Since its original air date way back in 2002, The Bachelor has remained as one of America’s favorite guilty pleasures—along with its spin-off series, The Bachelorette. The premise is very simple: 25 gorgeous women compete for the attention and affection of one man. Each week a contestant is eliminated until only two remain. From these two, one goes home and one is chosen. There may or may not be a proposal as well.
Over the course of the 23 seasons, the majority of the couples left at the end of each season have ultimately broken up, save one couple that is still going strong to this day. This tells us that we don’t watch the show for its happily ever promise but really, we watch it for the drama and the outrageous date ideas. And some of us watch it for the gorgeous travel destinations. The team of location specialists selects some of the lesser known tourist spots to delight our television screens for each season and many of them are a real treat. These are the top 25 exotic locations that make us wish we could travel the world. They do look lovely on our bucket lists and give us hope of actually someday getting there.
25 At The Beginning—Pasadena, CA
Close to where the show starts off in its iconic mansion in Pasadena, California where one memorable couple (Ashley and J.P. to be exact) lavishly tied the knot on television. Here the water is lovely and it is always sunny year round. As Viewfinder says, “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. 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.”
24 One Happy Little Island—Aruba
Once known for being the honeymoon location of Rachel Green from Friends, we can now think of Aruba as an intensely romantic getaway spot thanks to The Bachelor. According to Aruba, “Aruba consistently receives the least rainfall in the Southern Caribbean, and we’re also located outside the Hurricane Belt, so you can expect excellent weather no matter what time of year you choose to visit.” Now doesn’t that sound like fun? It is an excellent vacation spot with no threats of a hurricane joining the party anytime soon.
23 Island Paradise—Bora Bora
A more popular location, Bora Bora, is located in the South Pacific island chain northwest of Tahiti and there is very good reason for its popularity. With crystal clear waters and a wonderful feeling of being on our own private island, who wouldn’t want to stay here? As Cheatsheet puts it, “Bora Bora looks like a dream. After all, who could resist shacking up in one of French Polynesia’s most prized possessions? That’s right; we’re talking about the impossibly idyllic over-water bungalows.”
22 A Classic—Switzerland
According to Bravo, “The Bachelor season 16’s Ben spent time between Alpine lakes and scenic mountains. A breath of fresh air along with romantic picnic lunches? We're sold.” There are many things that Switzerland is famous for: skiing on the snowy Alps, dark chocolate, delicious decadent cocoa, their many varieties of cheese and so much more just waiting for us to discover on our whirlwind trip. This is a country that should definitely be on everyone’s travel bucket list. On top of that, we could all use some fresh air, couldn’t we?
21 America’s Island Paradise—Hawaii
Hawaii is a very special state in our beautiful country of America and with good reason. It has all the charms of an exotic location while still being part of home. We get to travel without ever leaving the country. According to Viewfinder, “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.”
20 Far-Flung Location—Krabi, Thailand
Many of us have Thailand on our bucket list solely because it sounds so exotic and exciting! It’s a completely different world from what many of us are used to and is definitely worth a visit someday. For the foodies out there, nothing beats authentic Thai food. According to Islands, “Bachelor Sean Lowe took his ladies to the Andaman coast, next to the Hat Chao Mai National Park an hour from Krabi. On one date to Koh Mook Island, the couple enjoyed a swim and picnic on the beach; on another, a private candlelit dinner in the garden.”
19 A Magical Getaway—Fiji
Fiji was featured on The Bachelorette but we are including it here because it truly is one the best places to visit, and it deserves a spot on everyone’s bucket list of places to see someday. According to the official website for tourism of Fiji, “Located in the heart of the South Pacific, Fiji is blessed with 333 tropical islands that are home to some of the happiest people on Earth.” It is perfect for a honeymoon, or (if we are feeling brave), a family vacation with all the kids included.
