KIAWAH ISLAND -- If South Carolina is really the eight- laziest state in the country, as a recent BusinessWeek ranking suggested, maybe it's just because of the beach.

"The gentle surf, wildlife sightings and amenities, including a snack bar and umbrella and chair rentals, draw day trippers and resort guests alike," cooed National Geographic magazine in a review of Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island.

Aaaah, that's more like it. Ease back in the beach chair, dig your toes into the soft warm sand, listen to the surf sizzle. We could protest that lazy rating, but it's just too much bother.

National Geographic rated Beachwalker fourth of the top 10 family-friendly beaches in a recent rating. It got beat by Edens like Hanalei Bay on Kauai. It bettered iconic beaches like Santa Cruz with its boardwalk and Ferris wheel.

Not too slouchy.

Listen to some more of the gush: "Nature lovers will appreciate the pristine condition of this barrier island, just 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Charleston. Beachwalker Park is the only public beach on Kiawah Island; the rest is a golf resort. ... Visit the Heron Park Nature Center to learn how to explore the surrounding flora and fauna. Kayak through preserved mangrove forests and lagoons. Don't miss the weekly oyster roast and BBQ on Mingo Point, where you can savor the sunset and listen to music."

Well, OK, sure. Beachwalker is trendy. The park on the east end of the tony resort is as nice as any of the Charleston County Park and Recreation beach stops. It also made the Top 10 list of "Dr. Beach" earlier this year.

But the magazine's spies didn't see the half of it -- the partylike frolic of Folly Beach, the sedate history of Sullivan's Island, the swarm of beachgoers on Isle of Palms. Heck, they missed the vintage beachtown of Edisto and the remote wilderness feel of Botany Bay.

Aah, man. It's enough to take the wind out you. Just settle back.

Reach Bo Petersen at 937-5744 or