31 Best Beach Songs – The Ultimate Beach Playlist

Written by: Cody

Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Just close your eyes for a moment.

Imagine the sand between your toes, the sun shining down on you, and the sound of waves crashing against the shoreline.

If you love going to the beach then you probably know that nothing goes better with a warm sunny day than a few good tunes.

There are so many great beach songs out there, it can be hard to choose which ones should make it to your playlist.

But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

Here are our top 31 beach songs that are sure to get you in the mood for going to the beach!

What Are the Best Beach Songs?

From pump-up songs to relaxing sunset nights, there’s a beach song for just about every occasion. So, without further ado, here is my list of the best songs about the beach.

1. “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves

Whenever you feel down and you’re looking for music to cheer you up, you should listen to this Katrina and the Waves song. “Walking on Sunshine” is the ultimate feel-good song. 

I’m walking on sunshine, woooah
And don’t it feel good!

The band sings about being so madly in love that it feels like you’re ‘walking on sunshine’. Just imagine how you feel when you’re walking along the shoreline when the sun is shining brightly. There’s nothing that compares. 

2. “Surf City” by Jan & Dean

Jan & Dean wrote surf music, and they were great at it. The rock duo released “Surf City” in ‘63.  

And when I get to Surf City, I’ll be shootin’ the curl
And checkin’ out the parties for a surfer girl

The men sing about driving to ‘Surf City’ in an old car to go surfing, have fun and get with girls. This song has that classic 60s vibe to it and if you didn’t know who wrote it you’d assume it was the Beach Boys.

3. “Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams

If you want to feel happy and nostalgic, you should listen to “Summer of ‘69”. An oldie but goodie, the song is without a doubt one of Bryan’s best. It’s also a great easy guitar song to learn how to play.

Those were the best days of my life
Back in the summer of ’69

Adams sings about being young, enjoying the summertime, playing the guitar, falling in love, and spending time with friends.

You didn’t have to be around in 69’ to understand the feeling of looking back on life when you were young and carefree. 

4. “Soak Up the Sun” by Sheryl Crow

From the video to the lyrics, this song embodies the feeling of a great day at the beach.

American singer-songwriter Sheryl Cow also worked as an actress. She released “Soak Up the Sun” in 2002. 

I’m gonna soak up the sun
Before it goes out on me

The song was inspired by short-lived happiness during a somber period of her life. The feel-good song is supposed to make others happy, even if only momentarily.

There’s no denying that ‘soaking up the sun’ on the beach makes you feel happier than you were before. Maybe it’s the vitamin D, maybe it’s just the simple joy of being out in nature.

5. “California Gurls” by Katy Perry

Who doesn’t know this hit that was released in 2010? “California Gurls” is one of Perry’s top-performing songs. It’s a catchy tune that scored high on the charts for several years but was most popular in the U.S. and Australia – reaching #4 on the US Mainstream Top 40. 

California girls
We’re unforgettable
Daisy dukes
Bikinis on top
Sun-kissed skin

As the title might suggest, the song is about California girls on the beach.

The Golden Coast is the place to be to find beautiful women, according to Katy. 

Read Next: 21 Best 4th of July Songs to Get You in the Patriotic Spirit

6. “Beachin” by Jake Owen


American country singer-songwriter Jake Owen released the song “Beachin’” in 2013. The song was a hit. It is the title track of his 4th album, “Days of Gold”. 

And it’s sunshine, blue eyes, tan lines, it’s low tide
Rolling white sand, cold can koozie in my hand, just a summertime strollin’

The lyrics are self-explanatory. Owen describes the beach and the people on it. He’s focused on a specific woman in a beach chair who he meets again in a margarita bar at the beach.

If you like country music and tongue-in-cheek lyrics, this one is for you.

7. “Rockaway Beach” by The Ramones

The Ramones released “Rockaway Beach” in ‘77. The band originated in New York but was most popular outside the United States.

It’s not hard, not far to reach
We can hitch a ride
To Rockaway Beach

Rockaway Beach is a park in Queens, New York City, New York. It’s a fantastic spot to spend your time at all throughout the year.

It attracts both locals and tourists, and rightfully so. The beach that’s part of the public park is beautiful and great for water sports, like surfing. 

8. “Surfin’ Safari” by The Beach Boys

The American band formed in 61’ became popular quickly after releasing their debut single, “Surfin’”. They have since written several songs about surfing, among which “Surfin’ Safari”, released in ‘62. 

Let’s go surfin’ now
Everybody’s learning how
Come on and safari with me

The men sing about traveling the world to go surfing with a group of friends.

If you’ve never been surfing, this song might just get you in the mood to give it a shot.

9. “Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffett

American singer-songwriter ‘Jimmy Buffett’ released the hit song “Margaritaville” in ‘77 on his album “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes”. He was inspired by a drink and the tourism in Key West, an Island in Florida that generally attracts ocean lovers.

