Best Beach Songs Playlist

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By Tiffany Carbon and Lily Doolin

It’s the middle of July my friends, which means you can either find me hiding in a dark corner of my house next to the air conditioner trying to keep cool, or just chilling at the beach.

I’m the type of person who loves to go to the beach and just hang out. Walking lazily through the water, reading in the shade, building a sandcastle with my little cousins—all the works. And while it’s nice sometimes to just sit and listen to the waves, it’s also great to turn a speaker on and blast some jams that remind me of hanging out at the beach.

If you too are looking for the best beach songs to add to your playlist, I have them for you right here. From classic jams to chill vibes, these best beach songs are sure to keep you hangin’ ten all day long.

“Surfin’ U.S.A” by The Beach Boys

You can’t possibly have a beach playlist and NOT have at least one song by The Beach Boys on there, can you? I think not. “Surfin’ U.S.A” is a classic reminder of throwing on your high-waisted bikini bottoms, pulling out the sunscreen, and catching those waves. I especially love the twangy guitar sounds classic of The Beach Boys, as it’s so uplifting and energizing. Even if you’re not a huge surfer, this song is perfect to get everyone with you at the beach off of their towels and having fun in the sun.

“Margaritaville” by Jimmy Buffet

If you’re the kind of person who likes to go to the beach more to relax, “Margaritaville” by legendary singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffet is an absolute must-have on your beach playlist. While your friends and family run around in the heat, sit back under an umbrella with a book or magazine, or drift off for a nice mid-afternoon nap to the soothing sounds of Jimmy Buffet. Or, better yet, get yourself a nice cool beverage, because hey, we’re just living in Jimmy Buffet’s island escape, and he would want you to have a drink for him.

“Rockaway Beach” by Ramones

Now, if you’re looking for the exact opposite vibe of “Margaritaville,” go for “Rockaway Beach” by American punk rock band Ramones. This song is an ultimate headbanger, with high-energy guitars and the classic rock and roll vocals of Joey Ramone. This would be the perfect song for a high-stakes volleyball game in the sand or chicken fight in the water. Or, roll the windows down and blast this song as you’re heading to the beach, just to get everyone amped. As a punk rock junkie, I see this as the perfect beach song—it’s on-brand, energizing, and all-around fun for the whole gang.

“Surf Wax America” by Weezer

Keeping with the punk rock theme, ’90s punk rockers Weezer has a more garage rock-esque version of a beach song that is great for a weekend beach trip. The song is all about forgetting one’s work-week duties and just going to have some fun by the surf and the sand. Better yet, this song may or may not inspire you to take a *cough* sick day *cough* in the middle of the workweek and go to the beach with friends. I’m not suggesting that that’s a responsible thing to do, nor do I condone playing hooky. Just an idea…

“Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes

If you’re looking for everyone to break out into song with you on the beach, this is totally the song to jam out to. No matter the age, everyone knows at least some of the lyrics to this song. I don’t know about you, but I just can’t be in a bad mood while listening to this song. There’s even the sound of waves in the background of this song, which means it’s basically the ultimate beach song. So, grab your own Piña Colada and get to singing as you sink your toes into the sand.

“Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” by Looking Glass

It’s hard to describe, but this song is just one of those tunes that reminds me of the beach. Maybe it’s the fact that this song is about a little harbor town and two people who fall impossibly in love, but it’s also the melody that is so carefree that instantly transports me to the salty air of the sea. This song would be great to play while sailing on a boat, or going for a late-night swim. Again, it’s a song that a lot of people know the lyrics to, so it’s impossible to kill anyone’s good mood by adding this song to your playlist.

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