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!

 

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!

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.

Quick Drive: The 2013 BMW Alpina B7

At last month’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Ultimate Drive App team found ourselves in an enviable position. While at the BMW Villa (yes, a real villa),  the good folks at BMW North America offered us the key to a new 2013 Alpina B7 – on the weekend of its North American debut! Before anyone changed their mind, we quickly grabbed the key and hit the road for a test drive. Our time in the car was limited, so consider the following general impressions of the car and not a detailed road test. Here is what we thought:

Our Alpina B7, awaiting its workout

At first glance you know the car is something special. Many touches – both subtle and obvious – differentiate the B7 and its unbelievable 500hp, twin-turbocharged V8 from its 7 Series brethren. A variety of badges and body features let you know this car means business and, if that doesn’t stop you in your tracks, the exhaust note when you start the engine will!

We were also fortunate enough to take a drive in the latest 7 Series which, until the Alpina drive, we had been lavishly praising as one of our favorite luxury sedans ever. The Alpina’s road manners changed that ranking, but it managed to do so without giving up exactly what made the 7 Series great – its road manners. The Alpina is aggressive, responsive and authoritative when you want it to be; or docile, comfortable and quiet when you aren’t wringing its neck. More on the performance later, but it is important to mention the car’s incredible versatility up front.

The Alpina-badged cockpit is all business, and laid out extremely well

Once inside the cockpit, we immediately noticed a host of features; the most immediate of which was silence. Getting into the Alpina is like stepping into a parallel universe – one which only embodies yourself, your passengers and the machine at your command. The cockpit was logically oriented, and we had no trouble getting familiar with the myriad of controls and accoutrements the B7 has to offer. Our passenger in the back seat made a point to consistently repeat how wonderful the rear seating area was throughout the drive. This was partially due to his spending the morning in the back of an M3, but nonetheless worth repeating here.

Our back seat driver passenger managed to snap a quick camera phone image of this interior Alpina badge between being flung between the limits of the seatbelt in corners

Getting back to business, we had already driven the 7 Series so we were quite keen to see what the Alpina could do. After a leisurely drive down 17 Mile Drive – Pebble Beach’s built in racetrack – we decided to put the car through its paces. The transformation from luxury sedan to sports car is simply incredible. The first big revelation was the braking system. From high speed the B7 stopped to a standstill with the ease of a sports car and, in doing so, gave the weight impression of a Go Kart not a 4500lb luxury sedan.

Top notch Michelins PS2’s and serious braking power – this is only the rear caliper! – inspire massive confidence in sport driving conditions

Naturally a stop sign gave us the opportunity to see how the car accelerates from a standstill, the answer to which is ferociously! The automatic transmission worked like a charm during both aggressive and relaxed driving periods. Handling mirrored our impressions of the rest of the car; which was to say perfect in all conditions. In fact, we had a hard time faulting anything in the car. Perhaps with more time and a proper testing ground we could have, but for now all we can say is we want one!

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!

Ultimate Drive App Offer Extended to September 30 — Up to $700 Off All New BMW Models

These happy faces are on folks who have taken the opportunity to test drive a new 2012 or 2013 BMW… and for scheduling their test drive through the (free!) Ultimate Drive app for iPhone and Android, they earned a credit towards their first lease or loan payment on a new BMW.

Well, now we’re going to see a lot more happy faces because the offer has been extended through September 30, 2012! Between now and September 30th, existing U.S. customers of BMW Financial Services who download The Ultimate Drive app 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 USA.

The offer amount depends on the vehicle financed or leased and is offered for 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 now ends September 30, 2012, so don’t wait – go get the free app now!

Convertible Hair: 5 Ways to Tame That ‘Do This Summer

Ah summer… you know what it means — trips to the beach, lazy afternoons and best of all, cruising around in the convertible! Nothing feels better than the freedom of the open road with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair, but driving with the top down takes a toll on our do’s and results in the inevitable phenomenon we like to call convertible hair. Have you ever suffered from any of these convertible hairstyles?

The Electric Fizz:

 The Cockatoo:

The Cousin It:

The Cousin It

The Rorschach:

How to Fix It:

As you can see, convertible hair is a tough look to pull off, but we’ve got some solutions for you! Instead of dealing with a messy tangle next time you step out of the car, try one of these fashion-forward tips to keeping your hair in place while still enjoying your drop-top!

1. Put your hair in a ponytail. Low or high, either will do!

2. Braids are all the rage right now, especially ones that are a little messy. Pull it tight to start and let the wind do the rest.

3. Wear your hair in a bun. The wind will give you that natural messy-bun look.

4. Wear a scarf. Choose one made from silk or another thin material and secure it tightly to your head so it doesn’t blow away.

5. And for the guys out there — wear a snug fit hat, just be sure it doesn’t fly off in the wind!

The exhilaration that comes from cruising in a convertible should be enjoyed to fullest, not with you preoccupied about your hair thrashing in the wind. So, which of these tips will you try this summer? Post a photo on the Ultimate Drive App Facebook page of you how you combat convertible hair or, just for fun, show us your au natural post-convertible hairdos!

We hope you enjoy this first day of summer… now go out for a ride!

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…

 

Round-up: Top Weekend Drives, May Edition

Each week, the BMW Ultimate Drive App Facebook page features our favorite user-submitted stretches across the U.S. Here’s a round-up of four featured Weekend Drive Picks, one from each quarter of the country.

New York City Day Trip: Connecticut

From New Haven to South Canaan, Route 63 is lined with historic churches, tiny shops and lush greenery. Although this is the second longest state route in Connecticut, the entire drive will only take an hour, so if you’re looking for a full day’s outing be sure to turn down Route 7 for a glimpse of beautiful Candlewood Lake — a perfect picnic spot!

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive app by Shea. Here’s the Google Maps view (including directions!): http://bit.ly/I1hz9M

West Coast: San Francisco Bay Area, CA

The Carmel Highlands drive along California Hwy 1 offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the Bay Area. Put the top down and enjoy the fresh air as you ride down the coastline.

Carmel Highlands (CA Highway 1)

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive app by TRN-X-TRN. Google Maps view: http://bit.ly/I3AaFz

Southeast: Miami, Florida

If you’re in Southern Florida and want to go for a weekend cruise, Miami is the place to be. White sandy beaches, palm trees and bright blue water steal your gaze as you pass through this real-life paradise during the day, but if it’s nightlife you’re after, wait until the sun goes down — the city lights up!  

May drives - Miami Beach

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive app by clopez_7. Google Maps view: http://bit.ly/LOAQ1K

Southwest: Los Angeles, CA

The West Coast offers gorgeous views, but it’s hard to beat LA’s Decker Canyon. With incredible canyon views, thrilling turns, and the Pacific Ocean just around the corner, the world’s most breathtaking natural wonders can all be seen on this weekend drive.

Submitted to The Ultimate Drive app by KickA**E90. Google Maps view: http://bit.ly/I2jnly

No matter where you are in the country, there’s always a beautiful drive awaiting you and we’re here to help you find it…. and thanks to everyone submitting these stretches, of course!

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!