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!

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!

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!

4 Amazing American Racetracks You Can Drive Yourself

Have you ever hopped in your car and pretended you were driving in a big race at a famous circuit? Well, that dream can now come true… with the exception of actually racing the courses! Below is a list of roads which have hosted serious championship races in the past, as well as the present, that are now open to the public! So what are you waiting for? Fire up your engine and go for a drive! Which one will you choose first?

1. Road America Elkhart Lake, WI

While most people think of the purpose-built racing circuit when they hear the name Road America, the truth is, racing in the small town of Elkhart Lake, WI, began on public roads in the 1950’s, just down the street from the modern day race track. To preserve this history, the town has put forth a tremendous effort to maintain the original circuit’s roads and has even posted signs indicating the original racing course! Start planning now so you can squeeze in a race at the modern track and a scenic drive through the Wisconsin countryside!

Road America, Elkhart Lake, WI

2. Watkins Glen International – Watkins Glen, NY

Much like Road America, New York’s Watkins Glen began by hosting races on public roads (with a course that crossed railroad tracks twice per lap!) before building a permanent race track. At 6.6 miles, it is longer than most and a breathtaking site, but there’s another perk of visiting this New York track — many of the roads leading to Watkins Glen are worthy of praise themselves!

Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY

3. Pebble Beach Road Race Circuit Pebble Beach, CA

The third cornerstone of the SCCA championship in the 1950’s was the Pebble Beach Road Race Circuit. This tight and twisty circuit was raced from 1950 until 1956, replaced soon after by the Laguna Seca circuit off nearby Highway 68. The track is essentially a 17 mile drive, through the forest, next to the renowned Pebble Beach Golf Course.

Pebble Beach Road Race Circuit, Pebble Beach, CA

4. Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Colorado Springs, CO

Pikes Peak in Colorado, also known as The Race to the Clouds, is unique on this list for two reasons: not only is the road still raced every July, but it is a one-way uphill course as opposed to the usual closed loop circuit. This 19 mile highway takes drivers to an altitude of over 14,000 feet, a spectacular drive offering amazing views and some twisty turns the whole way up and down the mountain. Situated just outside Colorado Springs, a bonus to this course is virtually every road or highway to the area is a great drive in itself.

Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Colorado Springs, CO

Have you ever driven down one of these historic racetracks or are you planning a trip with a few other race car enthusiasts? Fill us in on our Ultimate Drive App Facebook fan page – we want to know what kind of fun you’re getting into this summer!

Summer 2012 Car Events You Don’t Want to Miss!

Here’s a list of 2012 summer events that will blow you away. These are some of the biggest automotive parties in all of America and every one of them can be considered a “must see” — the best part is that it’s not too late to plan a trip to any of them! There is something for every automotive taste, so we recommend picking one (or more!) and planning a trip out to enjoy some time around amazing cars with fellow enthusiasts.

1. Road America – July 12-15, August 16-18 and more

This isn’t a single event, but most anything on the schedule at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI, is a guaranteed good time. This historic circuit is nestled about an hour from Milwaukee in the beautiful resort area of Elkhart Lake. Well-known as a race track for the true enthusiast, any race weekend is sure to bring the rare mix of racing, cool street cars and automotive camaraderie that cannot be found elsewhere. We recommend the American Le Mans event for those serious about racing and the vintage weekend for those crazy about antiques, rare models and racing cars. Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

2. Woodward Dream Cruise – August 18, 2012

Held just outside of Detroit, MI, the Woodward Dream Cruise is exactly what it’s name states — a dream cruise of amazing classic cars. The Cruise is the world’s largest one-day automotive event, drawing 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars to the 16 mile stretch of Woodward Avenue. Naturally, due to the Detroit location, the event is heavy on American-made cars, trucks and hot rods. The event is held annually on the third Saturday in August and admission is free for spectators!

Woodward Dream Cruise, Detroit, Michigan

3. Monterey Car Week – August 13-19

This event is the biggest (and most exciting, in our opinion) of the bunch! The week of August 13-19th, there is so much automotive activity on the Monterey Peninsula in California that it will put your mind in overdrive. There is simply too much going on to list here, but over the course of the week there are concours, collector car auctions, historic races at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, cruises, car club meets and much, much more. If you have to pick one event to attend this summer, this is it!

Monterey Car Week, Monterey Peninsula, California Monterey Car Week, Monterey Peninsula, California

4: BMW CCA Oktoberfest  September 17-23

Not quite a summer shindig, but how could we possibly leave America’s largest BMW event off the list? Held this year at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, OH, the event features everything a BMW lover could ever dream of, including a concours, rally, track time, races, driving schools and a few other added bonuses like a delicious BBQ!

BMW CCA Oktoberfest, Lexington, O hio

Which events caught your attention? Do you already have plans to attend any of these or other events put on just for car enthusiasts like yourself? Share your favorite memories, plans and excitement for upcoming shows on the Ultimate Drive App Facebook page. We can’t wait to hear from you!