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Virtual Vacation Reads: Books Set in Getaway Locations

Special Feature

Virtual Vacation Reads: Books Set in Getaway Locations

Bookreporter has a way for you to virtually travel with our list of books set in vacation locales. Escape to idyllic spots like Nantucket, Cape Cod, Malibu, the Catskills, Charleston and Palm Beach --- along with many others --- in our 2021 Virtual Vacation Reads feature. Pick your book(s) to embark on the summer vacation you've been dreaming of. You’ll only have to figure out how to send postcards!

Please note: For your convenience, we have organized these books both by location and alphabetically by title. We also have included links to indie bookstores that are at or near each of these locations, so you can pay them a virtual visit as well! May we suggest that you buy these books from them?

» Click here for our 2020 Virtual Vacation Reads feature.




Bel Air


THE STEPSISTERS by Susan Mallery

Local Bookseller
DIESEL, A Bookstore

Humboldt County


LADY SUNSHINE by Amy Mason Doan

Local Booksellers
Eureka Books
Northtown Books



MALIBU RISING by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Local Bookseller
DIESEL, A Bookstore

Palm Springs



Local Bookseller
The Book Rack

San Francisco



Local Booksellers
City Lights Bookstore
Dog Eared Books
The Green Arcade







Local Booksellers
Barrett Bookstore
Elm Street Books




Boca Raton


THE BRITTANYS by Brittany Ackerman

Local Bookseller
Pyramid Books

Palm Beach


PALM BEACH by Mary Adkins
SQUEEZE ME by Carl Hiaasen

Local Booksellers
Pyramid Books
Rohi's Readery


Treasure Island


THE NEWCOMER by Mary Kay Andrews

Local Booksellers
Bandit's Bookshop
Cultured Books
Tombolo Books




Roland Park, Baltimore


MARY JANE by Jessica Anya Blau

Local Booksellers
Atomic Books
The Ivy Bookshop




Cape Cod


THE PAPER PALACE by Miranda Cowley Heller
A SUMMER TO REMEMBER by Erika Montgomery
THAT SUMMER by Jennifer Weiner

Local Booksellers
The Provincetown Bookshop
Titcomb's Bookshop
Where the Sidewalk Ends



FAMILY REUNION by Nancy Thayer
GOLDEN GIRL by Elin Hilderbrand

Local Booksellers
Mitchell's Book Corner
Nantucket Bookworks




SUMMER LONGING by Jamie Brenner

Local Bookseller
East End Books PTown




Boyne City


EARLY MORNING RISER by Katherine Heiny

Local Booksellers
Between the Covers
McLean & Eakin Booksellers


Glen Arbor


THE CLOVER GIRLS by Viola Shipman

Local Bookseller
Cottage Book Shop


New York


The Catskills



Local Bookseller
The Golden Notebook



THE LOST BOYS OF MONTAUK: The True Story of the Wind Blown, Four Men Who Vanished at Sea, and the Survivors They Left Behind by Amanda M. Fairbanks

Local Booksellers
Sag Harbor Books

North Fork, Long Island


BLUSH by Jamie Brenner

Local Booksellers
Red Jacket Books
Southampton Books


North Carolina


Carolina Beach


UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY by Kristy Woodson Harvey

Local Booksellers
Papercut Books
Pomegranate Books


South Carolina





Local Booksellers
Blue Bicycle Books
Buxton Books

South Carolina Lowcountry


REUNION BEACH: Stories Inspired by Dorothea Benton Frank by Elin Hilderbrand, Adriana Trigiani, Patti Callahan, Mary Alice Monroe, and more

Local Booksellers
Blue Bicycle Books
Buxton Books
Itinerant Literate Books
The Village Bookseller




Grays Harbor


IT’S BETTER THIS WAY by Debbie Macomber

Local Bookseller
Harbor BOOKS




Lake Geneva


SHOULDER SEASON by Christina Clancy

Local Bookseller
InkLink Books


Blush by Jamie Brenner - Fiction

For decades, the Hollander Estates winery has been the premier destination for lavish parties and romantic day trips on the North Fork of Long Island. But behind the lush vineyards and majestic estate house, the Hollander family fortunes have suffered, and the threat of a sale brings old wounds to the surface. For matriarch Vivian, she fears that selling their winery to strangers could expose a dark secret she's harbored for decades. Meanwhile, her daughter, Leah, finds her marriage at a crossroads and returns home for a sorely needed escape. And granddaughter Sadie runs to the vineyard looking for inspiration. But when Sadie uncovers journals from Vivian's old book club dedicated to scandalous novels of decades past, she realizes that this might be the distraction they all need.

