No. 3: Beachwalker Park - Kiawah Island, S.C.
Visitors to South Carolina will more likely have heard of South Carolina's most famous strand -- Myrtle Beach, long a tourism Mecca. But Beachwalker Park on Kiawah Island offers a purer beach experience for the sand and wildlife lover.
Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, world-renown as Dr. Beach and for his annual top-10 beaching rankings, listed Beachwalker at No. 6 on his list this year.
The place is aptly named -- perfect for a stroll down to St. Sam's Inlet, where visitors can see thousands of birds. A boardwalk winds through live oaks, pines and palmettos. Dr. Beach recommends visitors paddle through the tidal inlets by canoe or kayak.
Dr. Beach notes that the water is clean and home to seafood culled for fine low-country cooking. And he suggests bringing a bicycle -- the sand is compact enough to ride along the 10-mile long barrier island.
Best Beach No. 2: Sunshine State's Finest