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!

Take the Scenic Way Home from Thanksgiving

Driving out of town for Thanksgiving this year? We all know that the holidays can be stressful, but the trip to and from your loved ones can also be enjoyable time in the car- whether alone or with family. For those who love driving, there is no better weekend to get in a last driving blast before fall turns to winter.

The traditional GPS will tell you the shortest path or the fastest path, but why not change it up and enjoy the drive on roads suggested by other drivers?  Even better, taking more fun or more scenic routes can enable you to avoid the holiday traffic on the highways.

If you need some tips or directions for your trip, The Ultimate Drive app comes to the rescue in the form of thousands of routes to choose from. All the routes are suggested by people like you, complete with descriptions and ratings to see what other drivers think are the best. You can download the free app at any of these links:

Find a great route, hop in the BMW and hit the road!

Wherever the driving adventure takes you, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and a great road trip home!

 

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!

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 social@socialnav-inc.com! We will post the best ones on our Facebook page for all to see.

Happy Halloween!

BMW Financial Services Launches The Ultimate Drive App for Facebook

Today we are releasing The Ultimate Drive App for Facebook, which lets BMW drivers and other driving enthusiasts find and share their exceptional driving routes. Users of the app can add their own route descriptions, photos or ratings, and see all of the contributions from others on the map or with Google Street View.

Thanks to BMW Financial Services, users with a Facebook account (now over a billion people) can access this free app right away.

The Ultimate Drive for Facebook features millions of miles of user-suggested driving routes, detailed descriptions, photos and user ratings. The Facebook app includes the ability to view stretches using Google Street View and to integrate with our other route-sharing apps from BMW Financial Services for iOS and Android.

The Ultimate Drive for Facebook also allows existing BMW Financial Services customers (U.S. only) to generate a loyalty voucher worth up to $700 off the first finance or lease payment on a new 2012 or 2013 BMW. Users can claim this offer by reserving a test drive within one of the apps between now and December 31, 2012.

“What better way to enjoy the perfect road than with your friends.”, said Pawan Murthy, General Manager of Online Business,  BMW Financial Services, “We hope that The Ultimate Drive for Facebook will help fans of BMW share their passion within their social networks.”

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)

Well, what are you waiting for? Go get the new Facebook app!!!

NOTE: The Ultimate Drive for Facebook is initially available in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, and Vietnam. If you’re located elsewhere, the iOS and Android apps are available in 100+ countries. You can get the mobile apps at http://socialnav-inc.com/GetTUD.

5 Great Accessories to Prepare Your Ride for Fall

Fall is rapidly approaching, and while we bet you have bought yourself some warm clothes for the cooler weather, you shouldn’t forget your loved one in the garage! Here is a list of driving-related items that will get you and your car set for the cold seasons, no matter where you live.

1. Heavy Duty Floor Mats

Preserve your interior by protecting the carpet with good floor mats. Get a rubber set that absorbs dirt, snow and water. We highly recommend Weathertech mats, which are top quality and made right here in the USA. They last a lifetime, and so will your factory interior.

2. A BMW Beanie

We had to include at least one cool lifestyle item on this list! Keep yourself warm with a BMW beanie. Store it in your car for that moment when an unexpected shower or early snow starts falling, or wear it when it is just plain cold out! We like this one, which is available on Amazon for a great price.

3. Winter Tires

It might be the last thing you think of for performance, but all the horsepower in the world is no good if you can’t convert it to grip. Another important thing to remember is that traction control cannot defy the laws of physics. Seasonal tires are an excellent purchase no matter where you live. Tire manufacturers offer rain tires, snow tires and other seasonal selections so you can find a tire that will be relevant to your local climate. In addition, this should also be viewed as safety enhancement- sticky tires are downright dangerous when driving in wet conditions where they cannot grip. A side benefit: if you’ve been wanting a nice set of rims this is an excellent excuse to buy those as well!

4. Battery Tender

For folks who are going to garage their beloved ride over a cold winter, a battery tender is a must to keep the electrical systems charged, the battery full and healthy, and your car in ready-to-drive condition. You don’t store your car in the winter? The battery tender is still relevant – it keeps your battery in tip-top shape year round. Our preference is the “Battery Tender Plus”, which is available here on Amazon.com.

5. A Waxing and Detailing

Winter weather can be really hard on your car’s exterior, and building up a strong layer of wax before the rain and snow falls can significantly improve the lifespan of your paint job. Take the time to work a few coats of wax onto the car – one weekend at a time. If you live in an area where roads are salted during winter, try to have the undercarriage cleaned, and apply undercoating to any areas that could use reinforcement. None of this is flashy, but it ensures your car will look that way!

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!

BMW’s The Ultimate Drive App Wins Bronze Stevie in Travel Mobile Apps Category at The American Business Awards

We are proud to announce that The Ultimate Drive app by BMW Financial Services and SocialNav, Inc., was just named a Bronze Stevie Winner in the Travel Mobile Apps category at The 2012 American Business AwardsSM (“The Stevies®”).

The ABAs are the nation’s premier business awards program. More than 3,000 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories from companies including Apple, The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, Ford Motor Company, NASCAR, YouSendIt (and yours truly!) among others. Finalists were chosen by more than 140 business professionals nationwide during preliminary judging in April and May. Winners were announced this week at an awards banquet at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco, California.

As you may already know, the (free!) Ultimate Drive app for iPhone and Android helps you discover the best roads around the world. It also enables U.S. BMW Financial Services customers to receive credit towards their first lease or loan payment on a new BMW (up to $700 off all 2012 / 2013 BMW models!). We are thrilled to be recognized by The American Business Awards for our app’s achievements and look forward to many more “down the road…”

Check out this photo of Rich Danielson, co-founder of SocialNav, Inc., developer of The Ultimate Drive mobile app, accepting the Bronze Stevie Award at The American Business Awards banquet:

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