The Brittanys by Brittany Ackerman - Fiction

They're not the most popular freshmen at their Florida prep school, but at least everyone knows their name(s). The Brittanys. Brittany Rosenberg drives her golf cart around her subdivision to meet boys. Brittany Gottlieb insists you can't lose your virginity if you haven't gotten your period. (She heard it somewhere!). Brittany Tomassi is from New York. Brittany Jensen once threw her tampon into a stranger's swimming pool. She is the greatest person in the whole wide world --- at least as far as the fifth Brittany, our narrator, is concerned. Even within their friend group, she and Jensen are a duo. But Jensen's interests may be diverging from her friends'. And within our narrator's own family, life-changing events may be taking shape --- events that only years later, she has the perspective to see.

The Clover Girls by Viola Shipman - Fiction

Elizabeth, Veronica, Rachel and Emily met at Camp Birchwood in 1985, where over four summers they were the Clover Girls --- inseparable for those magical few weeks of freedom --- until the last summer that pulled them apart. Now approaching middle age, the women are facing struggles with their marriages, children and careers. Then Liz, V and Rachel each receive a letter from Emily with devastating news. She implores the girls who were once her best friends to reunite at Camp Birchwood one last time and repair the relationships they’d allowed to sour. But the women are not the same idealistic, confident girls who once ruled Camp Birchwood, and perhaps some friendships aren’t meant to last forever.

Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny - Fiction

Jane falls in love with Duncan easily. Unfortunately, he has slept with nearly every woman in Boyne City, Michigan, and she sees his old girlfriends everywhere. His ex-wife, Aggie, still has Duncan mow her lawn. His coworker, Jimmy, comes and goes from his apartment at the most inopportune times. Sometimes Jane wonders if a relationship can even work with three people in it --- never mind four. Five if you count Aggie's eccentric husband, Gary. But any notion Jane had of love and marriage changes with one terrible car crash. Soon her life is permanently intertwined with Duncan's, Aggie's and Jimmy's, and she knows she will never have Duncan to herself. But could it be possible that a deeper kind of happiness is right in front of Jane's eyes?

Family Reunion by Nancy Thayer - Fiction

Eleanor Sunderland loves living on Nantucket, in a gorgeous cliffside home that has been in her family for decades. Yet this year she can’t help but feel a bit isolated, even as the island begins to come alive with summer tourists and travelers. Fresh off the heels of her college graduation, Eleanor’s dear granddaughter, Ari, has just ended an engagement that felt less like true love and more like a chore. Taking advantage of her newfound freedom, she heads to Nantucket to clear her head before graduate school, moving in with her grandmother and taking a job at the local beach camp. But just as grandmother and granddaughter fall into a carefree routine, a few shocking discoveries throw them off course, and their ideas of the future seem suddenly uncertain.

Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand - Fiction

Vivian Howe, author of 13 beach novels and mother of three nearly grown children, is killed in a hit-and-run car accident while jogging near her home on Nantucket. She ascends to the Beyond where she's assigned to a Person named Martha, who allows Vivi to watch what happens below for one last summer. Vivi also is granted three “nudges” to change the outcome of events on earth. From the Beyond, she watches “The Chief” Ed Kapenash investigate her death, but her greatest worry is her final book, which contains a secret from her own youth that could be disastrous for her reputation. But when hidden truths come to light, Vivi’s family will have to sort out their past and present mistakes --- with or without a nudge of help from above --- while Vivi finally lets them grow without her.

