Beach Hottie is the pseudynym Alison used in her journals to describe relationship between her and another man in Cape May. This person turned out to be Darren Wilden.
Wilden was a partier and went on a boat trip in Cape May with Alison, CeCe, and Melissa. He and Alison entered a sexual relationship during this time, and she thought she was pregnant with his child. The girl confided in CeCe about it and was afraid because of the reaction Wilden would get out of it. She was relieved when it was just a false alarm. She ended the relationship before the summer ended.
Wilden's womanizing ways and crooked nature were kept hidden for years until he began investigating Alison's disappearance. Knowing his dealings with Jessica DiLaurentis and her hidden daughter as well as the affairs with Ashley Marin and Alison would have him imprisoned, Wilden began to cover any of his faults and was not above murder as seen with the death of Garrett Reynolds.
In "Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Inferno," CeCe/Charlotte began being A, she began seeing a blonde in a red coat and thought Alison was alive. She told Emily Fields about the incident who told the rest of the Liars.
In "Hot Water," Hanna confronted him with this, Wilden began to make sure any connection that summer is severed. He tried to coerce Ashley to keep Hanna quiet but was ready to kill Hanna if she refused to do so, but Ashley ran him over once he maded that threat. Jenna Marshall and Shana Fring move him after the accident as revealed "A DAngerous GAme."
Charlotte discovered Wilden's intent to kill Alison after he was sure she was still alive and was not about to let that happen. She left him an "A" message to come to the Thornhill Lodge and would kill him while the Liars and Mona were trapped. His body was discovered and Charlotte sent Sara Harvey as The Lady in Black to his funeral and confirm Wilden is indeed dead.
The identity of Beach Hottie remained a mystery even after the introduction in Season 3. For a time, it was believed that Board Shorts was another name Alison used in her journal until Ezra Fitz was revealed to be that individual and did not have a sexual relationship with Alison. This confirm that the two name were ment for two different people.
- It is unknown if Wilden knew CeCe Drake was Charlotte before or after the night of Alison's disappearance since he partied wit her in Cape May.
- He blackmailed Melissa and Jenna to help him at times because of there connection to the N.A.T. Club and Alison's disappearance.
- During an event for Vanity Fair in 2017, the actor who portrayed the Liars confirmed that Wilden was indeed Beach Hottie.