ANOTHER UPDATE: It’s been confirmed that the beach where Ben and Courtney went on their date along the Russian River was Sonoma County’s Sunset Regional Park. Also, the redwoods were indeed at Riverfront Park in Windsor. You read it here first.
UPDATE: There has been discussion on whether Ben and Courtney went to Armstrong Redwoods, Jack London State Park or maybe even a Sonoma County Regional Park for their date in the redwood forests. So far we have ruled out Muir Woods, because that’s in Marin and we aren’t here to talk about that, and we have also tentatively ruled out Jack London Park. Because the next scene, of Ben and Courtney mooning ahttp://sonomabachelor.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=18&action=edit&message=1t each other on the Russian River waterfront, is near a regional park; and because the producers of reality shows try to keep permits and costs to a minimum, we are going with Riverfront Regional Park for now. Further, it should be noted, and we did not, that Ben and Kacie B did go past Mary’s Pizza in Sonoma, and a whole host of other little shops, all of which are near the aforementioned Sonoma Plaza.)
After Episode 2 of The Bachelor with Sonoma winemaker Ben Flajnik, everyone’s asking (ok, someone, somewhere is asking) where the show was filmed.
Lucky you. We know.
Here’s a quick list of the locations from the January 9, 2012 episode. We’ll update with more information as it becomes available.
Glen Ellen, Sonoma County, CA: the location of the private estate (Vineyard Knoll estate) where the bachelorettes are staying. The villa is available for rental through Sonoma-based Beautiful-Places.com. Glen Ellen, it should be noted, has a cute little downtown area and is the final resting place of author Jack London. (White Fang, Call of the Wild… No word on his thoughts on The Bachelor.)
Historic Sonoma Plaza: On Ben’s date with Kacie B., the majority of it was shot right on this historic 8-acre plaza. Historic moments that occurred here include the founding of the last Spanish/Mexican mission in California, the Bear Flag Revolt that led to the transfer of California from Mexico to the United States, and that long, lingering kiss Ben and Kacie B. shared desirously under the elms. The little stage where the bachelorettes first practiced for their play is right behind the Sonoma Visitor Center.
Ledson Hotel: Just off the Sonoma Plaza, this is where Bachelor Ben and Kacie play the piano. Interesting fact – there is also a Ledson Winery in Sonoma Valley.
Sebastiani Theater: beautiful theater across the street from the Plaza, where Ben and Kacie watch the films of their lives, on their first date.
girl and the fig: a Sonoma institution, and yes, the owner does use the ee cummings capitalization scheme, is where the dinner date with Kacie takes place. Try the cheese tray. It’s awesome. Also where the Sonoma PD go tearing by when the credits roll. Why are they in such a hurry? Slow down there, officers. You’re in wine country.
Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa: With a Michelin-starred restaurant and one of the largest spas in Northern California, the Fairmont SMI is a great place to get in hot water. No, literally. There are geothermal streams that feed the spa’s pools. This is where the bachelorettes swam in the pool (one of the private rooms at Sante looks out over this pool. Good to know.) and where things got a little heated among the contestants. Bonus if you can find the actual bathroom stall off the pool area where there was an emergency confab about Blakely.
Riverfront Regional Park: Courtney the model and Ben the Bachelor winemaker head for this Sonoma County Regional Park just outside Windsor. The redwoods, where they howl together (and no, not read Ginsburg, they were really just howling) is a small stand of trees near the picnic area. The really big redwoods in Sonoma County are at Armstrong Woods if you are the public, or the Bohemian Grove if you are plutocrat. Either way, for only $6 you can get into Riverfront Park. Wanna come back again and again? You can also get an annual pass to all the parks…
Steelhead Beach or just down from Mom’s Beach: The cool waters of the Russian River looked just as unwrinkled as the brow of Courtney (the model, ibid) when she and Ben took a picnic on the sandbar. While we can’t be certain, we think this is just down from Mom’s Beach which is a spot popular with locals in Forestville. (SEE ABOVE – It’s actually Sunset Regional Park. Grrrr….)
A random vineyard somewhere: There are about 60,000 acres of vineyards in Sonoma County total, and the county itself encompasses about a million acres. Somewhere, in all the crazy vineyards in all the county, Ben and Courtney rode a front-loader at night through the vines during harvest. This might seem like an odd first-date. It is. Usually in Sonoma, you have to pick a few tons of Pinot at night before you can ride the tractor. For Courtney, looks like we made an exception.
If you want to find out how to get to Sonoma, and start planning your own trip, you can get a guide and map here.
But don’t ask for your own Sonoma bachelor. They don’t have one. We asked.