It's Better This Way by Debbie Macomber - Fiction

It’s been nearly six years since Julia Jones had her heart broken. After her husband became involved with another woman, she did everything she could to save their marriage, to no avail. Distraught after selling the family home, Julia moves into a condominium complex and embraces a fulfilling new life, one that doesn’t seem to need a man in it. That is, until she meets Heath Johnson, a handsome new resident in the building’s exercise room, and she can’t help but be drawn to him. As they begin to grow close, their friendship blossoms into an unexpected love. But when a dramatic revelation threatens the happiness they’ve found, Julia and Heath must reconcile their love for their children with their love for each other. If they can’t, their bright future together may be nothing but a dream.

Lady Sunshine by Amy Mason Doan - Fiction

In the summer of 1979, Jackie Pierce spent three months of infinite freedom at her bohemian uncle’s sprawling estate on the California coast. She and her cousin Willa fell into a fast friendship…until the summer abruptly ended in tragedy, and Willa silently slipped away into the night. Twenty years later, Jackie unexpectedly inherits The Sandcastle and returns there to ready it for sale. It turns out that before her estranged aunt’s death, she had promised an up-and-coming producer he could record a tribute album to her late uncle at the property’s studio. When a piece of the past resurfaces and sparks new questions about Willa’s disappearance, Jackie must discover if the dark secret she’s kept ever since is even the truth at all.

Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland - Fiction/Humor

In its heyday, The Golden Hotel was the crown jewel of the hotter-than-hot Catskills vacation scene. For more than 60 years, the Goldman and Weingold families have presided over this glamorous resort that served as a second home for well-heeled guests and celebrities. But the Catskills are not what they used to be --- and neither is the relationship between the Goldmans and the Weingolds. As the facilities and management begin to fall apart, a tempting offer to sell forces the two families together again to make a heart-wrenching decision. Can they save their beloved Golden, or is it too late? Long-buried secrets emerge, new dramas and financial scandal erupt, and everyone from the traditional grandparents to the millennial grandchildren wants a say in the hotel’s future.

The Lost Boys of Montauk: The True Story of the Wind Blown, Four Men Who Vanished at Sea, and the Survivors They Left Behind by Amanda M. Fairbanks - Biography

In March of 1984, the commercial fishing boat Wind Blown left Montauk Harbor on what should have been a routine offshore voyage. Its captain, a married father of three young boys, was the boat’s owner and leader of the four-man crew, which included two locals and the blue-blooded son of a well-to-do summer family. After a week at sea, the weather suddenly turned, and the foursome collided with a nor’easter. They soon found themselves in the fight of their lives. Tragically, it was a fight they lost. Neither the boat nor the bodies of the men were ever recovered. Amanda M. Fairbanks examines the profound shift of Montauk from a working-class village to a playground for the ultra-wealthy, seeking out the reasons that an event more than three decades old remains so startlingly vivid in people’s minds.

The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs - Fiction

In the wake of a shocking tragedy, Natalie Harper inherits her mother’s charming but financially strapped bookshop in San Francisco. She also becomes caretaker for her ailing grandfather Andrew, who has begun displaying signs of decline. Natalie thinks it’s best to move him to an assisted living facility to ensure the care he needs. To pay for it, she plans to close the bookstore and sell the derelict but valuable building on historic Perdita Street, which is in need of constant fixing. There’s only one problem --- Grandpa Andrew owns the building and refuses to sell. To Natalie’s surprise, her sorrow begins to dissipate as her life becomes an unexpected journey of new connections, discoveries and revelations, from unearthing artifacts hidden in the bookshop’s walls, to discovering the truth about her family, her future and her own heart.

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid - Fiction

Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas. The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention. By midnight, the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come rising to the surface.

Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau - Fiction

In 1970s Baltimore, 14-year-old Mary Jane is glad when she lands a summer job as a nanny for the daughter of a local doctor. The doctor is a psychiatrist who has cleared his summer for one important job --- helping a famous rock star dry out. A week after Mary Jane starts, the rock star and his movie star wife move in. Over the course of the summer, Mary Jane introduces her new household to crisply ironed clothes and a family dinner schedule, and has a front-row seat to a liberal world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Caught between the lifestyle she’s always known and the future she’s only just realized is possible, Mary Jane will arrive at September with a new idea about what she wants out of life, and what kind of person she’s going to be.

