Take a Break South of the Border

Before relocating to the east coast, once or twice a year my husband and I would make the drive from Texas to the DMV. As you can imagine there would be many stops to fill up on gas, or snacks, take a restroom break or even get a good night’s rest.

One attraction where we were almost guaranteed to stop would be just before we would get to the North Carolina/South Carolina border. In case you have never heard of it or been fortunate enough to stop there, let me introduce you to South of the Border.

Welcome Sign | South of the Border | Dillon, South Carolina

South of the Border is not just a destination, it is an attraction. This attraction has been a pit stop in my husband’s family for years. His parents when they traveled back and forth from Texas during the summer months would stop here with their family of seven. And now, for nostalgia’s sake he was determined to make it a part of our family travel plans.

95 Billboard | South of the Border | Dillon, South Carolina

South of the Border is a rest area that has gas stations, restrooms, restaurants, souvenir shops, a 300 room motel and more. You cannot miss it on I-95 going either way because there are over 100 billboards that alert you to how much closer you are to all that South of the Border has to offer. Once you’ve arrived, you’ll see a large welcome sign that includes Pedro, the Mexican bandit. Large is an understatement, because Pedro in his sombrero stand at approximately 100 feet tall, and he’s considered as the mascot of the 350-acre wonderland.

Pedro | South of the Border | Dillon, South Carolina

Some of the other features you will see on the grounds of South of the Border are a mini golf range, Pet Restroom, a Reptile Lagoon with real live animals, fireworks store, hat store, leather store, various souvenir shops with trinkets imported from Mexico, and the 200-foot observation tower with a sombrero shaped observation deck. For the kids there is Pedroland Park which includes a merry-go-round, playground, ferris wheel, bumper cars, arcades, picnic area and more.

If you’re hungry, you have your choice of six restaurants including a steakhouse, ice cream shop, or cheap eats like tamales, hotdogs, cheese fries, etc. To wash it down you can pick up a six pack of one of my favorite drinks from either of the souvenir shops, Bleinheim Ginger Ale. For me this is the reason I stop at On the Border. I was introduced to this drink here by my husband’s uncle, and if there sell it anywhere else I don’t want to know about it. This ginger ale, with three different brews of potency, is for real ginger ale lovers. The “hot” or “red cap” has cured me of colds, fevers, small pox…The stuff is seriously strong!

So much to see and do at South of the Border. As many times as we’ve been I’ve yet to discover it all. Stop here to rest, refuel, or just to be amused by the chaos you see. At least take a cheesy picture so you’ll remember that you were there.