I like to do both.
The beach local to my house is disgusting. Brown muddy water, known SHARK attacks, jellyfish everywhere. And then theres the beach riddled with trash, seaweed and dead jellyfish. Sooo yeah, I don't go to the beach! If I lived near a nice beach though, I'd be in the water!
I actually don't do either. I'm more of a go out to a sandbar and backflip off of it into the water kinda person, but I don't go to beaches. I ended up rushed into the Dentist office for an Emergency appointment once from people at the beach-_-
You left one out. I like to walk.
My favourite beach is at Mollymook on the N.S.W. South coast. It's two kilometres long and I always walk the length and back. Then I swim. Then I sit and read for a while, then swim again.
And I like to watch the sea eagles who live at the northern end of the beach. Magnificent birds.
Sand would be better.