Friday, June 14, 2024

The Best Historical Beach Reads


There's something about historical beach reads that I love. Maybe it's how they immerse me in another time period during a beautiful summer or maybe it's the gorgeous homes on the coast 
that always seem to be present in these novels, but either way "historical" beach reads are my absolute favorite. So, grab a cold beverage and dive into one of these tales. These novels will definitely please historical fiction fans. All titles are linked to my review when possible.


The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach by Pam Jenoff - Who doesn't love a romantic historical read? This one is epic and I love that part of it takes place at the Jersey Shore.  Local friends will love this one!

Under a Dark Summer Sky by Vanessa Lafaye is set in the Florida Keys during the 1930s. The novel highlights the social history of the Keys, there's also romance, and the monster of a hurricane that hits the Keys in 1935.  

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter is not only a well written novel, it's also an amazing beach read because of the gorgeous setting of coastal Italy. 

The Summer I Met Jack by Michele Gable is an engaging historical beach read that is all about Jack Kennedy and his relationship with Alicia Corning Clark.

Summer of '69 by Elin HIlderbrand is historical beach read perfection set during the summer of 1969 and it is filled to the brim with family drama. 

The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton is an edge of your seat historical tale about the hurricane of 1935. Cleeton brings to life the Keys very well and makes you care about her characters. 

Summer Darlings by Brooke Lea Foster takes place on Martha's Vineyard in the 1960s. This one had a Mad Men vibe, which I loved. 

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid is brilliant. It involves surf culture, various time periods, major beach vibes, and family drama amongst the Riva siblings. 

Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers by Sara Ackerman (Not pictured) - This novel depicts Hawaii during WWII.  Ackerman brings to life Hawaii so very well; I felt like I was there!  

Of course you can't go wrong with any of Beatriz Williams's novels! These are my favorite of her historical beach reads: 

The Golden Hour which takes place on the beautiful island of Nassau during WWII makes for a tropical setting along with the spies, traitors, and did I mention the Duke and Duchess of Windsor?

A Hundred Summers is my favorite of her novels, which takes place at the oceanfront community of Seaview, Rhode Island. It's a complicated summer filled with family drama, secrets, and a hurricane.

Cocoa Beach is a suspenseful thriller that takes place during the Prohibition Era in Florida.

The Summer Wives is set on Winthrop Island and focuses on a high society during the summer of 1951. It's very atmospheric and a mystery and some plot twists.

Along the Infinite Sea is the third in the Schuyler Sisters series and I loved the various amazing settings of this novel including the Breakers at Palm Beach.

A Summer to Remember by Erika Montogomery involves Old Hollywood nostalgia as well as the gorgeous setting of Cape Cod.
Haven Point by Virginia Hume is about sweeping family saga that takes place at the family home on the coast of Maine.
Radar Girls by Sara Ackerman takes place during WWII on the beautiful island of Hawaii.
On Gin Lane by Brooke Lea Foster takes place during the 50s in the glittering world of the Hamptons and a new hotel that has come to the island.
Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedman is about two families reuniting at their beloved hotel in the Catskills.

The Lost Summers of Newport by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White is an immersive historical beach read that spans the Gilded Age to present day featuring the opulent setting of Newport.   



The Beach at Summerly by Beatriz Williams takes readers to mid-century New England filled with summer love, secrets and Cold War intrigue.

Hotel Laguna by Nicola Harrison follows Hazel as she starts over in Laguna Beach after WWII.

The Codebreaker's Secret by Sara Ackerman follows a brillant female codebreaker, difficult Japaense naval codes, and a pilot on an important mission during WWII in Hawaii.

The Cuban Heiress by Chanel Cleeton is inspired by the real-life story of the SS Morro on a round trip voyage from New York to Havana. 


Hula by Jasmin Iolani Hakes is a sweeping saga that follows three generations of Hawaiian women.

California Golden by Melanie Benjamin has some major Gidget vibes and brings to life the surf culture of the 60s.

The House on Biscayne Bay by Chanel Cleeton takes place in Old World Florida. It's filled with atmosphere, romance, and even murder!

The Beautiful People by Michelle Gable takes place in the 60s and is complete with a stars studded crowd, such as Lilly Pulitzer and Slim Aarons.

Did any of your favorite historical beach reads make my list? Let me know in the comments below if you have any recommendations for me and if you are adding any of these books to your summer TBR list.



  1. Yes to all of these! Historical beach reads feel so immersive, like you said. There's just something about the way they transport you!

    1. I agree. I am definitely looking forward to a few new historical beach reads this summer. Thanks for visiting, Angela!


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