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: or get directions with Google Maps:

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: or get directions with Google Maps:

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: or get directions with Google Maps:

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: or get directions with Google Maps:

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!

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: or get directions with Google Maps:

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: or get directions with Google Maps:

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: or get directions with Google Maps:

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: or get directions with Google Maps:

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!

Happy Halloween! The Best BMW Halloween Costumes from the Web

Halloween is almost here. In celebration of the holiday and our love for cars, we did some digging to come up with some of the best car costumes on the web. After all, if pet costumes are a regular theme, cars should be able to join in the fun as well!

First up is this M3; which automatically gets a winning vote for being in Halloween dress full time- right from the BMW factory. We give top marks to BMW for making an orange finish classy looking. This car is a Halloween BMW done right!

Next up on the list is this E30 M3, which the owner had to paint orange. We especially love the black headlight trim and grill treatment! It’s a great inspiration for decorating your own car for the 31st, or every day!

Up third it perhaps the most extreme treatment of the Halloween theme we have seen! This M3 is certainly the “loudest” matte black car we have ever seen. The details are done perfectly, and it definitely has a menacing look!

And last of all, we couldn’t ignore these great BMW pumpkins!

Since there is still time before Halloween, should you wind up decorating your own car please send us images at! We will post the best ones on our Facebook page for all to see.

Happy Halloween!

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:

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:

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:

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:

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!

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:

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:

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:

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:

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!

Reasons to Take European Delivery of Your New BMW – Part 2: BMW Museum and Factory

Part 2: The BMW Museum and Factory

In our last blog post (which can be found HERE) we kicked off our incredible European Delivery trip to BMW in Munich with a tour of BMW Welt. This time we are getting down to business by touring the BMW Factory, Museum, and picking up a new car!

Having spent our morning wandering the main reception hall of BMW Welt, we check in for our tour and are whisked across the street by a fabulous tour guide. Our first destination is the BMW Museum, which for us car nuts is a real highlight of the trip. The museum could be considered a whole day’s activity by itself, and many people spend that much time viewing its many exhibits. BMW has assembled an amazing array of street cars, racing cars, motorcycles, aviation items and interactive displays, all of which tell the story of the company over time.  The images below give a good overview of the multi-level museum and its treasures.

After an amazing few hours wandering the museum and gathering a real appreciation for what the company has accomplished through the years, we meet our guide for a trip through the BMW factory. The car nut within had us divided between love for the museum’s history and the factory’s technology. Unfortunately, images are not allowed in the plant, but we managed to come up with a few stock photos to show off what it is like:

Finally, the moment arrives for those who are there to pick up their new car. At the delivery center, you are given an educational walk-through of every feature on your BMW. It is an impressive presentation, and, despite the anxiety of almost getting your car, it is time well spent to learn features you may not have discovered otherwise. Then the moment arrives! You are united with your car, and given the keys. Time to get behind the wheel and drive!

Stay tuned for Part 3 of this blog- the German road trip!

7 Last Minute Destinations to Pamper Yourself Before Summer’s End

Summer is drawing to a close and we soon must say goodbye to the long sunny days and weekends on the beach, but there’s still time for one more last minute trip between now and Labor Day! In case you don’t have a destination in mind, we’ve hand-picked a few beautiful spots across the continental U.S. so that no matter where you are there are spas, wine tastings, golfing and sunsets to squeeze in before summer ends. So what are you waiting for? Go grab your bags, gas up your shiny BMW and don’t forget your Ultimate Drive app to steer you down the best routes to these luxury destinations…

1. Cape Cod, MA

Cape Cod is known for its laid back lifestyle, but this little town in the North East offers more than just centuries-old lighthouses and beautiful beaches! A trip to the Cape wouldn’t be complete without spending time sport fishing, admiring yachts in the harbor, wine tasting at a local vineyard or taking a biplane tour. While you’re there, be sure to cruise the 40-mile stretch of Route 6 between Eastham and Provincetown on the outer Cape for a chance to see all the National Seashore has to offer — nature trails, bicycle trails, picnic areas, scenic overlooks and historic sites!


