KIAWAH, S.C. (WCIV)-- Every Memorial Day weekend since 1991, Dr. Beach has released his list of
America'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 Research at Florida International University. His list of the top ten beaches in the nation makes headlines every 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 sprawling red-roofed Hotel del Coronado, which is so iconic developers at Walt Disney World modeled a resort after 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 Carolina
Dr. Beach's list is based on a 50 factor criteria which he developed to rate each beach, including sand softness, rip currents, amount of algae in the water and the smell of the air. He also factors in plentiful wildlife, annoying pests like mosquitoes and jellyfish and even more annoying pests like litterbugs.
Beachwalker Park is the only public beach on Kiawah Island and features both the ocean and a river view. 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.