7 Beach Reads Perfect For Your Summer Getaway (Spoiler Free)

by Laura DeSiena

Summertime is in full swing, allowing for plenty of rest, relaxation, and soaking up the sunny rays. It also means the long-awaited getaway you’ve been planning since February is finally approaching and now, you find yourself scrambling for the perfect beach-side companion. Fortunately, there are plenty of classic beach reads that can satisfy your seaside craving. From whimsical romance to adrenaline-pumping thrillers, there are endless options for escaping into a world full of charming coastal towns and dreamy summer flings. Whether you are digging your toes into the sandy shores of Mexico or lounging on a dock by the lake, here are some of the best beach reads to devour this summer. 

1. Happy Place by Emily Henry

This highly anticipated contemporary romance novel is anything but a fluffy affair. It is packed with themes of love, friendship, loss, grief, self-reflection, and second chances. The dual timeline follows college sweethearts Harriet and Wyn, who recently broke up five months prior after a 10-year relationship heading toward marriage. However, they have yet to reveal the news to their best friends due to the inevitable turmoil that will follow. This causes a sticky situation as they are both invited to their friend group’s annual summer getaway and come face-to-face for the first time since. To avoid ruining everyone’s summer vacation, Harriet and Wyn decide to fake their relationship for one last week- how hard could it be? 

If you are looking for the ideal pool-side read, look no further than Henry’s witty dialogue and beloved characters. The setting invites you into a spectacular Maine cottage, enveloping readers in the perfect summer dreamland escape. Filled with tasteful imagery, readers encounter the classic summer rites of passage like swimming adventures, visiting charming bookstores, and dining at local Maine eateries. This novel promises readers a deep journey through heartbreak, change, and finding happiness in familiar places.

2. The Five-Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand, the queen of Nantucket summers, is back again with another summer anthem infused with themes of self-discovery, love, and friendships. Dive into Hollis Shaw’s picture-perfect life and witness how it all comes crashing down after the tragic death of her husband. As a new widow, Hollis is inspired to host a “Five Star Weekend” at her summer home in Nantucket, inviting four friends from each phase of her life: her teenage years, twenties, thirties, and midlife. However, the weekend unfolds quite differently as secrets are revealed, lives upturned, and friendships potentially forever scorned. 

Hilderbrand’s dedication to painting a delightful picture of Nantucket in the summertime makes this an excellent read to enjoy for an escape into a world filled with hydrangeas lining the mansions of old-money residents. You won’t want to put it down as you dig your toes into the sand and immerse yourself in the backdrop of sandy beaches, shining lighthouses, and expensive shops lining the downtown area. In fact, Hilderbrand boasts an impressive list of summer reads, creating endless options to find a home in your beach bag. 

3. The Summer I Turned Pretty Series by Jenny Han

This adapted three-book series has stolen the hearts of readers worldwide with its quintessential coming-of-age story alongside the beautiful backdrop of a summer oasis. The plot follows 16-year-old Belly, whose family visits her mother’s best friend Susanna and her two boys, Conrad and Jeremiah, each year at their vacation house on Cousins Beach. She has been in love with Conrad as long as she can remember and this summer, she arrives at Cousins all grown up. Now seen differently by the two Fisher brothers, Belly must choose between her best friend or the one she has always loved without breaking any hearts along the way. 

Jenny Han does an excellent job of capturing the magic of summer and the rollercoaster journey through Belly’s understanding of the meaning of love, friendship, and self-discovery as a teenager. It will tug at your heartstrings and make you laugh and cry as you connect to her experiences of conflict, naive love, and leaving your childhood behind. 

If you also hold the summer season close to your heart, these novels will exceed your expectations with their captivating beach scenery and passion that you can almost feel on every page. From the very moment you enter into Belly’s world, you will be gripped by the debate of Team Conrad or Team Jeremiah and might even change your answer as the story unfolds.

