31 Best Beach Songs for the Ultimate Summer Soundtrack

Summer days spent on the sand are long overdue, but your packing list isn’t complete without the best beach songs to set the mood.  

The thing is, beach songs can sound like anything you want. Ukuleles and steel drums might come to mind first, but those aren’t the only sounds that invoke seaside fun. Similarly, the lyrics can be varied—a beach song can be carefree, wistful, or just plain catchy. The right soundtrack will transform a summer getaway from a quick weekend to forever paradise. 

Whether you’re looking for some reggae, a bit of salsa, throwback jams, or some lo-fi beats to swim to, this beach playlist includes some of the best songs for your trip. (And if you’re landlocked this summer, let this mix mentally take you to the shore.) 

Hop on the aux and enjoy the musical escape. 

1. “If It’s Lovin’ That You Want” by Rihanna 

With reggae undertones and an accompanying island-themed music video, this Rihanna throwback is perfect for a beach getaway.

Favorite lyric: “I won’t push too hard or break your heart, ’cause my love’s sincere.”

2. “Vacation” by Dirty Heads

Put this one on your playlist as you finally use those vacation days that collected dust over the past year.

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