Luckily for Angelenos, the much-maligned but always exciting Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise has its home base here in L.A., or Agoura Hills, to be exact. Though the infamous mansion (known for its many rooms, extraordinary pool and always-wet driveway) is where our contestants live, argue and drink wine for the purpose of one-on-one and group dates, the show’s producers are constantly scouring the best of the city’s locations to create novel, unusual, and sometimes even romantic, dates. During more than 30 seasons, the franchises have built something of a historical travelogue of L.A. On last night's episode, bachelor Nick Viall and the girls were treated to a visit to the Museum of Broken Relationships (this doesn't bode well for you, Nick...). Below are a few more choice encounters from the entire history of The Bachelor franchise that you can easily recreate.
1. The Colorado Bridge date with Juan-Pablo
In Season 18 of The Bachelor, former pro-soccer player and Venezuelan hunk Juan-Pablo Galavis took science educator Chelsie Webster on a date to Pasadena. The first stop was a sampling of Juan-Pablo’s homeland’s cuisine at Amara Chocolate & Coffee in Old Town. With bellies full of sweets, the duo then bungee jumped right off of the landmark Colorado Street Bridge. The astonishing structure, easily seen from 134 freeway, was recently restored. Though these types of jumps aren’t typically available to the public, Bachelor fans can recreate Chelsie’s hemming and hawing or Juan-Pablo’s breezy empty-headedness at the top of the bridge during the annual summertime Colorado Street Bridge Party, put on by Pasadena Heritage—though you still can't bungee jump off it.
Pasadena Heritage: 651 South Saint John Ave, Pasadena; 626-441-6333, pasadenaheritage.org
Amara Chocolate & Coffee: 55 S Raymond Ave, Pasadena; 626-744-1765, amarachocolate.com
2. Desiree Hartsock’s endless driving through the Malibu Hills
In Season 9 of The Bachelorette, bridal stylist Desiree Hartsock was "given" a turquoise Bentley GTV V-8 convertible to drive during her stint on the show. The luxury car, valued at-the-time for $224,000 and featured prominently throughout the season. As part of what was undoubtedly a product placement deal between the car company and the network, the undeniably attractive Desiree spent a significant portion of her season’s opening episode cruising through Malibu’s sunny, rolling coastline-adjacent hills. It is unknown whether these stunning shots actually sold any Bentleys, but hopefully it inspired locals and out-of-towners alike to take a long mountain drive through one of the world’s most amazing landscapes.
For information about scenic drives in Los Angeles, click here.
Bentley Beverly Hills: 8833 W Olympic Blvd, Beverly Hills; 877-214-4433, beverlyhills.bentleymotors.com
3. Mud baths in the desert with Alex Michel and five babes
The very first L.A.-area date featured in The Bachelor’s first season way back in 2002 is a key one; it not only epitomizes the awkward and contrived nature of the show but showcases a unique and somewhat under-represented slice of the greater Los Angeles area: the desert. The show’s producers sent Alex Michel, a management consultant, out to the 2 Bunch Resort & Spa in Desert Hot Springs. But instead of one girl, Alex brought five: Trista, Angela, Amy, Melissa and season-winner Amanda Marsh. In what was history’s second-only group date (the first being in Las Vegas), Alex and the girls painfully acknowledge the peculiarity of the situation while partaking in the resort’s mud baths. Watching Alex take turns rubbing mud onto and then washing mud off of each girl in the presence of the the other girls is uncomfortable enough to make a person swear off romance all together.
Two Bunch Palms Resort & Spa: 67425 Two Bunch Palms Trail, Desert Hot Springs; 760-329-8791, twobunchpalms.com
4. Sexy(?) yoga with JoJo
Part of the fun of The Bachelor franchise is that the producers are creating a vision of Los Angeles—full of movie stars, red carpets, mansions and beautiful people—that is meant to be consumed by the broadest possible American audience. So, when something like hot yoga is refracted through The Bachelorette’s lens, we witness one of the most unusual yoga sessions ever broadcast. Bachelorette Joelle "JoJo" Fletcher, a real estate developer from Dallas, takes Chase McNary, a medical sales rep from Castle Rock, to the Kinship Yoga studio in Highland Park. The session, run by Hemalayaa Behl, a celebrity kundalini yoga instructor, includes humiliating pelvic grinding, tantrum-styled "anger-gasms" and erotic breathing exercises—all in 110 degree heat. Neither JoJo nor Chase seem to understand what is going on, but the editing and music really play up their supposed bafflement of yoga, and emphasis the "otherness" of what has become a prominent component of L.A.’s progressive and accepting cultural environment.
Hemalayaa Behl can be contacted via her website: hemalayaa.com
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