Kiawah's Beachwalker Park makes national list for top beaches

Beachwalker Park (courtesy CCPRC)

KIAWAH, S.C. (WCIV)-- Every Memorial Day weekend since 1991, Dr. Beach has released his list ofAmerica's Best Beaches and this year, Kiawah Island and the CCPRC made the cut.Stephen P. Leatherman, also known as Dr. Beach, is the director of the Laboratory for Coastal Researchat Florida International University. His list of the top ten beaches in the nation makes headlinesevery year.This year, Kiawah Beachwalker Park, operated by the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission,beat out Cape Hatteras in North Carolina for the #9 spot.The number one spot went to San Diego's Coronado Beach. It's most recognized for the sprawlingred-roofed Hotel del Coronado, which is so iconic developers at Walt Disney World modeled a resortafter it.The full list of 2012 Best Beaches: Coronado Beach San Diego, California Kahanamoku Beach Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii Main Beach East Hampton, New York St. George Island State Park Florida panhandle Hamoa Beach, Maui, Hawaii Coast Guard Beach Cape Cod, Massachusetts Waimanalo Bay Beach Park Oahu, Hawaii Cape Florida State Park Key Biscayne, Florida Beachwalker Park Kiawah Island, South Carolina Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks of North CarolinaDr. Beach's list is based on a 50 factor criteria which he developed to rate each beach, includingsand softness, rip currents, amount of algae in the water and the smell of the air. He also factors inplentiful wildlife, annoying pests like mosquitoes and jellyfish and even more annoying pests likelitterbugs.Beachwalker Park is the only public beach on Kiawah Island and features both the ocean and a riverview.If you would like to check out one of the best beaches in the nation, the park's hours are from 9 a.m.until 7 p.m. It's located on the west end of Kiawah Island at 8 Beachwalker Drive.