Driving down I-95 past the array of charming towns in South Carolina, you’ll start to noticed outlandish billboards every few miles, advertising Pedro’s famous South of the Border attraction. What can only be described as a rest stop-resort hybrid, everything at the quirky destination is dated, stuck in the 1960s. A hotel, RV site, shopping, restaurants, carnival rides, crazy animal statues and a giant sombrero tower are all mashed up in this strange yet charming Mexico-inspired destination directly off the interstate.
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There may not be 5-star amenities at the “resort”, but it certainly offers a unique vacation destination with a quirky “blast from the past” theme. As a quick stop for a little shut-eye, the basic motor inn rooms can definitely meet the need, while providing lots of amusement in the surrounding grounds. So bunking up for the night can certainly be an adventure, and there’s even an indoor pool with a glass dome above.
A handful of on-site restaurants offer either chargrilled steaks, Mexican food, ice cream and snack foods like fries and sandwiches— with many visitors speaking highly of the eateries. Fair rides like the famous Himalaya, a Ferris wheel, bumper cars, virtual reality experiences, tiny planes and a train can be enjoyed within Pedroland, the on-site theme park. Because why wouldn’t there be a mini fair here? An arcade sits at the base of the giant sombrero as well, and two “championship” mini golf courses that offer 18 holes each of putting fun.
South of the Border makes for a phenomenal pit stop when traveling along the east coast states. Bathrooms are cleaner than any rest stop, and convenience stores along with souvenir and fireworks shops offer unique selections, including a colorful array of sombreros. Riding up the neon-lit observation tower takes mere minutes and provides views of South Carolina’s natural beauty and the pleasantly quirky theme destination. A reptile exhibit, or lagoon rather, is a newer attraction where the family can see gators, snakes and other slithery animals. Last but not least, snag some pictures of you and your travel buddies riding the variety of animal statues strewn about.
South of the Border is genuinely an awesome addition to South Carolina. There’s something very exciting when you start spotting the pun-filled advertisements on the roadsides. Kids love it, adults love it, as it adds a strange but welcomed sparkle to any southeastern road trip. If you ever get the chance to stop at this iconic “oasis”, you’re genuinely in for a treat.
South of the Border
Address: 3346 Highway 301 North Hamer, SC 29547