The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews - Fiction

After discovering her sister Tanya dead on the floor of her fashionable New York City townhouse, Letty Carnahan is certain that the culprit is Tanya’s ex: sleazy real estate entrepreneur Evan Wingfield. So she grabs Tanya’s Mercedes and hits the road with her four-year-old niece, Maya. Letty sheds her old life and checks into an uncertain future at The Murmuring Surf Motel, the winter home of a close-knit flock of retirees and snowbirds who regard this odd-duck newcomer with suspicion and downright hostility. As Letty settles into the motel’s former storage room, she tries to heal Maya’s heartache and unravel the key to her sister’s shady past, all while dodging the attention of the owner’s dangerously attractive son Joe, who just happens to be a local police detective.

Palm Beach by Mary Adkins - Fiction

Rebecca and her husband, Mickey, typify struggling, 30-something New Yorkers --- he’s an actor, and she’s a freelance journalist. But after the arrival of their baby son, the couple decides to relocate to Palm Beach, where Mickey has been offered a sweet deal managing the household of a multimillionaire Democratic donor. Once there, he quickly doubles his salary by going to work for venture capitalist Cecil Stone. Rebecca, a writer whose beat is economic inequality, is initially horrified: she pillories men like Stone, a ruthless businessman famous for crushing local newspapers. So no one is more surprised than her when she accepts a job working for Cecil’s wife as a ghostwriter. As she and Mickey are pulled deeper into this topsy-turvy household, they become increasingly dependent on their problematic benefactors.

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry - Romantic Comedy

Ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, Poppy and Alex are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart, but every summer, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together. Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. She decides to convince Alex to take one more vacation together --- lay everything on the table and make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees. Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

Reunion Beach: Stories Inspired by Dorothea Benton Frank by Elin Hilderbrand, Adriana Trigiani, Patti Callahan Henry, Mary Alice Monroe, and more - Fiction/Short Stories

Inspired by the title Dorothea Benton Frank planned for her next book --- REUNION BEACH --- Elin Hilderbrand, Adriana Trigiani, Patti Callahan, Mary Alice Monroe and other bestselling authors and writers channeled their creativity, admiration and grief into stories and poems that celebrate this remarkable woman and her abiding love for the Lowcountry of her native South Carolina --- a land of beauty, history, charm and Gullah magic she so brilliantly brought to life in her acclaimed novels.

Shoulder Season by Christina Clancy - Fiction

Nineteen-year-old Sherri Taylor plays the organ at the local church and has never felt comfortable in her own skin. But when her parents die in quick succession, she leaves the only home she’s ever known for the chance to be part of a glamorous slice of history. In the winter of 1981, Sherri joins the daughters of dairy farmers and factory workers for the defining experience of her life. Living in the “bunny hutch” --- Playboy’s version of a college dorm --- Sherri gets her education in the joys of sisterhood, the thrill of financial independence, the magic of first love, and the heady effects of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. But as spring gives way to summer, Sherri finds herself caught in a romantic triangle --- and the tragedy that ensues will haunt her for the next 40 years.

Squeeze Me by Carl Hiaasen - Mystery/Humor

At the height of Palm Beach’s charity ball season, Kiki Pew Fitzsimmons, a prominent member of geriatric high society, suddenly vanishes during a swank gala. Kiki Pew was a founding member of the Potussies, a group of women dedicated to supporting the President, who spends half the year at the “Winter White House” just down the road. Meanwhile, Angie Armstrong, wildlife wrangler extraordinaire, is called to the island to deal with a monster-sized Burmese python that has taken residency in a tree. But the President is focused on the disappearance of Kiki Pew, immediately declaring her a victim of rampaging immigrant hordes. This, it turns out, is far from the truth, which now lies in the middle of the road, where a bizarre discovery brings the First Lady’s motorcade to a grinding halt.

The Stepsisters by Susan Mallery - Fiction

Once upon a time, when her dad married Sage’s mom, Daisy was thrilled to get a bright and shiny new sister. But Sage was beautiful and popular, everything Daisy was not, and she made sure Daisy knew it. After the divorce, the stepsisters’ rivalry continued until the final, improbable straw: Daisy married Sage’s first love, and Sage fled California. Eighteen years, two kids and one troubled marriage later, Daisy never expects to see Sage again. But when the little sister they have in common needs them both, they put aside their differences to care for Cassidy. As long-buried truths are revealed, no one is more surprised than they are when friendship blossoms. However, their fragile truce is threatened by one careless act that could have devastating consequences.

