Audiences can watch television host and author Sunny Hostin on The View, but you can find her on some of the world’s best beaches. “Lin- Manuel Miranda told me write what you love: I love the beach, I love books and I love beach reads.” Sales for Hostin’s novel Summer on the Bluffs spiked during the pandemic, an indicator that readers were craving escapism. “I don’t like dumbed-down beach reads. It’s not just about a guy running down the beach who sees you. My books are historically accurate and fact-based, but also a little out there.” A sequel, Summer on Sag Harbor, debuts in May, bringing readers to one of her favorite escapes. “Joy Behar lives about four blocks away, Tamron Hall is a neighbor, and it’s not unusual for Don Lemon to pull up on his boat.” Here, her beloved getaways.
Sag Harbor, New York
“It has history, but more importantly for me, community. You can walk into town and definitely get your 10,000 steps in. Around 60 percent of the oceanfront properties on Havens Beach are Black-owned. On Labor Day, there are races where the kids run down one of the streets—you would think it’s the Olympics the way they treat it. There’s also a wonderful history of wine. Wölffer Estate Vineyard has great wines and charcuteries. It almost feels like you’re not in New York. When you’re drinking the delicious rosé, it starts to feel like Provence.”
“We take a family holiday trip each year, and recently went to Ghana. It was an incredible time to go. I stayed at the Kempinski, which felt like a seven-star hotel. The Afropunk music festival happened to be going on at the same time, so there were a lot of celebrities. I hung out with Vanessa Williams and Chance the Rapper. It’s a destination that’s a well-kept celebrity secret, so I guess I’m outing it. As one of the wonderful African traditions, on New Year’s Eve you stay up all night and at 5:30 a.m. you take a boat to where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Gulf of Guinea. You pour out libations to your ancestors and family and set intentions for the coming year—that was the most important part for me. I set an intention to protect my peace.”
Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts
“It’s my happy place. We go every year and I’ve been going since I was 15 years old. It used to be harder to get to, so that made it more magical. You had to take a ferry from Woods Hole, but Cape Air now has a small flight. Being able to wake up and hear the water is very soothing. We stay right on the bay near Inkwell Beach. Because it’s a bay you can literally walk out at least 100 yards. We’re an active family of paddleboarders and wakeboarders, and my son loves surfing. When you have small children, you feel pretty comfortable swimming in the bay.”
Highland Beach, Maryland
“I love the smallness of Highland Beach—you can have a really private vacation. But if you want to party at the Tiki Bar on Solomons Island it’s close by. Few people know about it because it’s not a place where you can just rent a house. There aren’t a ton of inhabitants there, and most are octogenarians. Frederick Douglass was one of the folks who settled it. If I can find a direct descendant of his, I would be really lucky. And if you’re the outdoorsy type, which my family tends to be, Chesapeake Bay is a wonderful place.”