Visiting beautiful locations for all the right reasons
Ugh, Chad, amirite? Series villains aside (or maybe because of them), our undying love for The Bachelor and The Bachelorette franchise can’t be extinguished. Year after year, we accept its rose, bring it into our homes… and then the couple breaks up about six weeks after the proposal airs. Why must they do this to us? We were here for the right reasons!
Yet, even when we know disaster looms for the winning pair, we can’t turn away. And not just for the faux amore! We’re also scoping out all the cool places they travel to. Oh, to visit the glacier where Ali deserted Kasey in Season 6 of The Bachelorette (he just wanted to guard and protect her heart!). But if you can’t make it to Iceland, you can still visit cities in the U.S. where iconic moments in the show’s history have taken place. In no particular order, we present memorable The Bachelor and The Bachelorette locations in the form of “The Most Dramatic List Ever!”
Flickr via IvyMikeYes, Agoura Hills is where it all begins. Where hopeful people looking for love step out of a limo wearing a unicorn head or strumming a banjo to meet their future spouse. You guessed it, Agoura Hills is home to the infamous mansion (aka Villa de La Vina) where each season begins. The rest of The Bachelor destinations owe it all to this place. After you drive by the mansion to see if Chris Harrison is wandering the grounds, stop by the Reyes Adobe Historical Site. Guided tours lead you around the property, which was first home built in Agoura Hills. Of course, in honor of the many tipsy contestants, you can also have your own wine tasting in Conejo Valley. Pull up a stool at Giessinger Winery or Alma Sol Winery and pretend you’re giving a testimonial about your one-on-one date.
2. Pasadena, CA
Photo via Yelp/E T.Not far from the mansion, Ashley and J.P. became one of the franchise’s most successful couples by actually tying the knot. Stay at The Langham Huntington, the site of their televised nuptials, where the spa is to die for and you can have a cocktail by the heated pool. You’re living it up; as Tierra from The Bachelor Season 17 would say, no one can “steal your sparkle” when you’re being this luxurious. While you’re in this romantic city in the foothills, stop by The Arboretum and enjoy a night of lovely music at the Pasadena Symphony.
Flickr via Jim SnedddonIt’s a tale as old as time. Boy meets girl; girl invites boy to her hometown. Girl’s mom asks boy to partake in a funeral for a dove that she recently hit with her car. What, you don’t think that’s romantic? In Season 13 of The Bachelor, Naomi brought Jason to Lake Elsinore and just such an event took place on her hometown date. If you’re into more “conventional” dates, this Southern California gem also has a charming downtown district where you can shop in unique boutiques and sip a strong espresso. Nearby, a hike to Ortega Falls provides the perfect scenery for a group date… if you’re into that sort of thing.
Way back in Season 5 of The Bachelorette, Jillian brought her final two suitors to Hawaii to get lei’d and have a good time. Then Ed, who had voluntarily left the show to return to work, appeared asking for a second chance. He flew in his parents, he wooed Jillian, and he got that final rose! Sure, things went down in flames for the couple a few months later. Let’s not dwell. On your own romantic getaway to Kailua-Kona, you too can stay at the Four Seasons Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu. With opportunities to kayak, visit the Hulihee Palace, and watch the waves lap over dramatic black lava rocks—your time in one of the most scenic The Bachelorette destinations will be memorable for all the right reasons.
Photo via Yelp/Paul G.When Kirk brought Ali to his hometown in 2010, she probably had herself braced to meet a few cheese heads. Instead, as you may have attempted to block from your memory, Kirk’s dad revealed a spectacularly creepy taxidermy collection in their family’s basement. On your own trip to Green Bay, you’re better off stuffing your itinerary with a trip to the Green Bay Botanical Garden and Heritage Hill State Historical Park. By night, the Civic Symphony of Green Bay can provide the soundtrack to date night, while Bleu Restaurant & Lounge and the Black & Tan Grille are good places to grab some eats.
Scottsdale isn’t just about turquoise jewelry and emerald golf courses. If you’re Courtney from Season 16 of The Bachelor, it’s also where you inexplicably stage a fake wedding with Ben during his hometown visit. And while Courtney was decidedly NOT on the show to make friends, you’re bound to find a kindred soul or two at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art or while walking through charming Downtown Scottsdale. And while they say Old MacDonald had a farm, in Scottsdale, it’s MacDonald’s Ranch where you can ride horses. Don't worry, your steed won't go rogue like Becca’s did in Chris’s season. The staff at this ranch always have your back; all you have to do is ride toward the romantic sunset.
When winemaker Ben of Season 16 (not to be confused with puppy-dog eyes Ben of Season 20) brought his ladies to the Bay Area, they probably didn’t expect to hit the slopes. But then, in one of the more inventive dates in the show’s history, the producers packed a city street with powder. Wearing bikinis, as one does, the women on the group date clicked into their skis and careened down the makeshift mountain. During your own trip to San Fran, you won’t need any skis--just some walking shoes. Check out the fresh fish at Fisherman’s Wharf, grab some dim sum in Chinatown, and take the ferry to Alcatraz. If you decide to give your feet a rest, just hop into one of the city’s iconic trolleys.
