Catch The Bachelor Experience in Des Moines
It's official. Chris Soules, star of the 19th season of ABC's The Bachelor, and six of his ladies made an extended weekend out of visiting Greater Des Moines. They wined. They dined. Roses were exchanged. But where did the romance take place? If you're a true fan of the show or a true fan of Des Moines... read on:
When Chris says, "We're going to Iowa!" the Bachelorettes let out a cheer! The opening shots set the stage for Greater Des Moines as the host city. The downtown skyline. The gilded 23-karat dome of the Iowa State Capitol. The John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park. The bustling city streets. "Des Moines has a Metropolitan feel to it," added Chris.
In true Bachelor fashion, the ladies were treated to swanky digs. The Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel is an elegant, chic destination in Downtown Des Moines. The Savery has become a must-stay hotel for A-listers traveling to Des Moines, including famous musicians, celebrities and politicians.
Then came one-on-one date with contestant, Whitney Bischoff. Chris and Whitney started the day at the Des Moines Social Club, a hip and artsy venue where comic book store and coffee shop meets art gallery, graffiti murals, live music and performing arts. The in-house Nuevo-Latino restaurant, Malo, also makes the Social Club a true experience within itself.
Whitney and Chris traipsed around the walk-able Downtown Des Moines by foot, including a visit through Court Avenue District, home of the Downtown Farmers' Market May through October and numerous bars and restaurants, and the Historic East Village, an eclectic shopping and entertainment district nestled beneath the regal Iowa State Capitol. Whitney even stopped for a photo opp near a B-cycle kiosk, which are bike-share stations located throughout downtown.
Chris wined Whitney at RoCA, which stands for Restaurant on Court Avenue. RoCA is most known for small plates and Prohibition-inspired drinks, complete with freshly chiseled ice off the block for the seasoned cocktail connoisseur. Catch a few behind-the-scenes photos from Chris and Whitney's date, below.
Then came an artful surprise. Chris unveiled a mural of himself and Whitney on the side of RoCA.The mural, painted by local artist Van Holmgren, still sits within view of Court District in Downtown Des Moines.
Then came the group date. Chris and contestants, Britt, Carly and Kaitlyn went ice skating at Wells Fargo Arena. The rink the gals skated on is the home turf for the Iowa Wild, Des Moines' American Hockey League-affiliate of the Minnesota Wild. In addition to hosting hockey, the arena, which sits within the Iowa Events Center property, hosts numerous professional and amateur sporting events plus headlining concerts like Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift.
Chris and contestant, Britt, were shown having a private conversation on the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge along the Principal Riverwalk-adjacent to Wells Fargo Arena. The bridge is a popular spot for walkers, runners and bikers-but also acts as a picturesque favorite spot for marriage proposals and wedding photos in Des Moines.
The after-party took place at West End Architectural Salvage. West End is where rusty treasures are reborn into gorgeous, one-of-a-kind furniture and décor. A paradise for the DIYer, the decorator and the antique lover. Originally airing on HGTV, West End is the location behind the self-named show on DIY Network.
Last but not least, the Rose Ceremony venue. Although this portion technically airs in Episode 8 (the hometown episode), the Rose Ceremony was filmed at Des Moines' mansion-turned-gathering place, Rollins Mansion. Rollins is a magnificent, historic estate built in the "Roaring Twenties," with a skyline view over Des Moines-a sought-after venue for upscale events and romantic weddings.
Although Chris is the star of the show, the true star of episode 7 was Greater Des Moines. Twitter was abuzz. Fans were raving. Even Chris raved about his experience in Central Iowa-including an incognito trip to Fong's Pizza for a slice of crab Rangoon pizza heaven.
Photo credit: @kristainmday
Des Moines is romantic. Classy. Vibrant. It's handsome. With a shining personality.
Will you accept this rose?