Known for its pristine beaches and growing brewery scene, Wilmington has long been a favorite location for movie and TV production companies. ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty,’ the first book in Jenny Han’s popular YA trilogy, is the latest in a line-up of streaming and TV series, including ‘Outer Banks,’ ‘Dawson’s Creek,’ and ‘One Tree Hill,’ to be filmed in the area. Centering around a Massachusetts beach town, Cousins Beach, the first season of the Amazon Prime Video series was filmed almost exclusively in Wilmington, bringing the book to life in one of the most idyllic beach towns in North Carolina.
The summer love continues as the second season was renewed and wrapped filming in 2022. Until it airs, get your fix and visit the locations and relive scenes from ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ that were filmed around Wilmington.
Summer Rest Trail
Discover Summer Rest Trail and the gorgeous street Belly, Steven, and Laurel cruise along in the first episode. Beginning near the former Port City Chophouse, this 0.8-mile trail skirts the edge of the gated Landfall neighborhood before leading to the stretch of houses that border the Intercoastal Waterway. These picturesque homes are lined with oaks dripping in moss and have some of the best water views. Accessible on foot or by bike, this trail connects to Wilmington’s Cross-City Trail that leads to Wrightsville Beach.
Speaking of Wrightsville Beach, this gorgeous coastline appears throughout the first season. To spend time at the spot where multiple scenes were filmed, drive to the South End and park at the Jack Parker Beach Access Point. A short walk brings you to the jetty, which appears in several beach scenes. Enjoy the views while walking the beach or jump in the water – when it’s warm! – and go for a swim or surf.
In addition to its natural beauty, Wilmington’s local businesses are highlighted in ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty.’ Lumina Station, a shopping village near Wrightsville Beach, appears in the scene where Belly, Laurel, and Susannah go shopping. They walk past Island Passage, a favorite for casual and elevated styles for women, and Belly tries on a series of outfits in the upscale women’s boutique Monkee’s of Wilmington.
Cape Fear Country Club
North Carolina’s oldest private country club is featured throughout the first season of ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty.’ From Belly’s debutante activities to the pool and snack bar scenes with Steven and Jeremiah, the site was used in multiple scenes. While you can’t drop in to visit Cape Fear Country Club, you can pass by the location on Oleander on the way to downtown Wilmington.
Wilmington bibliophiles will recognize Whale of a Tale bookstore as the home of Papercut Books. Located at the intersection of Second Street and Market, this bookstore features an expansive and eclectic selection of new, previously loved, and collectible books. Stop by this sweet shop to discover your next favorite read.
The Pilot House
End your tour of Wilmington with a meal at the southern-inspired seafood eatery, The Pilot House. This restaurant served as one of the locations where Shayla and Steven enjoyed lunch in the series. Open for lunch and dinner, this riverside restaurant offers views of the Cape Fear River and southern classics such as shrimp and grits, Pimento cheese, and hot crab dip.
Filming for the next installation wrapped in late 2022, and fans will get their long-awaited fix on Friday, July 14th, when the first three episodes of season two premier on Amazon Prime Video. It’s believed that Wilmington will once again serve as the main backdrop of author Jenny Han’s popular YA series, and we can’t wait to see which areas of the city will be showcased.