In its 13th season, ABC’s infamous reality TV dating show The Bachelorette finally found its first Black bachelorette in Rachel Lindsay. Although the show has been accused of exploiting racism for entertainment, watching it is a guilty pleasure for so many of us. The Bachelorette’s brand of cheesiness was no different this season. After getting past several episodes of the expected clichés and corniness from the male contestants vying for Rachel’s attention, what really stood out were the destination dates. These were the lavish overseas locations where the bachelorette had a chance to test the waters of love with the men on special dates. The views were gorgeous—just like Ms. Lindsay—but the dates could have done without the dudes she went with. As someone from the outside looking in, I would die to go to any of these places, so I’ve rated the top three destinations from this season along with the men she went with.
Oslo, Norway, and Copenhagen, Denmark
After spending some time cruising around on yachts in Hilton Head, South Carolina, Rachel and the boys found themselves headed to Oslo, Norway. They stayed at the Losby Gods Hotel, a luxurious manor about 20 minutes outside of Oslo. The entire setup was very Beauty and the Beast, with emphasis on the beast because these men were definitely beneath her standards. Oslo, the capital and most populous city in Norway, is where you can find plenty of cute things to do, like floating around in a fjord or visiting historic monuments. After landing in Oslo, the contestants trekked to breathtaking destinations. Rachel and Bryan even ended up rappelling down the famed Holmenkollen Ski Museum & Tower, one of the venues at the 1952 Winter Olympics.
Eric, who I hated all season, is still not a player and somehow weaseled his way into one of the last three spots to vie for Rachel’s hand in marriage on the season finale. The couple originally got to know each other in Copenhagen, Denmark, which is accessible by ferry from Oslo. The two had a romantic date on a small boat floating through Copenhagen’s canals and ended up in a conveniently placed hot tub on their one-on-one date in the quaint city. As Big Pun once suggested, a hot tub poppin’ bubbly is always a desirable situation—but only if it’s with someone you actually like. Considering Rachel and Eric had the sexual chemistry of water and toast, their time together was as desirable as soggy bread crumbs. Thankfully, he was first to go in the finale.
La Rioja, Spain
The next stop for romance was La Rioja, Spain, where the finale was set. This location was spectacular for its scenic views of a sprawling landscape and lakeside views overlooking mountains, with over 500 vineyards located in the area. We saw plenty of castles and slow-motion vignettes of Rachel and finalists Peter and Bryan walking through sepia-tinged foliage in the setting sun.
Bryan and Rachel cartoonishly hopped into a hot air balloon, making out as they floated over the town and its fields of grapes. This was right above more vineyards, in the crisp, blue sky. Being sky high in a hot air balloon seemed like a guaranteed aphrodisiac; I wondered if any of their hanky-panky qualified them to join the “Mile High Club.” It wasn’t likely with the cameras rolling, but you never know. Bryan was too hot to handle, and it seemed like Rachel just melted whenever he did anything, so it’s no surprise being in a giant balloon could serve as an act of foreplay.
Anguiano, La Rioja, Spain
Rachel was finally able to find alone time with Peter for a one-on-one to determine their feelings, inside of a serene and grand monastery: Monasterio de Valvanera. The monastery is located in Anguiano, which is a small town within the province of La Rioja. Valvanera, from the Latin vallis venaria (“valley of the veins of water”), is named for the valley that is surrounded by springs and waterfalls. We caught a glimpse of a gold-dipped sculpture in the shrine built to honor the Virgin Mary. It was a nice touch to show the statue opulently shining in the background while the couple spoke with a kind monk during their date.
The monk advised them to value and cherish the important things in life—which clearly went in one ear and out the other since Rachel was hung up on the fact Peter had no plans to propose despite being in love with her. Bringing your date to a church seems like a really hard sell to provoke a proposal, but I understand Rachel doing her best to land true love.
Rachel’s proposal took place on a Spanish mountaintop with the true runner-up, Bryan. Even though the selection of men was mediocre at best, the destinations were enough eye candy to please any Bachelorette viewer.