Personally, I'm quite happy with the 24-70 f/2.8L and the 70-200 f/2.8L IS. The latter is clearly more useful wide open, but that may not be necessary, depending on subject distance. I like the 70-200 best because it allows me to keep extra distance, and it can help you get some really nice candid shots.
The bonus of these is that they're both sealed against dust and moisture, something you might appreciate on the beach.
The 24-105mm f/4L IS that Hank mentions is also sealed against dust and moisture, and is also probably a very good choice.
But these lenses are all expensive.
If you don't mind not having a zoom, consider the 85mm f/1.8 or the 100mm f/2.8 Macro; they're both well known for very good image quality, and although the bokeh of the f/1.8 doesn't quite match that of its more expensive brother f/1.2L, it's still very pleasing in the shots I have seen taken with it.
Another lens that always receives praise, is the 135mm f/2L. I have tested one of these myself, and it's so deliciously good that I almost had to tie my arms behind my back not to buy one, in spite of the price.