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Is Cousins Beach of 'The Summer I Turned Pretty' real?

Author Jenny Han told TODAY where she got her inspiration.
The Summer I Turned Pretty
"The Summer I Turned Pretty" is set in Cousins Beach.Peter Taylor / Prime Video

Warning: "The Summer I Turned Pretty" may make you long for summer vacation. The Amazon Prime series, based on a YA trilogy by Jenny Han, is set in Cousins Beach, North Carolina.

Isabel "Belly" Conklin (Lola Tug) has visited the beachside town every summer since she was a kid. The year she turns 16, though, this familiar place suddenly takes on a different stakes.

Cousins, sadly, is not a real place — but there's a reason it may look familiar. Speaking to TODAY, Han, who also served as showrunner, shared her inspiration for the book and TV show's setting.

Here's what to know about the series' setting.

Cousins Beach is based on a few real places

Essentially, Han said, Cousins is an amalgamation of multiple East Coast beach towns. “Cousins is inspired by a lot of different beaches," Han told TODAY.

So while Cousins is fictional, the series can add to your travel destination list. The first inspiration is Cape Cod in Massachusetts, where Han spent time while writing the book.

The Summer I Turned Pretty
Christopher Briney and Lola Tung in "The Summer I Turned Pretty."Dana Hawley / Prime Video

Next up? Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts; The Hamptons on New York's Long Island and Nags Head, which is in North Carolina. "I borrowed something from all those beaches," Han said.

But you don't have to have grown up on the East Coast to relate to Belly Conklin's (Han said readers often fill in their own experiences).

"I think it's why these books have really resonated with people all over because. Everybody has like a beach they've been to as a kid, so people like in Sweden or in Vietnam can imagine their own," Han said.

'The Summer I Turned Pretty' was filmed in North Carolina

According to a North Carolina publication, the series was filmed across the state's Cape Fear region in 2021.

The show might change locations next season

The series, which was renewed for a second season, may venture off the coast in future episodes.

Han said she's looking forward to a change in seasons — literally. "All you see is a summertime right now. And I think there's a lot more road to hoe. We will get to see (Belly's) world bit bigger," Han said.