Charleston’s Beachwalker Park one of nation’s top 10 beaches, Dr. Beach says

Three-year-old Isabella Rodarte enjoyed a day at Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island in April. (Paul Zoeller/

The self-proclaimed ”Dr. Beach” has released his top 10 spots in the country to enjoy the sun and surf, and once again Charleston County’s Beachwalker Park is on the list.

The public beach on Kiawah Island came in at No. 10. Topping the list was the beach in East Hampton, N.Y..

Dr. Beach is Dr. Stephen Leatherman, director of the Laboratory for Coastal Research at Florida International University. He has ranked the top 10 U.S. beaches list every year since 1991. He bases his findings on 50 criteria, such as water and sand quality, facilities available, and trash maintenance .

Beachwalker Park was ranked No. 7 in 2011. It is the only public beach access on Kiawah and is operated through an agreement involving Kiawah Partners, Charleston County Council and the county Park & Recreation Commission. The lease runs through 2075.

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Leatherman this year alluded to “concerns” about Kiawah Partners’ proposed development of nearby aera known as Captain Sam’s Spit.

Beachwalker is open from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Admission for a standard-size vehicle is $8.

The entire 10-mile beachfront along Kiawah made Leatherman’s Top 10 in 2001.