A towel is a towel is a towel, right? In fact, there are several traits that distinguish a beach towel from a bath towel. Possibly a small detail may have escaped you, but in fact beach towels are generally longer and wider than bath towels. This is primarily because... well let's face it, how often do you lay your bath towel on the floor of your bathroom and lie on it? And yet, most people spend more seconds per beach visit actually lying on their towels than drying themselves off with them. So in the case of beach towels, size does matter.
A second important trait of a beach towel is less functional and more aesthetic - appearance. Beach towels are undeniably fashion accessories. Can you remember the widely varied and unique types of bath towels you have encountered during your life? Probably not. I know I definitely can't. On the other hand, beach towels are infinitely more stylish. Its safe to say that, over the average lifespan of a beach towel they are viewed by non-immediate family members exponentially more than bath towels. Beach towels are a statement to the beach-going public about their owner's personal style. Classic cabana stripe, boho-hippie geometric design, trendy fauta with tassels, and "Life's Better At The Beach" quotes are just naming a few.
The final important trait of a beach towel is durability. While occasionally subjected to strange and unique circumstances (some of which I shudder to imagine) the average bath towel pretty much rotates from towel rack, to wet body, to washing machine and back to towel rack, with varying frequency of each. In comparison, a beach towel's day in the life starts at sandy coastline and could move to sand-removal snapping, to vigorous rubbing of a chlorine or salt crusted body, to picnic blanket, to exposure for several days to the natural elements to dry without being properly rinsed of sand, salt, chlorine or jellyfish slime. Yup, undoubtedly beach towels require a construction with a certain long-lasting ruggedness in mind.
Have I convinced you of the need to shop for your next beach towel with three important characteristics in mind? If not, that's fine too. Truly the beach would be a boring place if everyone showed up with the same idea of a beach towel around their neck. So bring on the creativity and diversity!