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Charlotte Provides Backdrop for New Season of ABC’s Hit 'The Bachelorette'

Charlotte snags a starring role as the backdrop for the consistently top-rated reality romance.

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The first-ever “Bachelor” or “Bachelorette” season to be filmed outside of Los Angeles, season eight brings 25 suitors to Charlotte to woo bachelorette Emily Maynard in her hometown.

Here are some behind-the-scenes stories and “Bachelorette” sightings around Charlotte, North Carolina:

  • “The Bachelorette” leading lady can be seen around town at several local hotspots regularly. Whether perusing the beauty counter at Neiman Marcus at SouthPark Mall, picking up a bite from fast-food favorite Chick-fil-A or cheering on the NBA Charlotte Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena, Emily’s Charlotte roots run deep.
  • Set the stage for love at Blumenthal Performing Arts’ Booth Playhouse, where Emily and her many admirers met The Muppets on a group date. The private affair was a fundraiser for Levine Children’s Hospital, which houses the Ricky Hendrick Centers for Intensive Care, funded through a gift by the Hendrick family after Ricky’s death. The theater plays host to everything from Broadway’s hottest plays to classic operas and local productions within walking distance of Charlotte’s hottest nightlife and restaurants.
  • The bachelors stayed in a European-style, 12,000-square-foot home with six bedrooms, seven full bathrooms and three half baths built in 2006. Complete with an elevator and ballroom, it features the must-have assets characteristic to the show including an expansive outdoor patio and in-ground pool. Located in the Ballantyne neighborhood of Charlotte, the house was close to the Forbes Four Star-rated Ballantyne Hotel and Lodge, in addition to dining and nightlife in mixed-use establishments such as Ballantyne Village, Stonecrest and Blakeney.
  • For her first one-on-one date, Emily took her date to the NC Music Factory, a revamped former textile mill from the early 1900s that’s now home to 13 music, dining and nightlife concepts. A red carpet led the couple into Osso, a new contemporary Italian eatery with wow-factor design by the acclaimed Francois Fossard, the brains behind Butter in New York City and Mansion in Miami. Afterward, a concert by country trio Gloriana was set at the Factory's outdoor Fountain Plaza stage.
  • Emily Maynard took one suitor on a high-flying date within Charlotte’s new cultural campus, the Levine Center for the Arts. The pair scaled down the side of the five-story Mint Museum Uptown hand in hand. At the museum, which boasts contemporary, American and European collections, visitors looking for some Cinderella inspiration like Emily’s can explore their current “Fairytales, Fantasy & Fear” exhibition, which explores art inspired by classic tales from across the globe. Afterward, grab a bite at Emeril Lagasse’s newest endeavor, e2, on the bottom floor. Spectators streamed out of the restaurant to catch a glimpse of the Bachelorette rappelling down the side of the Mint, shouting, “Give him a rose!”
  • After rappelling at the Mint Museum Uptown, Emily and her date ended the night on a high note with an outdoor concert by Luke Bryan. The singer crooned his hit “Do I” and more as the pair danced among the crowd at a stage set up at Trade and Tryon Streets, the heart of Center City Charlotte. The Square, as it’s called by Charlotteans, marks the intersection of two Native American trading paths, where the city was established. Bronze statues by Raymond Kaskey depict commerce, transportation, industry and the future, the cornerstones of Charlotte’s development. The statues are part of a free Charlotte walking tour highlighting the city's extensive public art.
  • Cast and crew enjoyed Charlotte-based Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits during filming, with the biggest fan being producer Mike Fleiss, who insisted that, “if Emily finds her soul mate and gets married … Bojangles’ [should] cater the wedding.” Founded in 1977, Bojangles is a local institution famous for its Cajun spicy fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits and Southern sweet tea.
  • Emily Maynard has admitted she’s no stranger to bargain shopping at such places as Forever 21 and Target. When she’s up for a splurge, she heads to Charlotte’s Capitol Clothing in South Park, named by Isaac Mizrahi as “one of the finest boutiques in America.” As for accessories, she never leaves home without Towne & Reese baubles. Made locally in Dilworth, these pieces aren’t afraid to use bold hues and chunky accents mixed with delicate and classic jewelry designs.