The Go-Go’s, “Vacation” (1982)
The cooing voice of Belinda Carlisle is light and fluffy enough for any day at the beach (or, for the hopelessly landlocked, the apartment pool).
Fantasia, “Summertime” (2004)
Grab an ice-cold lemonade and a seat on the porch and let this American Idol winner take you to a simpler time with her rendition of a Cole Porter standard.
Beach Boys/David Lee Roth, “California Girls” (1965/ 1985)
You can go the classic route with the Beach Boys or the slightly sleazy way with Diamond Dave. Either way, the song is perfect for any road-trip sing-along.
Neon Indian, “Deadbeat Summer” (2009)
Technically, this tune is the most modern of the bunch. But give it a listen and you’ll swear you’re listening to a bizarro AM radio station from another decade.
DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, “Summertime” (1991)
Before Will Smith became the biggest box-office star in the world, he and his hip-hop partner crafted this classic that covers everything fun about the season.