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

‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ is the story of a girl who finds herself in a love triangle with two brothers while spending her summers at Cousins Beach. Belly has always been in love with Conrad, but he has never reciprocated her feelings. His brother, Jeremiah, on the other hand, has always been a good friend to Belly. The summer she turns sixteen, she wishes for things to move forward with Conrad. When Jeremiah expresses his feelings for her, things get complicated.

The show uses the swoon-worthy vibe of young summer romance to deliver an engaging story. Location is key for the story because the characters hold the beach house, where they’ve spent all summers of their lives, close to their heart. Belly, too, has a special affection for the place. Because of its importance, Cousins Beach becomes another main character of the show. Its relevance to the story makes us wonder if it is a real place. Here’s what we know about it.

Is Cousins Beach a Real Place?

No, Cousins Beach is not a real place. Jenny Han revealed that the setting of ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ is a fictional place. She based it on the places she had visited in real life. What turned out was a combination of Cape Cod, Nags Head, and the Hamptons, among others. Han had been inspired by her own childhood memories of spending summers in places like Myrtle Beach and Nags Head. It led her to concoct a story about a teenager’s romantic entanglements in a beach house.

The reason she chose the summer setting was that it allowed for more possibilities. “In school, everyone is in their routine and caught up in things, and summer just seems like more possibilities. It’s hot, and people are wearing shorts and bathing suits. There is more time on your hands to think about things,” she said in an interview with Publisher’s Weekly. She drew on the feelings she had while being on these vacations.

“You always wonder about things like who would be there, and you’re aware that you’re wearing a bathing suit and feeling self-conscious. You think about how a summer house can feel so different from your real life, and how nice that can be. I wanted to explore those feelings in this book,” she added. In order to prepare for the books, the author spent as much time as possible on the beach, which would allow her to gather details that would find a place in the books. She also found that “it was pretty tough to write a book about the beach when you’re in 10 layers of clothes [winter].”

Because Cousins Beach is not a real place, the crew turned toward other beautiful beaches in North Carolina. Most of the shooting for the show took place in Wilmington, with Carolina Beach and Fort Fisher subbing for important locations from the book.

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