by Erin Chambers - 9246 Reviews - 161 List
From real housewives and top chefs, to crabby newlyweds and crab fishermen, San Diego is no stranger to the spoils--and high ratings--of reality television. In fact, and maybe it's because we're just a stone's throw from LA, San Diego seems to be one of the most popular reality TV day trip destinations. Is it planned? Is it really real? Do the reality stars ever pay their own way? Read on for all the juicy details.
Updated: June 29, 2009
Confidential is a double whammy in the reality TV world: One of the original owners is Andrew Firestone (The Bachelor who dumped Jen Scheft a few weeks after giving her the "final rose") and the current chef Rich Sweeny made it past the first few rounds of Bravo's Top Chef, season four.
Remember Jo and Slade's sappy, set-up spinoff from Real Housewives of OC called "Date my Ex"? No? We barely do, either, but we do recall them filming a scene in the swank lobby bar of the Ivy Hotel. Joe and her gal pals stayed in one of the Ivy's two-level suites (infamous for chained-up, double-decker beds) for the weekend.
The Real Housewives of Orange County live in the lap of luxury every day, but even they were blown away by the accommodations in the US Grant's presidential suite during the San Diego roadtrip episode. With soaring ceilings, two levels, over 3000 sq. ft. and panoramic views of downtown, it was the perfect setting for martinis and in-room massages for the group.
The Discovery Channel recently filmed the recap episode for popular Deadliest Catch series at Longboard's in PB. The recap show "After the Catch" gives the captains a chance to watch the season's footage and reflect and elaborate on the filming process.
Ah, sigh for the early days of reality TV. It feels like ages ago that Nick Lachey and Jessican Simpson's show Newlyweds shot an entire romatic getaway episode in San Diego, complete with a rose-petal-adorned room at La Jolla's "Pink Lady," the La Valencia Hotel. Nick planned a hot air balloon ride for his tuna-loving bride in North County as well, and dinner at the Sky Room.
Brian Malarkey, execuitve chef at Oceanaire downtown, has made the most of his celeb status after making it to the final round of Top Chef Season 3. Malarkey appears at food and wine festivals all across the country, writes a blog at San Diego Magazine and still manages to cook (and work the room) at Oceanaire regularly.