After a combined 38 seasons, you’d think producers of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette would have realized that sending contestants on awkward, rapid-fire dates rarely yields lasting love. But even if the show can’t engineer stable relationships, it does churn out alums who know a lot about courting. Which is why we asked Centennial State vets of the franchise to bestow roses upon their most memorable date spots.
First Date: Denver Central Market
Despite a 2019 appearance on Bachelor in Paradise, a spinoff set in Mexico, McNary returned to Denver as single as he left. Staying unattached has helped him find the ideal first-date spot: this RiNo food hall. “Fewer guidelines allow the date to be more playful,” McNary says. Plus, the plethora of options gives McNary key insights into his new lady’s tastes. “Does she go for the burger and fries or the salad?” McNary says. “It just allows for more character expression.”
Market Date: Carbondale Farmers’ Market
Bachelor producers adore sending hopeful lovebirds to town markets during international trips. At home, Herron, a nonprofit founder from season 17, buys fresh produce from her local farmers’ market and pairs those ingredients with an elk that her boyfriend, an avid huntsman, bags himself. “It makes us feel connected to be able to support our community and source our meals from sustainable farmers,” Herron says.
Survival Date: Mt. Falcon Park, Morrison
At least one episode every season drops participants into the wilderness. According to season 20 contestant Block, hikes are better without screens. “It’s nice to breathe the fresh air, get away from the city noise, and spend quality time without our phones,” Block says of strolls with her boyfriend. A recent feat? Mt. Falcon, where sunsets frame Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre.
One-on-One Date: Willow Creek Restaurant, Evergreen
Aspiring sweethearts never eat while filming romantic dinners (reportedly because the mics pick up unsexy chewing sounds). Higgins—2016’s bachelor—celebrates being able to masticate freely at Willow Creek Restaurant, where he and his girlfriend linger over house-made pasta and views of Evergreen Lake. “It’s the most magical, beautiful setting,” Higgins says.
Group Date: Voicebox, Denver
Season 22’s Wilkerson and her boyfriend convince friends to join them in private karaoke rooms, like those at Voicebox in RiNo. “It helps you figure out how comfortable you are with your significant other,” Wilkerson says. It’s also a step up from some group-date performances on The Bachelor—including cringe-worthy standup and K-pop acts. At least in Denver, you can loosen up pre-solo at Barcelona Wine Bar, a favorite of Wilkerson’s located just blocks from Voicebox.