Summer Longing by Jamie Brenner - Fiction

Ruth Cooperman arrives in beautiful beachside Provincetown for her retirement. After years of hard work and making peace with life's compromises, she is looking forward to a carefree summer of solitude. But when she finds a baby girl abandoned on her doorstep, Ruth turns to her new neighbors for help and is drawn into the drama of the close-knit community. She even reaches out to her own estranged daughter, Olivia, hoping for a reconciliation. As summer unfolds and friends and family care for the infant, alliances are made, relationships are tested and secrets are uncovered. But the unconditional love for a child in need just might bring Ruth and the women of Provincetown exactly what they have been longing for themselves.

The Summer of Lost and Found by Mary Alice Monroe - Fiction

The coming of spring usually means renewal, but for Linnea Rutledge, spring 2020 threatens stagnation. Linnea faces another layoff, this time from the aquarium she adores. For her --- and her family --- finances, emotions and health teeter at the brink. To complicate matters, her new love interest, Gordon, struggles to return to the Isle of Palms from England. Meanwhile, her old flame, John, turns up from California and is quarantining next door. She tries to ignore him, but when he sends her plaintive notes in the form of paper airplanes, old sparks ignite. When Gordon at last reaches the island, Linnea wonders: Is it possible to love two men at the same time?

A Summer to Remember by Erika Montgomery - Fiction

For 30-year-old Frankie Simon, selling movie memorabilia in the shop she opened with her late mother on Hollywood Boulevard is more than just her livelihood --- it’s an enduring connection to the only family she has ever known. But when a mysterious package arrives containing a photograph of her mother and famous movie stars Glory Cartwright and her husband at a coastal film festival the year before Frankie’s birth, her life begins to unravel in unimaginable ways. What begins is a journey along a path revealing buried family secrets, betrayals between lovers, and bonds between friends. And for Frankie, as the past unlocks the present, the chance to learn that memories define who we are, and that they can show us the meaning of home and the magic of true love.

The Sweeney Sisters by Lian Dolan - Fiction

Maggie, Eliza and Tricia Sweeney grew up as a happy threesome in the idyllic seaside town of Southport, Connecticut. But their mother’s death from cancer 15 years ago tarnished their golden-hued memories, and the sisters drifted apart. Their one touchstone is their father, Bill Sweeney, an internationally famous literary lion and college professor. When Bill dies unexpectedly, his shell-shocked daughters return to their childhood home and throw an Irish wake like no other. As guests pay their respects and reminisce, one stranger crashes the party. When journalist Serena Tucker had her DNA tested, she learned that she had a 50% genetic match with her childhood neighbor, Maggie. It seems that Serena’s chilly WASP mother, Birdie, had a history with Bill --- one that has remained totally secret until now.

That Summer by Jennifer Weiner - Fiction

With a thriving cooking business, a full schedule of volunteer work, and a beautiful home, Daisy Shoemaker should be content. But her teenage daughter can be a handful, her husband can be distant, her work can feel trivial, and she has no real friends. While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction, she’s also receiving misdirected emails meant for a woman named Diana Starling, whose email address is just one punctuation mark away from her own. Diana’s glamorous, sophisticated, single-lady life is miles away from Daisy’s simpler existence. When an apology leads to an invitation, the two women meet and become friends. But, as they get closer, we learn that their connection was not completely accidental.

Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey - Fiction

When journalist Amelia Buxton discovers that a cluster of embryos belonging to her childhood friend Parker and his late wife Greer have been deemed “abandoned,” she’s put in the unenviable position of telling Parker --- and dredging up old wounds in the process. Parker has been unable to move forward since the loss of his beloved wife three years ago. He has all but forgotten about the frozen embryos. But once Amelia reveals her discovery, he knows that if he ever wants to get a part of Greer back, he’ll need to accept his fate as a single father and find a surrogate. Each dealing with their own private griefs, Parker and Amelia slowly begin to find solace in one another as they navigate an uncertain future against the backdrop of the pristine waters of their childhood home, Buxton Beach.