yes, walking the beach is a time honored tradition!
wouldn't be ambergris without that walk home at night.....
we swim all over, off any pier in sight. many hotels have a section of beach that they clear and make nicer for swimming. but some places the bottom is soft, and squishy for walking. one can still in those places lay in the water and cool off. and there are plenty of places that have a nice tended beach.
many piers have a turtle-grass cleared area off of them for swimming. no shortage of ways to get wet.