11 Best Summer Beach Movies

Enjoy summer romance, adventure and catching the perfect wave.

Jun 8, 2020

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Summer time means beach time. The hot weather, the sound of the waves lapping on the sand, the taste of watermelon, and the smell of coconut oil all evoke memories of summers past.

While going to the beach may not be an option right now, you can bring back these pleasant  memories by watching nostalgic movies about summer romance, surfing, fireworks on Independence Day, and the lazy, hazy days at the beach.

Here’s a selection of 11 movies that are sure to please:

Gidget

This 1959 classic summer beach movie is about a young girl (Gidget) who discovers love and surfing in California one summer. Starring Sandra Dee, James Darron, and Cliff Robertson, this movie inspired the summer beach film genre.

Grease

Remember summer lovin’ and watch this 1978 movie about a summer fling that gets complicated when the two star struck teens end up in the same high school. Good girl Sandy, Olivia Newton-John, and “greaser” Danny, John Travolta, will sing and dance their way into your heart. Based on the long-running Broadway Musical of the same name

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

This 2005 teen coming of age movie is about best friends Tibby, Lena, Bridget and Carmen, a special pair of pants, and how they spent their summer vacation learning more things about themselves than they ever thought possible. Starring Amber Tamblyn, Alexis Bledel, America Ferrera, and Blake Lively.

Beach Party

Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello – the beach movie king and queen  – actually made 7  films. The first movie was Beach Party. In this 1963 film, Anthropology Professor Robert Orwell Sutwell and his secretary are studying the sex habits of teenagers and go the beach where they encounter a group of surfing teens. The music will really bring you back to the early 60s.

Independence Day

This 1996 ultimate sci-fi action movie starring Will Smith doesn’t take place on the beach but its July 4 theme makes it a summer movie. The movie is about an alien invasion of the earth and how the world fights back. Joining Smith are Bill Pullman and Jeff Goldblum.

Flipper

This 1966 family friendly summer flick is about Sandy, Elijah Wood, a boy who is sent to the Florida Keys to stay with his Uncle Porter, Paul Hogan, for the summer. He becomes best friends with an orphaned dolphin named Flipper and they have an amazing adventure together.

Holiday in the Sun

This 2001 flick starring Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen set in the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas is a throwback to the classic summer beach movies. Here the twins manage to foil an international smuggling ring while still falling in love and having summer fun. Good for tweens and teens.

Dirty Dancing

While this is not a beach movie, this iconic 1987 movie takes place in a Catskill mountains summer resort. It is a classic love story when good girl Baby, Jennifer Grey, falls for bad boy dance instructor Johnny, Patrick Swayze. The movie takes place in the politically charged times of the early 60s. Watch and have the time of your life.

The Goonies

This 1985 family friendly movie that will appeal to tweens is a classic summer movie. A group of friends discover an old map and try to find buried treasure before a family of crooks find it first. Starring Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, and Ke Huy Quan.

The Endless Summer

This 1966 surfing movie follows two surfers as they travel around the world seeking the perfect wave. They travel crossing between the hemispheres in search of surfing weather hence the endless summer. Starring Robert August, Lord Blears, and Michael Hynson.The surfing songs will take you back to those simpler times.

Jaws

This 1975 Steven Spielberg thriller is about a resort town in New England where the hazy lazy days of summer are interrupted by a killer shark. The police chief, Roy Schneider, teams up with marine biologist, Richard Dreyfuss, and grizzly shark hunter, Robert Shaw, to capture the shark. Don’t go in the water!

BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.