2. Palm Springs, CA

Situated in the California desert just two hours east of Los Angeles, Palm Springs is a short drive for South Western vacationers looking to sunbathe at swanky hotel pools and play rounds on some of the country’s most exquisite golf courses. If you’re in the area, pack up your clubs and get ready to enjoy not only your weekend, but also the ride up mountains and across barren desert to reach this beautiful destination!

(credit: Flickr user: arlo j)

3. Kennebunkport, ME

Just 30 miles from the Maine-New Hampshire border, the seaside haven of Kennebunkport has long attracted vacationers, celebrities and those looking for a little New England adventure – it is even home to two US presidents! Kennebunk takes full advantage of its waterfront property, offering a variety of activities like whale watching, charter boat excursions and tours of the homes of sea captains and shipbuilders (some of which are even thought to be haunted…). Be sure to pack a sweater because the sea breeze can get chilly!

(credit: Flickr user: pvsbond)

4. Boca Raton, FL

Only a 20 minute drive from Fort Lauderdale and slightly east of the Everglades, Boca Raton is a paradise in paradise for those in the South East! Boca Raton offers lavish country clubs, sophisticated restaurants and is the perfect weekend vacation spot for anyone looking to experience the elegance and fun nightlife of the downtown district.

(credit: Flickr user: spadayguy)

5. Greenwich, CT

Greenwich is a vibrant cosmopolitan community considered among the most affluent and elegant towns in the North East. Boasting five harbors, Greenwich is a haven for yacht enthusiasts, sunbathers and those who love to explore historic lighthouses. If you’re after a more relaxed getaway, this small town also is littered with five-star hotels, spas and country clubs. Situated on scenic Long Island Sound, just 30 miles from midtown Manhattan, this is the perfect destination for a weekend road trip!

(credit: Flickr user: Ewan-M)

6. Russian River, CA

Just over two hours north of San Francisco, Russian River is in the heart of Northern California wine country and is home to many small and several large commercial wineries — a true wine-enthusiast’s dream destination! Not only does Russian River produce award-winning Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines ready for tasting, it is also home to lush wildlife preserves, boutique lodgings and relaxing day spas.


7. Jackson Hole, WY

The rustic adventure and sophisticated style of Jackson Hole meld together to create the perfect atmosphere for a little R&R on your last vacation of the summer. This valley, situated just east of the Wyoming-Idaho border is framed by the Grand Tetons, offering ranges perfect for horseback-riding, beautiful vistas and luxurious five-star accommodations to keep you comfortable at night… or during the day if you wish.

(credit: Flickr user: rickpilot_2000)

Do you have a favorite luxury destination near your hometown? Share it with us here in the comments or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter! And remember, if you’d like to find scenic and exciting routes to and around these destinations, just search in the Ultimate Drive App

7 Activities to Entertain You on Your Summer Roadtrip

Summer roadtrips are fun, but everyone gets a little tired, grumpy and bored after sitting in the car for too long. So, what’s a classic remedy for car boredom? A roadtrip game! Car games are perfect for all ages and can be just as fun for a group of friends heading to the beach as they are for a family en route across state lines.

Here are a list of the top 7 roadtrip activities you’ll want to play this summer. Choose a few favorites, hit the open road and let the fun begin!

1. Find the Vehicle

Car enthusiasts love this game! Choose a car you want to find — it can be a rare model, make from a particular year, a type of car or anything else you find interesting. Players get points for each vehicle spotted. To up the stakes, add details to the car, like certain specific license plates or colors. The first person to find the car gets to choose the game’s next vehicle to find.

2. I Spy with My Little Eye

I Spy can get a little tricky in a cramped car, but it’s perfect for wasting away few minutes on a long roadtrip or when you’re stuck in traffic! One person in the car will choose an object around them, inside or outside the car (but no cheating by choosing an object you’ve already passed!), then they say: “I spy with my little eye, something…” The person then gives a clue about the object, stating either it’s color, the first letter of the name of the object or some other creative hint. The first to guess the object correctly is the next person to spy a new item.

