Is Cousins Beach in “The Summer I Turned Pretty” a Real Place?

·2 min read
Photo credit: Peter Taylor
Photo credit: Peter Taylor

The Summer I Turned Pretty, the on-screen adaptation of author Jenny Han’s bestselling novel of the same name, premiered on Prime Video on June 17. The seven-episode series introduced Isabel “Belly” Conklin and the complex love triangle she finds herself in with Conrad and Jeremiah Fisher, the two boys she’s spent every summer with since she was a baby. But it also introduced one of the most idyllic seaside locations we can hope for in a summer romance: Cousins Beach.

We see the drama between Belly, Conrad, Jeremiah, and the rest of the summer crew unfold against a backdrop of Cape Cod-style homes, gently crashing ocean waves and lush greenery. But is Cousins Beach a real place? (And if so, where can I buy a one-way ticket?) As we binge our way through season one — and wait in anticipation for the release of season two — we break down all of the details on where The Summer I Turned Pretty was filmed.

Photo credit: Peter Taylor
Photo credit: Peter Taylor

OK so, is Cousins Beach real?

We’re sorry to say that, no, Cousins Beach is not a real place. There are some details in the series that suggest Cousins is located on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. For instance, in episode 3, Cleveland is a guest on “Good Morning, Massachusetts,” and at another point, Yarmouth, which is a town on the Cape, is mentioned. But Jenny Han herself confirmed that Cousins Beach is indeed a fictional town.

In an interview with Prime Video, the author said that it’s inspired by the Hamptons, Cape Cod, the Outer Banks, and Virginia Beach. “I had a lot of beaches in my head and I think that’s part of the reason why people can read the book and feel like [Cousins Beach] is their beach,” she shared.

Photo credit: Dana Hawley
Photo credit: Dana Hawley

Where was The Summer I Turned Pretty actually filmed?

According to WilmingtonandBeaches.com, The Summer I Turned Pretty filmed in various spots around Wilmington, North Carolina. The town’s official website cited Carolina Beach, Fort Fisher, and Padgett Station in downtown Wilmington as some of the series’ filming locations.

So while we can’t visit Cousins Beach specifically, there are a number of coastal locales to go to that emanate the same warmth and charm.

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