18 Forget Paris—The French Riviera
Everyone loves Paris but it is a bit overrated. Instead of going to the city of love, head south for the Riviera and enjoy authentic French culture there. According to Travel, “The French Riviera, or Cote d'Azur, is known for its captivating scenery, Provencal culture and cuisine, charming villages and overall joie de vivre. As one of the most alluring regions in France, it's the perfect destination for travelers in search of extraordinary food and wine combined with fascinating history and culture.”
17 Fantasy Becomes Reality—New Zealand
Best known for being the location where a large chunk of The Lord of the Rings was filmed, New Zealand is a sight we have to see to believe. While its neighbor, Australia, is known for dry deserts and wild animals, New Zealand has rolling green hills and so many sheep dotting those hills. According to Bravo, “The Bachelor season 13's Jason came to Queenstown for stunning views of the Southern Alps. Here, you can have private picnics along lakes, or outdoor dining at luxury lodges accompanied by the region's fine wines.”
16 America’s Hot Spot—Miami, FL
Miami, Florida is a vacation hot spot and for good reason. With its famous beaches and wonderful temperatures year round, Miami has a lot going for it. It is no wonder that back in 2014, it was a location featured on The Bachelor. According to Viewfinder, “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.”
15 Party All Night—Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
This might not be the ideal family vacation spot, but for a couple, it’s perfect. With a natural beauty unmatched by other locations, this is a great place to relax in the warm sun with a nice margarita and then get down for some dancing at night. As Goats on the Road says, “Found at the tip of Baja California, Cabo San Lucas is where the desert meets the ocean. It’s a place that no matter where you are, you’re only a block away from the water.”
14 Where Television History Was Made—South Africa
South Africa isn’t a country that usually pops up on some people’s lists but it shouldn’t be dismissed immediately. It has its own features of natural beauty with a splash of the exotic to keep us all entertained. According to Cheatsheet, “Season 11 took finalists to South Africa, and the Lion Sands Game Reserve played host to the season finale. Although bachelor Brad Womack stunned the country with the biggest upset in the show’s history when he chose neither of the last two women standing, the tourism board experienced a serious surge in traffic.”
13 The Heart Of America—Dallas, TX
Closer to home is the wonderful vacation destination of Dallas, Texas. With a beautiful blend of familiar and wild, this bustling city will keep us busy for the whole trip. As Viewfinder says, “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 [delicious] 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.”
12 Breathtaking Scenery—Barbados
Based on this description from Barbados, who wouldn’t want to visit this little island? “Barbados is a coral island, pushed out of the sea by volcanic activity in a far away time. On the West Coast, beaches of fine white sand stretch along a blue-green sea. Coral reefs fringe the coast providing excellent snorkeling and Scuba Diving. Along the East Coast a lively surf is blown briskly by the strong and constant trade winds and the waves pound against a rocky shore.” That sounds like enough magic and romance for anyone.
11 Activities For All—Willemstad, Curacao
Featured on The Bachelorette during a final rose ceremony, this little Dutch Caribbean island is a hidden gem. If we feel like retracing our heroine’s time here, we can even stay in the same hotel! Islands describes it as 18-19th century colonial: “The 80-room hotel's proposal package offers an island tour (like Emily took), dinner in the Sculpture Garden (scene of a rose ceremony), a visit to an herbalist for a "love potion," and more. Sister property Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club's Bachelorette Experience includes private snorkel trips and beachfront dinners.”
10 The Sparkling Waters Of Croatia
Nestled in central Europe is a little gem of a country called Croatia. According to Lonely Planet, Croatia is known for its waters. “Croatia's extraordinary island-speckled coastline is indisputably its main attraction. The first thing that strikes you is the remarkable clarity of the water. When it's set against a dazzling white pebbly beach, the water sparkles with a jewel-like intensity in shades of emerald and sapphire.” When we aren’t working on our tan, we can easily spend all day in water-related activities.
9 Wine Country—Sonoma, CA
While exotic foreign countries will always have their appeal, there's just something about the sights and locations of our country that make us want to see them almost more than any other country in the world. According to Viewfinder, “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.”
