As seen on TV: 10 date ideas in San Diego

Feb 22, 2024 - Olivia Jones

If you’re a reality TV junkie like me and you’re looking for date ideas, you might have noticed that San Diego is a hot spot in all of our favorite franchises. Recent seasons of The Bachelorette, The Ultimatum: Queer Love, and Married at First Sight all feature both San Diego and San Diegans.

In fact, you might just run into your favorite reality star while walking your dog or going to the grocery store since they’re all moving to San Diego after their shows air. Why? Because we’re just far enough from LA but just close enough to kick off your TikTok stardom—and with constant innovation (think ResMed’s CPAP tech featured on Love is Blind Season 6), great weather, and ideal date activities on top of that, San Diego’s a no-brainer.

Inspired by our favorite reality show moments, we’ve rounded up 10 of the most prime time-worthy date ideas in San Diego:

1. The Seabird Resort

Featured on: The Bachelorette, Season 20 with Charity Lawson

Charity Lawson and the boys of The Bachelorette had a blast staying at the oceanfront Seabird Resort in Oceanside. If you watched this past season, you know this hotel has insane views and great dining options. But did you know its spa was ranked second in the country by USA Today? Great news for us locals—Monday through Thursday, you can get 15 percent off on spa treatments with a pool day pass included.

2. Shake and Muddle

Featured on: The Ultimatum: Queer Love, Season 1

This special spot in Chula Vista innovates through fusion mixology and small plates, which Xander and Yoli thoroughly enjoy on their date.

3. Hot air balloon

Featured on: The Ultimatum: Queer Love, Season 1

If you really want to go all out with a date, you can splurge for a hot air balloon ride in Del Mar like Vanessa and Xander on The Ultimatum: Queer Love. You can book this once-in-a-lifetime experience privately or as a group in San Diego and nearby Temecula from a variety of companies.

4. Petco Park

Featured on: The Bachelorette, Season 20 with Charity Lawson

So maybe you won’t be flying a helicopter into Petco Park quite like Charity. But you can still take your baseball-loving significant other or friend for a tour of Petco Park or to a game once the 2024 season kicks off on March 28 against the San Francisco Giants.

5. Barrel and Board

Featured on: The Ultimatum: Queer Love, Season 1

Kudos to The Ultimatum: Queer Love for featuring many queer-owned small businesses in San Diego. This queer-friendly spot is known for mixology and yummy cheese boards. The owners of this woman-forward spot also own Gossip Grill, one of 27 surviving lesbian bars in the country.

6. The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe

Featured on: Married at First Sight, Season 15

This four-star hotel was the scenic pick for all of the weddings in Married at First Sight’s Season 15. For those of us not planning a wedding, you can still enjoy the hotel’s restaurant, bar, or cafe as a non-hotel guest.

7. OB’s Dog Beach

Featured on: The Ultimatum: Queer Love, Season 1

Given San Diego’s dog-loving reputation, it is only fitting that we include an activity you can take your real best friend to (and by that, I mean your puppy). Featured on The Ultimatum: Queer Love, San Diego’s famed Dog Beach in Ocean Beach is one of the first off-leash beaches in the country. Trust me, your dog will love it, and you’ll love watching your dog roll freely in the sand.

8. The Rooftop at Mission Pacific Hotel

Featured on: The Bachelorette, Season 20 with Charity Lawson

If you want to visit the spot of a legendary Bachelorette cocktail party, head over to the rooftop at the Mission Pacific Hotel. Host your next cocktail party of eligible singles here, and you’re sure to feel like the bachelor or bachelorette.

9. Mavericks Beach Club

Featured on: The Ultimatum: Queer Love, Season 1

If you’re planning a night out like a reality tv star, check out this popular restaurant and club spot in Pacific Beach where The Ultimatum: Queer Love group hung out in episode seven. Be warned—if you go on a weekend night, you might be waiting in line.

10. Belmont Park

Featured on: The Bachelorette, Season 20 with Charity Lawson

There’s something about the nostalgic state fair vibe of Belmont Park that brings all the right vibes for a magical date or a great night with friends. Although Bachelorette Charity Lawson had an amusingly awkward date there, I promise it will be fun if you get tickets with the right person.

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