Nibbling on sponge cake, watching the sun bake
All of those tourists covered with oil

Buffett sings about spending a lot of time in “Margaritaville”, watching people sunbathe, playing the guitar, and enjoying food and drinks. What can be more relaxing than that?

10. “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” by Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake sang this song for the “Trolls” movie, released in 2016. It became a major hit on mainstream radio thanks to its groovy beat and catchy chorus. 

I got this feeling inside my bones
It goes electric, wavey when I turn it on

The catchy tune from the children’s movie has the ability to make everyone want to get up and dance. You really can’t deny the summer vibes and uplifting effect of “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”. 

11. “The Tide Is High” by Blondie

Blondie released a cover of “The Tide is High” in 1980. Atomic Kitten released a cover of the song in 2001, which was also incredibly popular. 

The tide is high, but I’m holding on
I’m gonna be your number one

Blondie sings about a person who attracts many women. The song is about being in love with someone and not giving up on the possibility of a relationship with them.

She’s willing to wait for him, even though ‘the tide is high’.

12. “Vacation” by Dirty Heads

The American band The Dirty Heads released their song “Vacation” in 2017. 

I’m on vacation
Every single day ’cause I love my occupation

When you love your job, you might feel like you’re on vacation whenever you’re working, that is according to The Dirty Heads. Most people can’t relate, but changing your occupation is never too late.

The music video is a bit goofy with the principal of what seems to be a high school lipsyncing the music as he dances down a hallway.

13. “Toes” by Zac Brown Band

The Zab Brown band, with nine members, was formed in 2002. They play country music and have plenty of successful songs, among them “Toes”. The song was nominated for several awards in 2010. 

I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand
Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand

What do you do on the beach; sunbathe, go for a walk, or play sports?

Some people simply sit in the sand with their feet in the water and a drink in hand. What more do you really need?

14. “I Love Beach Music” by Eugene Pitt


The American singer-songwriter Eugene Pitt was part of “The Jive Five”, a band formed in ‘59 that recorded several jingles for kids. 

I love beach music,
Because I was born with it in my bones

Pitt sings about growing up with ‘beach music’. He danced and sang on the beach when he was younger. 

15. “California Girls” by The Beach Boys


The song is not to be confused with Katy Perry’s “California Gurls”. See the difference?

The American rock band, “The Beach Boys,” was formed in ‘61. The band released this hit song in ‘65. 

The West Coast has the sunshine
And the girls all get so tanned

In this tune, The Beach Boys sing about how great American girls are in general but how Californian girls are specifically the best.

They wish all girls were California girls because they are the cutest in the world.

16. “Surfin’ USA” by The Beach Boys

We’ve come across The Beach Boys several times in this article, and this isn’t the last song of theirs in this article. They were the pioneers of beach music, what do you expect?

The band has written many songs related to the beach and the summertime. “Surfin’ USA” was released in ‘63. 

Everybody’s gone surfin’
Surfin’ U.S.A.

According to the band, if everyone were close to a beach, they would surf like the Californians.

17. “Beach Baby” by The First Class

The First Class was a British group, active up until ‘76. They were formed in ‘74 but disbanded after a couple of years because of their lack of success. “Beach Baby” was their best-performing song. 

Beach baby, beach baby
Give me your hand
Give me somethin’ that I can remember

The band looks back on their past when they spent a lot of time on the beach, going for walks, listening to music, and surfing.

18. “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince

This hip-hop duo consists of Jeffrey Townes and Will Smith, who made the “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” theme song, among other great tunes.

Both men are also actors, as you probably already know. “Summertime” was their most successful single. 

Summer, summer, summertime
Time to sit back and unwind

Similar to the last song by The First Class, this song is about looking back at the summertime when you’re younger, listening to music, driving around, and hanging out with girls. 

19. “Kokomo” by The Beach Boys

Here we have the last The Beach Boys song in this article, I promise. The band released the song in ‘88. 

Bodies in the sand
Tropical drink melting in your hand
We’ll be falling in love

I’m pretty confident you’ve heard “Kokomo” before. The Beach Boys sings about several places around the Caribbean.

However, it’s a bit harder to find ‘Kokomo.’ The band explained that the name was inspired by a bar in the Florida Keys. 

20. “Island in the Sun” by Weezer

The American band Weezer has known great success over the years. They’ve been active since ‘92 and are still active to this day. “Island in the Sun” is one of their best and most popular songs.

On an island in the sun
We’ll be playing and having fun

The band sings about running away with someone to an ‘island in the sun,’ where they can enjoy each other’s company and have fun. 

21. “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey

American singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey released “Summertime Sadness” in 2012, one of her biggest hits. 

I’m feelin’ electric tonight
Cruisin’ down the coast, goin’ about 99

The vibe of this song lives up to its title. It sounds pretty sad. Both the lyrics and the music itself are melancholic. Lana sings about her love leaving her and how they danced in the dark and drove along the coastline. She shares how good she feels around this person. 

