11 Memorable Feel-Good Summer Songs

These songs will make you want to hit the beach and dance to the summer heat.

California summer surf musinc.

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With the days getting longer and hotter, it’s clear that summer has arrived. And there’s nothing like listening to iconic summer songs to bring you back to simpler times like driving to the beach while soaking in the rays and listening to music on the radio.

While the beach may still not be an option for everyone, listening to these 11 nostalgic tunes could make you feel the warm sun, hear the surf, smell the suntan lotion, and remember summer romances from long ago.

Summer in the City

This 1966 classic by The Lovin Spoonful was a number one hit. That summer in New York City was filled with protests and a brutal heatwave, according to the New York Times, but a new musical  movement was happening in Greenwich Village and “Summer in the City” captured the moment. You can absolutely feel the heat on the sidewalk and the tension in the air as you dance the night away

California Girls

It wouldn’t be summer without the Beach Boys. Rolling Stone wrote that “California Girls” is the song that established the bands worldview that summer in Los Angeles is paradise. Released in 1965 it was part of the surfing culture that took the world by storm.

Boys of Summer

Released in 1984, Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer” is about the end of youth and entering middle age while also remembering a past romance according to Smooth Radio. This is something that everyone can relate to but “remember,” the song cautions; “you can never look back.”

Under the Boardwalk

This 1964 hit by the Drifters makes you feel the sand crunching between your toes and think about getting cozy with the one you love on a blanket according to Time Out. “Under the Boardwalk” is a real feel-good song.

Summer Breeze

Nothing says summer like this harmony driven folk-pop song from 1972. “Summer Breeze” by Seals & Crofts really captured the essence of the season. This song is so popular that a harder rock version was recorded by The Isley Brothers in 1974. Listen to the original relaxing version to get some summer chill going on.

Hot Fun in the Summertime

Sly and the Family Stone released this hit song in 1969 just after Woodstock. “Hot Fun in the Summertime” really represents summer, according to Rolling Stone. Just listen and you can feel the heat and taste the backyard barbecue.

Summer of 69

This 1985 Bryan Adams song originally titled “The Best Years of My Life” is a story about coming of age and having to choose between settling down or trying to become a rock star. Although the singer was young in 1969, the year is reminiscent of the changing times after Woodstock and the summer of love.

It's Summer

The empress of soul – Gladys Knight along with the Pips – welcomes the warm weather in this 1969 ode to the season. After all, Time Out notes that “Its Summer” is one of the best summer songs of all time.

On the Beach

This 1986 song by Chris Rea was inspired by Formentera – A Spanish Island—according to Smooth Radio. The light jazzy sound of “On the Beach” is perfect for a walk on the beach and watching the waves with the person you love.

Wipe Out

Of course, a surfing song is a must for a summer song list. Who can forget the eerie laugh that opened this 1963 hit? “Wipe Out” is an instrumental song that set the tone for all the surfing songs that followed in the early 1960s. It really makes you want to go catch a wave.

Sun is Shining

This summer classic by reggae icon Bob Marley and the Wailers will make you want to chill out on the beach while sipping a tropical drink and tapping your feet to the beat according to Time Out. “The Sun is shining” came out in 1971 and was only performed live twice. It's a great feel-good song.