The BEST Destination Dates From 20 Seasons Of The Bachelor

Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Mark Wessels.
Sure, they’re supposed to be there to find true love and land a husband. Those are, after all, the much ballyhooed “right reasons” for signing up for The Bachelor, which kicks off its milestone 20th season on January 4.

Of course, only one woman, at best, is going to leave with a Neil Lane ring on her finger. But given that a typical season now includes crisscrossing the globe to stay in lavish lodges, relax on the world's best beaches, feast on local delicacies, and canoodle in castles after private concerts, isn’t a free dream vacation a perfectly valid runner-up motive for making a run for the roses?

Still, not everyone wants to put themselves through the televised paces of a matchmaking reality show just to get a gratis gondola ride in Venice (or worse, Vegas). But anyone who wants to rekindle a romance, pamper themselves silly, or just see the world and experience exotic cultures could stand to take notes from ABC’s accidental travelogue. Ahead, we’ve gathered 20 amazing spots from 20 sexy and scandalous seasons of The Bachelor to add to your 2016 travel agenda.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Craig Sjodin.
Season 1: Alex Michel
Best Featured Destination: Lake Tahoe

You never forget your first, even though the show ran much differently during its inaugural 2002 season. Alex Michel, with his goofy grin and too big business suits, was given just six episodes to find “the one.” Hometown meet and greets happened in week four, and dates were far less extravagant, and much closer to home. The OG bachelor was sent to pristine Lake Tahoe to hit the slopes and hibernate at the Black Bear Inn, a cozy bed and breakfast surrounded by fragrant pines. Alas, it was not a match made in Heaven.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Ron Tom.
Season 2: Aaron Buerge
Best Featured Destination: San Francisco

When meaty Midwesterner Aaron Buerge showed Gwen around Northern California's urban crown jewel and left her heart there (she was kicked swiftly to the curb shortly after that date.), it was the series’ first trip to the city by the bay — but by no means its last. Other than Los Angeles and its immediate neighbors, S.F. is the producers’ go-to for a quickie getaway, and they’ve made good use of the city, including cable car rides, dinners atop iconic Coit Tower, sunset sails under the Golden Gate, nail-biting climbs on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, side trips to wine country, and gallery-heavy Sausalito. They even turned one of its infamously steep streets into a makeshift ski and sled slope.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Craig Sjodin.
Season 3: Andrew Firestone
Best Featured Destination: Park City, Utah

The hills were alive with the sound of Andrew Firestone’s adrenaline-fueled joy as he took one of his potential wives to Utah to bobsled at the Olympic facilities in Park City. The winter wonderland also offers ice skating, skiing, shopping, and plenty of other activities to fill your snow days. Firestone continued his trip on a horse-drawn carriage through the postcard-worthy village, and followed dinner with fire and Frenching in the fantasy suite. We hear rumors that you can go there in summer too, but these mountains are more magical when the thermometer drops.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Kevin Casey.
Season 4: Bob Guiney
Best Featured Destination: Belize

Given the multi-stop international tours most seasons of the franchise and its spinoffs now include, it is unfathomable to think it took four seasons before The Bachelor went international. But Belize it (sorry), because this Central American holiday hot spot was a series first. Bachelor Bob Guiney and Estella fled to Cayo Espanto, a four-acre private island in Ambergris Caye favored by Tiger Woods and Leonardo DiCaprio. Guests to the resort can enjoy the Waves (the property’s signature cocktail), and actual waves, via a stand-up paddleboard, kayak, or snorkel trip (as the TV twosome did) to swim with sharks and rays along the world’s second largest barrier reef. Retire to your colorful cottage, which is anything but quaint, with its outdoor showers, plunge pools, and pith-helmeted housemen doing the heavy lifting.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Craig Sjodin.
Season 5: Jesse Palmer
Best Featured Destination: Quebec City

If you can’t manage Paris on your paycheck but are craving crepes, beguiling accents, cheese shops, romantic riverfront strolls, and a mime or two, head to the great white North of Eastern Canada. Book a room at the historic Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City — just as former NFL quarterback Jesse Palmer did during The Bachelor’s adventure. Try ice skating and the local specialty, ice wine (though probably not simultaneously). If you venture here in warmer weather, go whale watching, partake in some agritourism at local farms and orchards, catch a performance by province heroes Cirque du Soleil, and admire the majesty of nearby Montmorency Falls. Hopefully, unlike Palmer, you won’t be stalked and propositioned by an ex while enjoying faux France.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Adam Larkey.
Season 6: Byron Velvick
Best Featured Destination: Whistler, British Columbia

Apparently producers got hooked on poutine, as the following season saw pro fisherman Byron Velvick (and his romance novel cover-worthy hair) sweep into Canada’s west coast and check into another top-tier Fairmont lodge, Chateau Whistler. He took Mary ziplining in the winter sports nirvana, and had a champagne picnic near the peak in a rustic cabin before coming down the mountain for a fancy intimate dinner in the popular ski village. When Whistler thaws out, it is an excellent place for backpacking and bald eagle spotting, and with Vancouver 90 minutes away, you can easily create a city-country break.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Steve Fenn.
Season 7: Charlie O'Connell
Best Featured Destination: Aruba