4. Meet Me at The Lake by Carley Fortune

While it may not display an aesthetic beach view, Fern’s inherited Muskoka lakeside resort is a classic summer haven for readers as they follow a realistic romance between Fern and her ex-lover, Will Baxter. The 24-hour adventure with the charming man of her dreams led to a pact to meet again one year later at the same location in Toronto. However, Fern showed up, but Will never did. Over 10 years later, Fern is back in her hometown operating the run-down hideaway when Will shows up, briefcase in hand, promising to help turn around the slowly dying business. Fern is faced with the decision to trust Will again or let go of the man that stole her heart all those years prior. 

Fortune’s sophomore debut offers readers a summer at a lake filled with imperfect love, second chances, and heartfelt nostalgia. Readers will experience the quintessential summer lakehouse backdrop alongside a romance that will beg to tug at your heartstrings. If you decide to pick up this read, make sure to bring tissues in your beach bag.    

5. One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle


Love and loss blend effortlessly as readers meet Katy Silver through the journey of grieving the loss of her mother, Carol. Her mother was not only her best friend but the person who meant everything to her. This devastating event upended her life and now, she must decide if she will continue to embark on the previously planned mother-daughter trip to Italy that summer. Facing the adventure alone, Katy finds hope in the beautiful Amalfi Coast, delicious food, and friendly residents. All of a sudden, she runs into Carol alive, young, and 30 years old. Obviously, in a state of shock, Katy is now faced with the opportunity to get to know the person her mother used to be, and the results are not quite as she could have imagined.

Serle invites readers to travel overseas to experience an unforgettable summer filled with new beginnings, transcending love, and human complexity. The unfathomable bond between a mother and daughter resides alongside a breathtaking setting of the Amalfi Coast, immersing readers into the magic of Italy during the summertime. Whether you are traveling this summer or long to experience an international getaway, this novel suits readers looking to engage in another world promising hope, unconditional love, and delicious Italian fare.

6. The Summer of Broken Rules by K.L. Walther 

This summer, things are looking different for Merideth Fox. She has recently broken up with her boyfriend and has not returned to Martha’s Vineyard in over two years since the tragic death of her sister Claire. This is her family’s first summer back for a cousin’s extravagant wedding, posing as the perfect chance to honor Claire’s legacy through an annual summer game of assassin. Along the way, dateless Meredith allies with a groomsman whom she vows not to fall in love with. However, as the week continues, she can’t help falling for him, and it may cost her both the game and her heart.

This light-hearted summer romance is the perfect companion to a day at the beach. It transports readers into the seaside backdrop of Martha’s Vineyard, complete with the salt air and roaring ocean waves. You will fall in love with the hope and promises of a fresh start the summer season brings and learn how to make a family tradition once again a safe place to escape to. 

7. The Swell by Allie Reynolds

Who says a beach read has to be romantic? This spine-chilling thriller takes readers into the uncharted waters of a remote beach off the coast of Australia. Kenna Ward has sworn off surfing for good after her boyfriend’s tragic accident three years prior. However, she is enticed back to the waters when her best friend Mikki announces her engagement to an aloof man who is part of an exclusive surfers club she has never met. While traveling to a world filled with dangerous waves and tides, Kenna becomes suspicious of this group’s extreme desire to test nature’s limits to reach the next thrill. As she begins to watch sudden deaths and disappearances occur, she realizes that protecting Mikki and herself will come at a price. 

All 354 pages of this nail-biting seaside suspense guarantee readers unexpected twists and turns that will make it impossible to put down. Focusing largely on surfing, Reynolds provides readers insight into the world of waves as Kenna relies on her knowledge as a surfer to survive. This pulse-pounding adventure is an ideal beach read for those who desire a fast-paced summer setting as they lounge safely on the sands of the shore. If you choose to travel with Kenna into the unknown, be warned that you might be inclined to stay on land for the foreseeable future. 

What reads will you be bringing on your summer getaway this year? Did any of these make it to your TBR list? Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author/s

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Laura DeSiena is a certified Jersey Girl with a passion for music, playing the guitar, and binge-watching 90’s sitcoms. As an aspiring writer and author, she hopes to publish a book someday. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her browsing the shelves of Barnes & Noble in search of her next read.

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