The beach has been in all of the animal crossing games so far, and it is a lovely place to have a stroll, catch some fish and collect shells. In previous games, you could find coconuts and bottle messages on the shore. It is believed this is so in New Leaf too.
In New Leaf, the player can walk barefoot on the beach, which could not be done in previous games. From the beach, they can travel in Capp'n's boat to the Island, where they can play minigames and catch Summer fish and bugs. On the beach, they can catch fish for saltwater critters and find shells on the sand. These shells can later be sold for bells. The player can also put on their swimming suit and dive into the sea, where the character will swim, splash and dive.