the BMW Museum and the BMW Factory, culminating with delivery of a new BMW! This final part of the story is a recap of the driving adventure before dropping off the BMW, which will be reunited with its owner at a dealer back in the USA.

Having been tossed the keys to a new BMW in the motherland, we were eager to go put our foot down and motor! We didn’t know much about driving in Germany, other than the country’s excellent road manners and drivers’ tendency to go VERY fast. Thankfully BMW takes away a lot of the stress, providing insurance for the trip and a wonderful in-car navigation system (if ordered on your car). So with the GPS programmed, we hit the Autobahn from Munich.

We had a few options for routes, starting with the Ultimate Drive App as a trusted resource.  Using the App, we found over 60 amazing trips short and long that were recommended by local drivers, including this scenic route starting right in Munich:

There was even this amazing roller-coaster of a drive if we had wanted to drive further towards the Alps:

BMW also provides some standard tours they’ve collected over the years. Since we don’t know Germany like the back of our hand and we wanted to make the most of the little time we had, we found BMW’s “Driving Adventures” program (http://bit.ly/bQQ9GP) to be a fantastic resource. With a selection of drives to suit any taste, you can sign up for a pre-planned tour. We decided to take the “Black Forest” tour through Schaffhausen and Baden Baden with a little twist…

After stopping by the breathtaking waterfalls in Schaffhausen, we decided to skip the rest day in Baden Baden to do what any serious would driver would do when presented with a new BMW in Germany: go burn laps at the Nurburgring! It was an entire day’s trip when including the drive to and from the track, but the laps around the 14 mile, visitor-friendly circuit made it the best day of our trip. The opportunity of a lifetime!

From there we rejoined our pre-planned route and wound up in the city of Wiesbaden, where we dropped the newest member of the family off for shipment back to the US. In the morning we hopped a plane back to the USA, and slept away the rigors of the trip while dreaming of the next one.

For anyone planning a European Delivery trip, the following materials are excellent resources:

BMW Welt Overview: http://cache.bmwusa.com/pdf_bc0ddae6-5beb-4673-bdc2-ad79e3286198.arox?v=810c076d-5ace-4f92-abdf-407353dd2cd0

European Delivery Program Guide: http://cache.bmwusa.com/pdf_b6496b61-a503-4572-aab6-b33693f336c7.arox?v=35d5ccae-ea56-485a-87b7-f3b8c185526c

European Delivery Quick Guide: http://cache.bmwusa.com/pdf_3ad64cb0-6b8f-4c68-ba2e-d05826acf175.arox?v=ba96778e-cb4f-4e2d-b0c9-56c67f187077

Round-Up: Top Weekend Drives, August Edition

What’s better than a weekend drive? A weekend drive on the most fun, beautiful and scenic roads! To help you discover these hidden gems, each week we feature our favorite, user-submitted stretches on the BMW Ultimate Drive App Facebook page. Check out this month’s featured Weekend Drive Picks — there are some great Labor Day trip ideas here!

Southern California: Palomar Mountain to Lake Henshaw

If you’re in the San Diego area or planning a trip out to the West Coast, this route should be on your must-drive list! From Palomar Mountain to Lake Henshaw, this drive is packed with fantastic vistas. Just a short distance from the peak of Palomar Mountain a scenic overlook awaits, offering breathtaking views of the mountainside, and another overlook, nearer to Lake Henshaw, highlights the lush valleys and sparkling waters of the lake area. Beautiful!

Palomar Mountain to Lake Henshaw, California

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by DOMAPOI. Google Maps directions:  http://bit.ly/NkOfRJ.

Northern California: Big Sur

This breath-taking 60 mile stretch along the coast of Big Sur in Northern California offers dramatic ocean views, glimpses of towering redwoods and some fun stretches of twisty roads to keep you on your toes!

Big Sur, Northern California

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by starshley. Google Maps directions: http://bit.ly/OMz6H3.

Colorado: Coal Creek Canyon

Just southwest of Boulder, this drive is only a short distance from the big city, but takes you past the hustle and bustle and into the mountains of central Colorado. From Coal Creek Canyon to the town of Golden, this route has a fun mix of straight-aways and twisty turns, passing by several of Colorado’s state parks and offering up fantastic views of canyons, wooded areas and mountain ranges.

Coal Creek Canyon, Colorado

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by Nelson5235. Google Maps directions: http://bit.ly/OgnY1P.

North Carolina: Franklin to Highlands

In the mood for a quick road trip that’s not only fun but will also put your driving skills to the test? Then this short, but highly technical route in North Carolina — with 140+ twists in just under 20 miles — should get your heart racing! Plus, there are plenty of places along the way to stop and enjoy the scenery, including a gorgeous waterfall.