Charlie O’Connell’s claim to fame — other than being the brother of actor Jerry O'Connell — is that he was the first bachelor whose overnight dates were all staged in the same locale, and that locale was Aruba. The tiny Dutch Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela charmed viewers with its thatched palapas, European architecture in Caribbean pastels, crooked divi-divi trees, calm turquoise waters, and constant trade winds. The Radisson (now a Hilton) provided a peaceful and pretty playground for the actor to explore his ultimately doomed trio of relationships via a dinner sail on open water, bumpy rides aboard all-terrain vehicles (and the Kukoo Kunuku party bus), the hybrid pastime of Snuba, and a moonlit dip in the ocean.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Craig Sjodin.
Season 8: Travis Lane Stork
Best Featured Destination: Paris, France

Switching up the formula, Bachelor staff packed their bags and set up shop in Europe’s romance capital with Dr. Travis Lane Stork. It was a season full of Eiffel Tower photobombs, fresh baguettes, walking in the rain past manicured gardens and famous museums, café conversations, mountain climbing in the Alps, bike rides in the bucolic splendor, and elegant chateau settings. The season also shook things up with the first group date with an overnight component. Stork and his suiters partied like Jay and Bey on a yacht, swimming, jetskiing, and toasting the sunlight away in the French Riviera — and capped things off with black tie gambling at the Carlton Hotel in Cannes.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Craig Sjodin.
Season 9: Prince Lorenzo Borghese
Best Featured Destination: Italy

Apparently the producers considered the across-the-pond narrative a success, because they set the ninth edition in Europe’s boot. Prince Lorenzo Borghese, a cosmetics heir distantly related to Pope Paul V, dove into the “when in Rome” philosophy — hanging out at major sites like the Trevi Fountain, spending an evening in a gilded opera house, playing along when the team dressed the group as gladiators and dropped them off at the ancient aqueducts for some good old fashioned chariot races, and even welcoming two local ladies into his web of woo. They also repeated the group overnight scenario. The coterie descended for a day of grape-smashing and wine-guzzling at Castello di Velona, a sprawling 10th century estate amid the rolling hills of Tuscany.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Adam Larkey.
Season 10: Andy Baldwin
Best Featured Destination: Kauai

U.S. Navy Lieutenant Andy Baldwin proved you can go home again. He returned to Hawaii, where he was stationed during the show’s run, with three would-be wives. After a somber afternoon at the USS Arizona Pearl Harbor Memorial on Oahu, the foursome hopped over to Kauai for fun in the sun (and some inevitable rain, as the verdant isle gets almost daily showers). The officer and gentleman’s shore leave was a good balance between active pursuits (think kayaking, hiking to waterfalls, and a ropes course) and respectable R&R (relaxation and romance). All thanks to a private luau in Princeville, a float on a catamaran, and some serious hammock hang time. If you go, we’d also recommend a helicopter tour to peep the Jurassic Park movie shooting locations.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Craig Sjodin.
Season 11: Brad Womack
Best Featured Destination: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Thanks to its close proximity to L.A., scores of hotels, and plenty of diversions like golf, whale watching, and endless spa options, Cabo San Lucas is always bustling with tourists. No trip to Baja is complete without a dune buggy race, a sail through El Arco (the distinctive Golden Arch), or a swim with dolphins. In his first season as The Bachelor, Brad Womack camped out at the adults only Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Resort & Spa. Every unit has spectacular views of the horizon — which is the perfect place to fix your eyes while delivering the news that you won't be choosing either of the last women standing, as Womack did. Another show first!
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Adam Larkey.
Season 12: Matt Grant
Best Featured Destination: Barbados

We'd bet that British Bachelor Matt Grant finally stopped feeling like a fish outta water when he found out his sleepovers were going to be held at a Hilton on the sandy Commonwealth shores of Barbados. The birthplace of Bad Girl RiRi is U.K.-lite, with afternoon teas, cricket, and colonial buildings. Grant’s island time in this cruise ship port of call was filled with jet skis, floating trampolines, ziplines, boat rides, straight talk, and a splits demonstration from actor Lorenzo Lamas’ blonde baby, Shayne.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Adam Larkey.
Season 13: Jason Mesnick
Best Featured Destination: New Zealand

Single dad Jason Mesnick probably felt like a king in Queenstown given the over-the-top nature of his fantasy dates and the general extravagance that surrounded him and his posse during their journey. The chopper ride gave them a bird’s eye view of Lake Wakatipu and the surrounding peaks, and deposited them on a ledge far up the mountain for an alfresco snack. And the hits just kept coming: candlelit dinner at the Stoneridge Estate winery, bungee jumping off a bridge, a picnic in Winston Churchill’s boat, a restorative hot springs sesh, and a reservation at the sumptuous alpine Relais & Chateaux retreat Matakauri Lodge, which offers an infinity pool and self-heating mud baths.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Mark Brendel.
Season 14: Jake Pavelka
Best Featured Destination: St. Lucia

