Music

Surf’s Up: Here Are the 10 Best Summer Songs About Going to the Beach

The practices of listening to music and going to the beach both date back centuries. No wonder they work so well together.

And whether you live on a coast or travel miles each year just to dip your toes in the ocean, it goes without saying: Any successful beach outing is non-negotiably accompanied by a perfect waterside playlist, usually packed with vibe-y classics from generations past alongside whichever hits are currently in competition for the title of song of the summer. The hot season has proved to be an abundant source of inspiration for musicians over the years, who’ve penned homages to everything from the warm weather it promises to the opportunities it offers for vacations, outdoor trips, parties and cookouts — but if there’s one summer staple that appears the most fondly in such seasonal tracks, it’s undoubtedly the beach.

That’s why Billboard has rounded up the 10 best songs the past century of music has to offer on the topic, featuring contemporary pop stars such as Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry to visionary groups like The Drifters and, of course, the Beach Boys. Some of them are exactly as fun and free as they seem on the surface, while others were written with deeper metaphors inspired by the ocean’s many mysteries in mind. Whatever floats your boat, as they say. (All puns intended.)

Without further adieu, grab your umbrellas, towels and sunglasses, stake your claim on a spot on the shore and dive into the following songs about sun, sand and surf — ranked in reverse order below.

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