3. The Banana Game

This one is simple — the first person who spots a passing yellow vehicle gets points! If you want to make it a little more competitive, vary the number of points awarded based on the size or make of the car, a yellow SUV might be worth two points and a yellow motorcycle might be worth one, for instance… or you can put a time limit on the game! Tally up your points once your time is up and the person with the highest score wins!Yellow BMW Motorcycle

Hint: Do you have a favorite color car? You can play this game with any color you want… think The Orange Game or The Granny Smith Apple Game! 

4. License Plates

This is a classic travel game and is best for long, cross-country trips. Play as a team or individually, just try to spot license plates from all 50 states before the end of your drive!

American License Plates

Hint: If you’ll be on the road for a while, you may want to grab a piece of paper and choose one of your passengers as score keeper! 

5. The Picnic Game

Test your fellow road-trippers’ memories with The Picnic Game. It’s easy (at the beginning) and fun! The first player starts the game by saying, “I went on a picnic and brought…” then names an object you’d bring on a picnic that starts with the letter A. The next player repeats what the person before them said, while adding another picnic item that starts with a B, and so on. For example, if player one says, “I went on a picnic and brought apricots,” player two would repeat, “I went on a picnic and brought apricots” and then might add “bread.” If you forget an item, you’re out, and the game continues until the player with the best memory wins.

Apples and Bread

Hint: You can play variations of Memory with grocery items, states, sports teams, animals, cars or any other category you like!

6. Fortunately-Unfortunately

Here’s how it works — one player could make the statement, “Unfortunately, there’s a massive swarm of bees following us.” A second player would counter with a positive statement like “Fortunately, I packed bee-proof suits just in case this happened.” Go around in a circle until everyone gets a turn, then reverse. Silly statements make this game fun for everyone, so go on, say something crazy and let the laughter begin!

7. Team Storytelling

Creativity is the name of the game in Team Storytelling. This is the perfect game for a family outing or a large group. One person starts the story by creating the opening line. It can be a simple “Once upon a time…” or something crazy like, “The fire was ablaze!” Each person in the car adds a line, and the story builds upon itself. A fun way to make storytelling more exciting is to make a rule that all of the lines rhyme, or, instead of going in a circle, call on people to come up with a line. Go on, get your creative juices flowing!

So, which are you going to play first? Find The Vehicle is our favorite… we always have our eye out for shiny new BMWs! Do you have a favorite roadtrip game we didn’t mention here? Please share your ideas with us right here in the comments or on the Ultimate Drive App Facebook page! We hope you all have safe and happy roadtrips this summer.

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:

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:

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:

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:

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!

Ultimate Drive App Offer Expanded: Up to $700 Off ALL New BMW Models

As you may already know, The (free!) Ultimate Drive app for iPhone and Android helps you discover the best roads around the world. But that’s not all it does! Back in March, we launched the third generation of the app, which enabled all current U.S. BMW Financial Services customers to schedule a test drive and receive $300 credit towards their first lease or loan payment on a new 2012 3 Series. This promotion is still in effect today.

HOWEVER, as of today, we’ve expanded the promotion across all BMW models!! 

Between now and July 31st, existing U.S. customers of BMW Financial Services who download The Ultimate Drive app and use it to schedule a test drive can get a voucher worth up to $700 off the first payment on a new 2012 or 2013 BMW financed or leased through BMW Financial Services NA.

The offer amount depends on the vehicle financed or leased – 2012 or 2013 models only. Here are the voucher amounts available and how they match up with the different BMW models:

$300 Off Voucher — 3 Series, 1 Series, X1, X3 and Z4 (all trims, including M models)
$500 Off Voucher — 5 Series, 5 Series Gran Turismo and X5 (all trims, including M models)
$700 Off Voucher — 7 Series, 6 Series, 6 Series Gran Coupe and X6 (all trims, including M models)

Did we mention that this app is FREE?! Here are the specifics on how you snag the savings in 3 easy steps:

Step 1: Download The Ultimate Drive app (available on iPhone and Android) to discover and share the best roads to drive.

Step 2: Use the app to schedule a test drive at your local BMW Center.

Step 3: Confirm your test drive (instructions in the app) to generate your voucher code and use it when ordering your new 2012 or 2013 BMW.

Don’t forget — offer ends July 31, 2012, so don’t wait – go get the free app now!

Just imagine yourself behind the wheel of one of these sweet rides with $700 bucks still in your pocket…