Another season, another jaw-dropping location in the Caribbean. Pilot Jake Pavelka coasted in on the wings of love to spend a week exploring isolated coves, rainforested interiors, a farmers' market, Pigeon Island park, authentic fishing villages, mineral-laced rainbow-colored Diamond Waterfalls, the world’s only drive-in volcano, and haute hotels like The BodyHoliday and Cap Maison. After chartering the Brig Unicorn, a boat used in Johnny Depp’s Pirates film, Pavelka sunk his every hope for happiness into Vienna during a proposal overlooking the Pitons from Jade Mountain Resort’s Celestial Terrace.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Mark Wessels.
Season 15: Brad Womack
Best Featured Destination: Cape Town, South Africa

Womack learned an important lesson when he returned to the find-a-mate fold four years later — absence makes the travel budget grow fonder. His second go shipped him and his Daisy Dukes-sporting flower girls to South Africa. He went on a safari and spent the night at Lion Sands Private Game Reserve, where the ultimate bush bedroom is a treehouse with top-end amenities, but no walls or roof. There was elephant riding to picnics and a helicopter to God’s Window, a scenic vista point highlighted by canyons, rock formations, sheer cliffs, and rain forest canopy.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Nick Ray.
Season 16: Ben Flajnik
Best Featured Destination: Interlaken, Switzerland

Switzerland’s imposing Jungfrau Mountain looks like the kind of place a Bond baddie might tuck away his lair, so it was a fitting final stop for a season featuring the franchise’s most-despised villain. Courtney, the model, irked other contenders with her baby voice, instant chemistry with winemaker Bachelor Ben Flajnik, and attention-grabbing antics like sneaking skinny dips in Vieques. But she had him wrapped around her finger during their aerial tour of pure lakes and snowy summits before a high-altitude BBQ. The other girls, who never stood a chance, at least got a tour of Zermatt, plenty of fondue in a ski gondola, and a suite at the posh 150-year-old Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Kevin Foley.
Season 17: Sean Lowe
Best Featured Destination: Thailand

Producers obviously have a penchant for pachyderms, and that was never more apparent than when Sean Lowe shot a handful of episodes in Thailand. They stayed at the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp in Chiang Rai, and interacted with the wise beasts. He and now-wife Catherine even rode off into the sunset on one. When not befriending the animals, he and his gal pals also enjoyed splashing about on Koh Mook Island, having a private dinner in the garden, strolling Trang’s sugary beaches, eating insect delicacies, shopping in stores full of vibrant birds, and practicing virginal restraint at the deluxe Anantara Si Kao Resort.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Michael Fullana.
Season 18: Juan Pablo Galavis
Best Featured Destination: Vietnam

Bachelor Nation got its own Vietnamese conflict for the history books when a late-night rendezvous between Juan Pablo Galavis and Clare Crawley appeared to veer into rated-R territory, on the private beach at the InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula. His blowup and slut-shaming at the rose ceremony detracted from what had otherwise been an awesome stop, that included rafting down a river in traditional bowl boats, rappelling into Hell Cave, wandering about the green countryside petting friendly cows, and ducking into small shops in Hoi An for custom-made chinoiserie.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Terri Eddington.
Season 19: Chris Soules
Best Featured Destination: Bali

Prince Farming Chris Soules asked producers to tone down the itinerary to give the women a more realistic idea of what post-show life as a farmer’s wife in his tiny town of Arlington would be like. So they focused on heartland hideaways like Des Moines and Deadwood. After one not so bright woman packed a sombrero for a stay in New Mexico, the final three were rewarded with a jaunt to somewhere that actually required a passport — the beautiful palm-dotted beaches of Bali. There they fed monkeys, wandered around sacred ruins, sailed the Indian Ocean, and lived in the butler-served lap of luxury at The Mulia. Located on the Nusa Dua coast, it boasts villas with private Jacuzzis, an infinity pool flanked by customary towering statues, and a spa with Asia Pacific’s only ice fountain room for chakra cleansing.
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC/Rick Rowell.
Season 20: Ben Higgins
Best Featured Destination: The Bahamas

Details are scarce on what host Chris Harrison will likely label the most dramatic season yet, but we do know that the perfect Ben Higgins and his harem will serve as the opening act for comedian -celebrity impersonator Terry Fator, at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. The group will eat their way through Mexico City, and explore the small town that shaped Higgins into the man he is today (Warsaw, Indiana). And a very lucky six will get to spend the day at a secluded beach in the Bahamas — along with a bunch of adorable swimming pigs who live there. We don't know yet how it will all shake out, but we'll be watching!