8 A Magical Island—St. Lucia
As if we couldn’t get enough of the Caribbean islands, here is another hidden gem among the set. St. Lucia is an island with its own very special magic that lends an air of romance to the whole atmosphere. According to St. Lucia, the island is “a sensorial experience that will feed your spirit with flavours she has gathered from the earth, the sea and her people. Born of Volcanic origin, the Island of Saint Lucia offers a burst of natural splendour with every turn.”
7 The Jewel Of The Caribbean—Jamaica
Arguably the most famous island in the Caribbean and definitely a top tourist spot, Jamaica is a must-see for the budding world traveler and the exotic foodie alike. Nothing beats the richness of real spicy food native to the area quite like having it on the island itself. As Visit Jamaica says, “We are a land of unique experiences, engaging activities, breathtaking landscapes and a warm, welcoming people. No place on earth provides the range of attractions and the cultural diversity that can be found here. No place on earth feels like it. No place on earth shines like it.”
6 The Calm Of Indonesia
Or maybe it’s not so calm, depending on if we bring our kids or not. If romance is the name of the game, it’s best to ditch them with grandma for a couple weeks. They will survive and we will come back with some epic memories. Bravo says, “The Bachelor season 19’s Chris had a blast in magical Bali. While we can't promise a rose ceremony by ancient temples, you'll probably see monkeys cross the road — and you'll for sure want to take in some of the world's most spectacular pools.”
5 Mysterious Bermuda
Bermuda is best known for its triangle, but as long as we don’t fly or sail over that, the island itself is a very lovely place to visit for our next vacation. According to Islands, “Guests today can easily re-create the dates, which include a trip around historic St. George, sailing lessons, a private dinner in Bermuda's oldest cave, cliff diving and plenty of beachside snuggling.” Even the contestants on The Bachelor found this to be a magical place.
4 Closer To Home—St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Want an island getaway but have already seen Hawaii and don’t have the inclination to leave the country? Then the U.S. Virgin Islands are just for us! In particular, the romantic island of St. Croix is ideal. According to Cheatsheet, “During Season 17, Sean and six lucky ladies traveled to St. Croix to take up temporary residence at one of the Caribbean’s longest-running resorts. The place was so excited about its connection to The Bachelor, in fact, that The Buccaneer added a special Bachelor-related promo to couples seeking a romantic getaway.”
3 The Forests Of Finland
Tired of beaches and endless islands? Finland might just be the ideal romantic vacation spot, then. Filled with ancient forests and wonderful traditions, this is an amazing country to visit any time of the year! In the autumn, there is mushroom picking in the forests which will delight everyone in the family. According to Lonely Planet, “Inspired design, technology and epicurean scenes meet epic stretches of wilderness here in Europe's deep north, where summer's endless light balances winter’s eerie frozen magic.”
2 The Enchanted Realm Of The Dominican Republic
This colorful little country starts as coastland with beaches of crystal sand before giving way to hills and fields that stretch up into mountains and deserts. There is something for everyone here. As Lonely Planet says, “Further inland you’ll encounter vistas reminiscent of the Alps of Europe, rivers carving their way through lush jungle and stunning waterfalls. Four of the five highest peaks in the Caribbean rise above the fertile lowlands surrounding Santiago, and remote deserts stretch through the southwest, giving the DR a physical and cultural complexity not found on other islands.”
1 Exotic Anguilla
While it is currently hurting from the effects of a recent hurricane, Anguilla is a beautiful place and should definitely be near the top of our travel bucket lists. It is a moderately popular vacation getaway compared to some higher-ranking spots, which gives it a nice undiscovered feel. As Islands describes it, “One-bedroom suites come with outdoor showers. The popular seven-day Sea of Love package includes a chef's table, wine tasting, spa services, a one-day car rental and more.”
References: Viewfinder, Aruba, Cheatsheet, Islands, Fiji, Travel, Goats On The Road, Barbados, Lonely Planet, St. Lucia, Visit Jamaica