A Closer Look At Hilton Head: Mid-Island

In the first part of this series on Moving to Hilton Head, we took a closer look at The North End of Hilton Head, (you can read that post here)  In Part 2 of our series we are moving a little further south to what the locals refer to as Mid-Island.

Mid Island really spans from Port Royal Plantation and the Folly Field Area down past Palmetto Dunes, and transforming into the South End around Leamington.  Now some may argue that Port Royal is North End, and Leamington is South End.  So proceed with caution, there is no hard fast line on our micro regions!

Mid Island is deemed by many the absolute best spot to live.  Being Mid-Island gives you easy access to absolutely everything Hilton Head has to offer.  Starting with Port Royal Plantation, home to a beautiful residential section with ocean front luxury as well as the world Renown Westin Resort and Spa, Port Royal Plantation also boasts one of the 9 Marriot Vacation Resorts on the Island and plays host to The Concourse de Elegance.

Just past Port Royal Plantation you will stumble upon Folly Field, this is a very charming and beachy community, home to many of the first beach cottages that were built on Hilton Head prior to the bridge being built.  There are a variety of homes in Folly Field, everything from a vintage 1960’s beach bungalow to beautiful new homes that have been built in recent years.  The draw of Folly Field is the access and proximity to the beach with the mid island location.

Tucked into Folly Field are a few things to note, there are two public beach accesses in Folly Field.  One is Folly Field Beach, and the other is Islander’s Beach.  If the beach is not be at the top of your moving to Hilton Head List, there are many other mid-island activites to keep you busy.

As you keep moving south, you are going to come to Palmetto Dunes and Shelter Cove. This is the heart of the Mid-Island Region.  Palmetto Dunes is a world renown Vacation Resort, Golf Destination as well as Residential area. What makes Palmetto Dunes stand apart from the rest of the island is an 11 mile lagoon system enjoyable by electric boat or kayak, this maze of brackish water was man made to assist in water management.  Shelter Cove is across 278 from Palmetto Dunes and plays an important role in the Summer Entertainment on Hilton Head.  Shelter Cove Marina offers great shops and restaurants among the docks, The Disney Hilton Head Resort is tucked here on the water, as is the Brand New Shelter Cove Towne Center.  The Rooftop at Poseidon is a brand new entertainment venue bringing in national touring names such as Donovan Frankenreiter and Edwin McCain, as well as many of our local entertainers.

If you weave your way south down Spanish Wells Road, you will also find yourself deep into Mid-Island Real Estate, many options here for mid-island living including the New Construction Silver Moss Community, Gold Oak, and Silver Oak, and ending at the beautiful peninsula of Spanish Wells.

With Mid-Island Living you have access to lots of shopping and dining options, as well as short, easy access to the South End, the North End, and quick off island access.

Let one of our experienced agents show you fabulous options Mid-Island in all price ranges.

Holy Guacamole!

Living on an island you would expect to find lots and lots of seafood restaurants, and you will.  Some are amazing, some are tourist traps.  I delve deeper into seafood options in a coming blog.  I was completely surprised however by the quality of the Mexican food.  There are some great options if you are looking for a Mexican feast.  Before we moved from the Philadelphia area, I anticipated great low country fare, seafood and Smoked BBQ.  I was absolutely not expecting good pizza, anything that resembled a real cheesesteak or a hoagie.  I once read about a Mexican restaurant somewhere on the island that was back in a corporate park with tables in the parking lot.  According to the article I read, it was the best kept secret for good Mexican food on Hilton Head Island, we looked for it when we first moved here and I haven’t looked for it again, but I will.

It is either an awesome secret, or is gone because we couldn’t find it.   After searching the corporate parks for this hidden gem, and not being able to find it, we decided to head over to Shelter Cove.

Love all the flowers.

Love all the flowers.

Shelter Cove is a waterfront complex with shops, restaurants, and a marina.  I am sucker for a marina, it takes me back to my youth, sadly, the farther I get from my youth the more I like to revisit it with memories.   If you are looking for Shelter Cove, don’t use the Mall at Shelter Cove as a land mark.  As I type, they are tearing it down.

Good Bye Mall:(

Good Bye Mall.  I had never been, I prefer to preserve my big hair and mall memories from Exton and King of Prussia.

Good Bye 1987....out with the Mall.  Malls were what we did back in the day.

They are putting in retail shops, restaurants and another grocery store.


You can still expect to see the huge statue of Neptune welcoming you to Shelter Cove.

soccer and blog pics birthday too 359

Fantastic Photo Op, and fireworks on Tuesday nights in the summer.


Tucked all the way to the left, past the rocking chairs, ice cream place and boats, you will find a little gem we stumbled upon, San Miguel’s.  They have an outside ‘tiki’ bar, live music, tables on a patio with big ceiling fans overhead, air conditioned traditional Mexican decor inside, and a very diverse menu.  I always order Mexican when I go to a Mexican Restaurant.  It is my belief that when going ethnic, go ethnic.  My husband on the other hand loves the grouper sandwich from San Miquel’s.  I love their tacos, and fajitas and my kids love their chicken fingers, tacos, coloring pages and crayons.  San Miguel’s has very good food, a pleasant experience and a fantastic view.

Another Mexican experience I stumbled upon was when I was in the hospital when I had the baby.   I was an emotional hormonal mess, with a 12 hour old baby and no food. Bad Combination.  I cried when they came for my tray and it wasn’t there to remove.   Finally someone sent up a cheese burger wrapped in plastic that looked like it came from a vending machine, again the tears flowed.  The nurses were my great (gotta love a nurse) and the one nurse told me she would come back.  When she returned she was holding a generic white bag.  What she pulled out of the generic bag was so far from generic.  The nurses had ordered lunch from Fiesta Fresh and got an extra bit of deliciousness.  OH MY WORD….the contents of this bag were indescribable.  It was fresh greens in a crispy tortilla bowl, with spicy (but not too hot) shrimp with a cilantro cream dressing.  We had forever talked about having to check out Fiesta Fresh, but hadn’t made it there yet.  Fiesta Fresh is a small take out restaurant mid-island in the BiLo shopping center.

Although they just blend in from the outside, there is nothing boring about what comes out of their kitchen.

Although they just blend in from the outside, there is nothing boring about what comes out of their kitchen.

Authentic Mexican made fresh, with crisp produce, local shrimp and all the good stuff you always anticipate but don’t always get at other Mexican places.  If you are looking for something to take to the beach, bring a Fiesta Fresh Picnic, you won’t be disappointed.  There is not a lot of seating though, so I suggest Fiesta Fresh for a take-out night.

Finally there is what appears to be a little place on the northern end of the island.   It is a little hole in the wall type restaurant that if you drive by during their off time, you may be slightly hesitant to stop there.

This is the front of the building.

This is the front of the building.

(Something about it reminds me of a similar type spot in Richmond, VA Mama Zu’s)  Drive by during dinner and there is not a parking spot to be found.  The yellow paint, and spanish inspired archways welcome you to Mi Tierra.

Turn the corner and you find the 'real' entrance, complete with arches, and a big ol' gringo.

Turn the corner and you find the ‘real’ entrance, complete with arches, and a big ol’ gringo.

If you don’t care about the view, but are looking for truly authentic Mexican Cuisine and a to die for Margarita, check out Mi Tierr, it is a great spot.