Read Next: The 34 Saddest Songs of All Time (Updated for 2023)

22. “The Boys of Summer” by Don Henley

American musician Don Henley, a member of the iconic band Eagles, released “The Boys of Summer” in ‘84. 

I can tell you, my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone

It’s another one of the songs in this article about youth and thinking back on enjoying the summertime. More specifically, it’s about a past lover. 

23. “In the Sun” by She & Him

She & Him is the American duo actress Zooey Deschanel is a part of, with singer-songwriter Matthew Ward by her side. The duo released “In the Sun” in 2010. 

I’ll just keep it to myself
In the sun

The song is seemingly about a dead relationship. She’s thinking about leaving her partner, who’s shown he’s bored and disinterested in her and the relationship. However, she decides to ignore it and ‘keep it to herself in the sun.’

24. “A Place in the Sun” by Stevie Wonder

The iconic American singer-songwriter Stevie Wonder released “A Place in the Sun” in ‘66. It was one of his earlier hits.

There’s a place in the sun
And before my life is done
Gotta find me a place in the sun

Stevie Wonder sings about leaving behind a troubled life and finding ‘a place in the sun’ before he dies where he can find peace.

25. “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding

American singer Otis Redding released his biggest hit “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” in 67’, the same year he unfortunately passed away in a plane crash at the young age of 26. The singer had a lot of potential, which is obvious when you listen to the hit song. 

I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay
Watchin’ the tide roll away, ooh

Redding sings about sitting on the dock of the bay, observing what’s happening around him, while he thinks about his life. He feels lonely and like he doesn’t have a purpose. 

26. “Under the Boardwalk” by The Drifters

The Drifters released “Under the Boardwalk” in ‘64 with their former member after the passing of their lead singer. In the 80s, Bruce Willis released a cover of the song. 

Under the boardwalk
Down by the sea, yeah
On a blanket with my baby
Is where I’ll be

The couple in the song is sitting underneath the boardwalk that provides shade on the beach. It paints a picture of the happiness and excitement that comes with young love.

Read Next: 31 Guitar Love Songs Guys Learn to Impress Girls

27. “The Piña Colada Song” by Rupert Holmes

British musician Rupert Holmes released his hit song in ‘79. 

That you like piña coladas
And gettin’ caught in the rain
And the feel of the ocean

It is a catchy song about two people in a dead relationship that find each other again when they discover a new side to their partner. He discovers ‘his lady’ loves the ocean and enjoys the finer things in life, like champagne, and of course, piña coladas.

She’s more adventurous than he thought. 

28. “When the Sun Goes Down” By Kenny Chesney


The song “When the Sun Goes Down” was released in 2004 by the American country artist Kenny Chesney. The singer has been very successful in the country genre ever since he signed with Capricorn Records in ‘93. 

When the sun goes down we’ll feel alright
When the sun sinks down over the water
Everything gets hotter when the sun goes down, yeah

Chesney sings about watching the sun go down over the water and looking forward to letting go and having fun when it’s dark out. 

29. “Upside Down” By Jack Johnson

Singer-songwriter Jack Johnson is not only a musician but also an ocean lover. He released “Upside Down” in 2006. He wrote several other songs about the ocean. 

I can feel a change in everything
And as the surface breaks, reflections fade
But in some ways, they remain the same

The lyrics to “Upside Down” are quite self-explanatory. Johnson sings about curiosity, ambition, and looking at things from a different angle.

He’s ‘breaking the surface’, as you would when you get into the water to explore. 

Read Next: 30 Breathtaking Songs About the Sea and Ocean

30. “Some Beach” by Blake Shelton

American country artist Blake Shelton released “Some Beach” in 2004. The song scored high on the charts for several weeks at the time of its release. 

Some beach
There’s a beautiful sunset burnin’ up the atmosphere

In the song, a man is driving to ‘some beach’ to have drinks, listen to music and simply relax. On his way there, he sings the song Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett, which we discussed before in the article. 

31. “Cake By The Ocean” By DNCE

The band DNCE with lead singer Joe Jonas who’s also a member of the Jonas Brothers released their hit song “Cake By the Ocean” in 2015. It became a major success. 

Let’s lose our minds and go fuckin’ crazy
keep on hopin’ we’ll eat cake by the ocean

The song is seemingly about being risky and having sex by the ocean. According to the lead singer, the term ‘cake by the ocean’ was confused with the term ‘sex on the beach’ by its Swedish producers.

Final Thoughts

Beach songs can evoke feelings of happiness, relaxation, joy, and excitement.

Whether you’re looking to reminisce about past beach trips or just want to imagine the feeling of sand between your toes, these classic beach songs will do the trick.

So put on some sunscreen and get ready to go to the beach!

About Cody
Cody is the founder of Musician Tuts, a free tutorial hub for musicians. He has over 15 years of experience playing a variety of instruments and dabbling in audio engineering. He spends his days blogging, listening to Spotify, and playing music.

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