Franklin to Highlands, North Carolina

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by Jpwiii. Google Maps directions: http://bit.ly/OEu9O9.

Are you taking a special roadtrip this Labor Day or do you have a favorite weekend drive you want to see featured? Submit it through The Ultimate Drive app or share it with us on Facebook and Twitter. We hope you all have a safe and happy holiday weekend!

ROUND-UP: TOP WEEKEND DRIVES, JULY EDITION

Weekend Drive Picks are the best of the best user-submitted routes! Each week we pick our favorite user-submitted route to feature on the BMW Ultimate Drive App Facebook page and this month’s stretches highlight beautiful scenery, cities and sites from across the U.S. Check out this Weekend Drive round-up to get ideas for your next weekend drive! 

Northern CA: Skaggs Springs Road

If you’re in Northern California, this route is worth checking out: Skaggs Springs Road. All types of twists, turns, and elevations packed into a 50 mile stretch from wine country to the coast. Just be careful — it’s known to be a racers’ road.

Skaggs Springs Rd - Bay Area

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by RobM. Google Maps view: http://bit.ly/LZ3zTz.

Southern California: Mulholland Drive

We’re sure you’ve heard of Mulholland Drive in Hollywood, CA, so if you’re in SoCal and haven’t done this route, you’re missing out! Gorgeous views of ritzy Hollywood homes around you and LA’s top hot spots below… plus an opportunity to gain a better appreciation of your BMW’s amazing suspension.

Mulholland Drive - Los Angeles

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by DaBobsta. Google Maps view: http://bit.ly/MmZT7R.

Arizona: Coronado Trail

If you’re taking an extended holiday and are up for a roadtrip, consider the Coronado Trail in Arizona. This stretch takes you through stunning displays of natural beauty with high desert and forest views along a historic route braved by many on foot, horse, wagon… and now by shiny BMWs.

Coronado Trail - Arizona

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by Schnehe. Google Maps view: http://bit.ly/LrCTuv.

Midwest: Downtown Chicago and Lakeshore

This loop takes you for a beautiful scenic drive, showing off all that Chicago has to offer in just a little under an hour. From the lights of downtown to the sparkling waters of Lake Michigan, this is a must-see route!

Chicago - Lakeshore

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by Emir550i. Google Maps view: http://bit.ly/NMDAwV.

Thank you to our users who have submitted routes! Be sure to check out the app and find other routes you don’t want to miss…

Want your favorite drive to be featured here? It can only happen one way… submit your favorite routes through The Ultimate Drive app or share it with us on Facebook and Twitter!

Round-Up: Top Weekend Drives, June Edition

Each week, the BMW Ultimate Drive App Facebook page features our favorite user-submitted stretches from across the U.S. Check out this round-up of four featured Weekend Drive Picks for June, there’s something for everyone here!

New York City Day Trip: New Jersey / Philadelphia – West Chester Twisties

With this 30 mile scenic route crossing between the New Jersey/Philadelphia border, you can cruise along twisty roads in the late evening and be home before supper is on the table — just watch for stray golf balls as you whiz by roadside putting greens!

West Chester Twisties

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by fastmr1. Google Maps view: http://bit.ly/LoRkdd.

Mountain Drive: Colorado – Million Dollar Highway

This is the perfect route for anyone in or visiting southern Colorado or its surroundings. A straight shot through the San Juan National Forest, you’re sure to see beautiful foliage and maybe even some wildlife! Plus, if you’re in the mood to border hop, just extend your trip down the 550 a few miles and you’ll be in New Mexico!

Million Dollar Highway

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by Rdtriper. Google Maps view: http://bit.ly/JIXQif.

Northern California: San Francisco / Bay Area – Marshall from the Coast

Are you in the Northern California area looking for a scenic drive? If so, you’re in luck! Just north of San Francisco, this hilly and narrow route will put your driving skills to the test as you make your way from Marshall, at the coast, through dairy country, to Petaluma and Novato.

Marshall to Petaluma

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by RobM. Google Maps view: http://bit.ly/L9Ogno.

Southern California: Desert Tourist Towns

This stretch takes you from Montezeuma to Borrego, offering epic desert views while keeping you on nicely paved roads and close to civilization. If all that driving made you hungry, be sure to stop into nearby tourist town Julian for a delicious slice of apple pie or head south to San Diego for an authentic burrito!

Montezuma Borrego

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive App by Witworth Ranch. Google Maps view: http://bit.ly/KUfmOh

Whether you’re looking for easy scenic day trips or longer drives through rocky terrain, with a little help from our adventurous app users we can help you find the ultimate drive. Thank you to everyone who submitted your favorite stretches!

Do you have a favorite weekend drive? Submit your picks through The Ultimate Drive app or share it with us on Facebook and Twitter. Your drive just might be featured next month!