8. Warsaw, IN
Does it get any sexier than the Orthopedic Capital of the World? Well, maybe. But Season 20’s Ben Higgins still brought some of his contestants to his hometown, Warsaw, IN. You may remember his date with Amanda on this episode because it was so weird. Rather than take his beauty on a leisurely bike ride around Winona Lake, he took her to a little-known hang out called McDonald’s, where they proceeded to work the drive thru. If you pay your own visit to this charming Indiana town, we recommend you spend your time taking a cruise on the Dixie Sternwheeler or exploring the nearly six miles of local greenways. You can leave the fast food orders to someone else.
9. Miami, FL
Bienvenidos a Miami! Well, unless you’re here to visit your boyfriend’s hometown with a bunch of his other girlfriends. Then things might get hairy. Back in 2014, before Juan Pablo got into this memorable argument with Andi in St. Lucia, four of the other contestants had their own verbal rumble in Miami. Fans of the show will remember that the argument between Nikki and Clare got as heated as South Beach in July. During your own vacation in Southern Florida, we say you trade in drama for the ocean views of Miami Beach and luxury shopping of Bal Harbour. If you need a pick-me-up, the strong Cuban coffee of Little Havana is always waiting.
10. Dallas, TX
Dallas has been featured on our beloved series more than once; most recently when JoJo brought Ben to visit her family. It was there, whilst her brothers grilled Ben like a slab of Texas sirloin, that the chug heard round the world took place. JoJo’s mother grabbed a wine bottle by the neck and took a swig like she had her mitts on a water-filled canteen in the Sahara. And good for her. Celebrate vino your own way at a Dallas-area winery, such as Two Corks and a Bottle or Times Ten Cellars. If brew is your bag, the Deep Ellum Brewing Company has what you’re jonesing for—plus a killer plate of nachos. Other funs things to do in Dallas include visiting the Bishop Arts District and having a romantic picnic at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.
11. St. Louis, MO
Trista wasn’t just the first Bachelorette; she was the first star of the series to go on to get married. The couple said “I do” at a fancy Palm Springs hotel, but their engagement took place in her hometown: St. Louis. While you’re visiting The Lou to give your salute to the longest-lasting couple in Bachelor/Bachelorette history, there are lots of ways to have fun. Ride to the top of the iconic arch and then explore the trails of Forest Park. You can’t visit St. Louis without taste testing some locally brewed beer, so go on a tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery and then pull up a stool at the Schlafly Tap Room. And don’t leave the city without eating a gooey butter cake.
12. Des Moines, IA
Season 19, as we’ll always remember, was all about a farmer from Iowa. In a bold move, The Bachelor locations were pretty tame that year. Instead of absconding to exciting foreign destinations, the contestants spent a considerable amount of time in the heartland. In fact, if you happen to find yourself at 208 Court Ave in Des Moines, evidence of Chris and Whitney’s date still remains in the form of a colorful outdoor mural in their likeness. The next time you’re in IA, stop by the mural and then take a tour of the Capitol Building. In the summertime, head over to Gray’s Lake Park, where you'll gaze out at the sparkling water. By winter, indoor retreats like the Des Moines Art Center or Science Center of Iowa never disappoint. The Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden gives you a place to stop and smell the orchids all year round--so bring your sweetheart by for a romantic day among the blooms.
13. Farmington, PA
Flickr via daveyninOur current season of Bachelorette (Season 12 to be exact) has brought us many places via its emotional roller coaster. One stop on the train was the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania, where the infamous Chad-bear was let go on a two-on-one date… and then he whistled his way through the woods in the creepiest way possible. Should you find yourself in the area, forgo an evening in the woods for other Western PA activities. Visit Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, where JoJo’s bachelors once hung out with the Steelers, then head to Greensburg to see the stomping grounds for JoJo and Luke’s one-on-one date at the Palace Theatre. Other things to do in the area include touring the Frank Lloyd Wright House on Kentuck Knob or his magnificent creation at Fallingwater.
14. Sonoma, CA
The rolling hills of Sonoma served as the backdrop twice in Bachelor history, once in Season 7 of The Bachelorette, and again in Season 16 of The Bachelor. In both cases, we visited the renowned wine region to visit Ben Flajnik’s vineyards and watch his hair blow in the wind. It was perhaps his winery that most catapulted Ben into the running as a Bachelor, so the site has significance in franchise history. During your own visit to the romantic, stunning locale, spend a few hours walking through Sonoma Plaza and take a scenic ride on the TrainTown Railroad. After a wine tasting and dinner at The Girl & The Fig, you may just decide to stay in Sonoma to find your own bachelor or bachelorette.
What is your favorite Bachelor/Bachelorette location?
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