If you’ve been swept away by the tidal wave of emotions in “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” you’re not alone. This Prime Video series, based on Jenny Han’s bestselling novels, has captured hearts worldwide.
But it’s not just the love triangles and coming-of-age drama that have fans hooked—it’s also the stunning backdrops that set the stage for Belly’s summer adventures.
So, where was this visual feast filmed? Let’s dive in and find out!
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Where Was The Summer I Turned Pretty Filmed?
Ah, the million-dollar question! The Summer I Turned Pretty was primarily filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina. This charming Southern city provided the perfect canvas for the fictional Cousins Beach, where most of the series takes place.
Wilmington’s own beaches—Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Wrightsville Beach—were the real stars, offering their sandy stretches and wave-kissed shores for the series’ most iconic scenes.
Wilmington: The Unsung Hero of Filming Locations
Wilmington is no stranger to the limelight. The city has been a filming location for other big names like “The Hunger Games” and “Iron Man 3.”
But what makes it so special for “The Summer I Turned Pretty”?
Well, it’s all about the vibe. Wilmington offers a unique blend of Southern charm and coastal beauty that’s hard to replicate.
Fort Fisher: Where Night Meets Magic
Some of the series’ most romantic and poignant scenes were filmed at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. This location was particularly used for nighttime beach shots, adding an extra layer of magic to Belly’s summer experiences.
The Fictional Cousins Beach
So, is Cousins Beach a real place? The short answer is no. Cousins Beach is a figment of Jenny Han’s vivid imagination. However, it’s inspired by several real-life locations, including Cape Cod, the Hamptons, and even the Outer Banks.
Jenny Han wanted to create a beach that felt universal, a place that could be “your beach,” no matter where you’re from.
The Inspiration Behind Cousins Beach
Jenny Han has openly spoken about her inspiration for Cousins Beach. She spent time in Cape Cod and took elements from other iconic American beaches to craft a setting that feels both specific and universal.
It’s a place that exists in the collective imagination, fueled by our own nostalgic memories of summer.
The Real Beaches that Played Cousins
While Cousins Beach may not exist in real life, the beaches that stood in for it are very much real—and they’re just as beautiful.
Carolina Beach: The Crowd-Pleaser
Carolina Beach is known for its vibrant boardwalk and family-friendly atmosphere. Scenes featuring Belly and her friends at the boardwalk were filmed here, capturing the essence of a quintessential summer.
Kure Beach: The Quiet Escape
Kure Beach offers a more laid-back vibe, making it the perfect setting for some of the series’ more introspective moments. It’s the kind of place where you can imagine Belly and Conrad sharing a quiet conversation, away from the world.
Wrightsville Beach: The All-Rounder
Wrightsville Beach is a local favorite, known for its crystal-clear waters and bustling nightlife. It’s a beach that offers something for everyone, much like Cousins Beach in the series.
The Night-Time Magic at Fort Fisher
Fort Fisher State Recreation Area is a gem of a location that provided the backdrop for some of the series’ most magical moments. Whether it was Belly and Cam cycling alongside the beach or the characters sharing heartfelt conversations under the stars, Fort Fisher added a touch of enchantment to the series.
The Scenes that Came to Life
One memorable scene features Belly and Cam cycling alongside the beach, capturing the essence of youthful freedom.
This was filmed at the Fort Fisher State Historic Site, a location that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of endless summer nights.
Beyond the Beach: Other Filming Locations
“The Summer I Turned Pretty” isn’t just about the beach; it’s about the community and the places that make summer unforgettable.
Cape Fear Country Club: The Epitome of Elegance
The country club scenes were filmed at the Cape Fear Country Club, adding a touch of Southern elegance to the series. It’s a place that perfectly encapsulates the social dynamics and traditions that are an integral part of Belly’s world.
Porters Neck Plantation: The Iconic Beach House
The beach house that serves as the central hub for all the drama is located at Porters Neck Plantation. This private, gated community offered the ideal setting for a house that’s as much a character in the series as the people who inhabit it.
Papercut Books: Where Stories Come to Life
In Wilmington city, the book party Laurel hosts is actually the exterior of Papercut Books, situated in downtown Wilmington. It’s a nod to the series’ literary roots and adds another layer of authenticity to the show.
Season 2: What’s New?
As the series evolves, so do its locations. Season 2 promises new settings that will expand the world of “The Summer I Turned Pretty” even further.
While Wilmington will continue to be a primary filming location, fans can expect some new scenic backdrops that will add fresh dimensions to Belly’s story.
The Wilmington Experience
The cast didn’t just film in Wilmington; they lived it. Lola Tung, who plays Belly, spoke about how the cast got used to being in Wilmington and formed a bond similar to childhood friends. It’s a testament to the city’s charm and the sense of community it fosters.
How to Visit These Filming Locations
For fans eager to walk in Belly’s footsteps, a trip to Wilmington is a must. While Cousins Beach may not be real, the places that inspired it certainly are.
From the sandy shores of Carolina Beach to the elegant halls of Cape Fear Country Club, there’s a piece of “The Summer I Turned Pretty” waiting for you to discover.
Table of Information
|Primary Filming Location
|Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Wrightsville Beach
|Fort Fisher, Cape Fear Country Club, Porters Neck Plantation
|Is Cousins Beach Real?
|Cape Cod, the Hamptons, Outer Banks
“The Summer I Turned Pretty” has given us more than just a compelling story; it’s given us a world we wish we could be a part of. While Cousins Beach may not exist in reality, the places that inspired it are very much real.
So why not take a trip and experience the magic for yourself? After all, we could all use a little more summer in our lives.
Is Cousins Beach a real place?
Nope, it’s a fictional place created by author Jenny Han. But the beaches that played Cousins in the series are very much real and worth a visit!
Where is the beach house located?
The beach house is in Porters Neck Plantation, a private community in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Can fans visit these locations?
Absolutely! Most of the filming locations are open to the public, except for the private properties like Porters Neck Plantation.
How many locations were used?
Several locations in and around Wilmington served as the backdrop for the series, including multiple beaches, a country club, and even a bookshop.
Was the entire series filmed in Wilmington?
The majority of the series was filmed in Wilmington, but the show does plan to introduce new locations in future seasons.
What other shows have been filmed in Wilmington?
Wilmington has been a popular filming location for other shows like “Dawson’s Creek” and movies like “The Hunger Games.”