Sandycove is well known for its (formerly) gentlemen's bathing place, the Forty Foot, which in the past afforded a quiet swimming haven for males only. This remains a popular bathing place but now, mixed bathing is permissible.
James Joyce lived for a time in a Martello Tower situated beside the Forty Foot bathing place at Sandycove. The opening scene of Joyce's Ulysses is set in this tower, which now hosts a small Joycean museum, open in summer time. Bloomsday is celebrated in Sandycove in Joyce's honour on the 16th of June every year.