15 Pop Culture Beach Parties We Want To Be At Right Now

Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
At every bar or bat mitzvah party I attended in my youth, the DJ would use the moment when everyone's energy had flagged to "take things down to Club Med." This usually consisted of a conga line set to "Feeling Hot, Hot Hot," followed by a limbo competition to "Going Loco Down in Acapulco," and a rousing group dance to "Hands Up" — complete with choreography even the most rhythmically challenged guests could master.

The fake trip to someplace tropical worked like a charm every time. Who doesn't dream of being someplace warm and sandy in the doldrums of winter or at a coming-of-age fête at an event hall in New Jersey? Even an imagined tropical vacation that solely existed through song, dance, and leis obtained from the Oriental Trading catalog sent people into spasms of ecstasy. That could also have been from the limbo, though. 

With that and the current temperature (36° in New York at the time I'm writing this) in mind, let's all take a journey through some of the best beach parties in pop culture history. We all deserve some fun in the sun, and if Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" video is the only way that's going to happen right now, so be it. Grab your towel and dive in. The water's warm and Zac Efron may very well be there, too.
1 of 16
Katy Perry, “Teenage Dream”
Let’s go all the way tonight. All the way to this beach party, we mean. No regrets — just fun.
2 of 16
High School Musical 2, “All For One”
This is technically a pool party, but just look at all the good, clean, Disney-approved fun the country club staff is having under the New Mexico sun. There’s a Hannah Montana cameo, a Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens-led dance-off between the boys and the girls, and (spoiler alert) everyone ends up in the pool. This party really has it all — until you try to order an alcoholic beverage.
3 of 16
Top Gun, Volleyball Scene
For the characters onscreen, it’s just a volleyball game. For us viewers, it’s a glistening abs party in the U.S.A. Over-under high fives all around.
4 of 16
How I Met Your Mother, “Sand Castles in the Sand”
Robin Sparkles isn’t really throwing a beach bash in this video; it’s more of a pity party for one. Canadian royalty Alan Thicke is there though, so that’s enough for us to want an invite.
5 of 16
One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful”
Don’t even try to pretend this beach romp doesn’t light up your world like nobody else.
6 of 16
Weekend at Bernie’s II
Well, maybe minus the dead guy.
7 of 16
Earth Girls Are Easy, “Cause I’m a Blonde”
Perfect for those of us who prefer our beach parties with a side of satire and social commentary.
8 of 16
Don’t worry, be happy.
9 of 16
Beach Party
Let’s all just twist again like we did last summer.
10 of 16
American Pie 2
Stifler forces Oz to interrupt an otherwise chill day at the beach.
11 of 16
Moonrise Kingdom
Ah, to be young runaways in love dancing on the sand in your skivvies.
12 of 16
Sabrina the Teenage Witch, “Beach Blanket Bingo”
The sitcom paid homage to the golden era of Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello beach party flicks in this time-traveling episode.
13 of 16
Blue Hawaii, "Rock a Hula, Baby"
Get lei'ed, Elvis-in-Hawaii-style.
14 of 16
Point Break, Football Game
"Lawyers don't surf!"

"This one does."

Classic Johnny Utah.
15 of 16
Beach Blanket Bingo
Compare this to the opening of Spring Breakers. It really was a simpler, less dub-steppy time.
16 of 16
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of entertainment news, celebrity updates, and cat videos on the Refinery29 Entertainment Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!

More from Movies


R29 Original Series