Odd Roadside Attraction – Explore South of the Border SC

As we travel around the country, we never give up the opportunity to visit an odd roadside attraction when we see one. You can learn about some of the more unique attractions we have visited on our Roadside Attractions blog post. Living on the East Coast, we have traveled I-95 extensively. If you have ever traveled along I-95 anywhere near the North Carolina – South Carolina border, you have undoubtedly seen  South of the Border, one of the East Coast’s odd roadside attractions.

You can not miss this rest stop because of the numerous signs seen for many miles around the area. Therefore, this odd roadside attraction is easy to access if you are traveling along the east coast. 

South of the Border is located on Interstate 95, US Highway 301, and US 501 in Hamer, South Carolina, just south of Rowland, North Carolina.

There are around 175 billboards north and south from the Virginia/North Carolina state lines to the South Carolina/Georgia state lines. Most of the South of the Border signs are on I-95. You may also see them north and south on Highway 301/501, and east and west on Highway 9 & 17.

I95 South of the Border Billboard

South of the Border Facts

  • Located off I-95 Exit 1A in Dillon, South Carolina, along US 501
  • 1949, it was founded by Alan Schafer as South of the Border Beer Depot. 
  • 1954, 20 Hotel rooms were added, and the name was shortened to South of the Border
  •  1962 South of the Border expanded into fireworks sales
  • 1964 Interstate 95 was built next to the South of the Border
  • The mid-1960s broadened to include a barbershop, drug store, a variety store, a post office, an outdoor go-kart track complete with other outdoor recreational facilities, and the 104-foot-tall mascot, Pedro.
odd roadside attraction

Five Things to Do at South of the Border


Sombrero RestaurantNamed for the design of the building, a sombrero. A cozy family-style restaurant on the complex’s north side serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Pedros Hot TamaleFast food South of the Border Style. Here, you will find quick food items such as chicken tenders, burgers, tacos, and Pedro’s famous tamales.

Peddler Steak House – A traditional steakhouse that serves steaks, prime rib, chicken breasts, savory seafood & salads. This South of the Borders take on the classic American restaurant is only open for dinner.

Pedro’s Ice Cream Fiestaoffers a variety of treats for the entire family looking to cool down after a long ride.


The Mexico Shop – There are two different locations to grab your South of the Border souvenirs. Mexico Shop East is the oldest store on the grounds and is home to the famous 97-foot-tall statue of Pedro. Mexico Shop West is the largest shop located here. You will be able to find just about anything with either Perdo on it, the South of the Border logo, or both.

Fort Pedro – This is reported to be the most extensive fireworks stock on the East Coast. You will be sure to find whatever fireworks you need here at the fort.


Reptile Lagoon – This is the newest addition to South of the Border. Reptile Lagoon is the largest indoor reptile exhibit in the U.S. It includes a collection of snakes, alligators, crocodiles, and turtles.

Pedro Land ParkThis is a small amusement park for kids. It includes small rides such as a carousel, a Ferris wheel, and bumper cars. It is also the home of two 18-hole mini-golf courses. This is a great spot to let the kids run around and stretch after a long car ride. 

Sombrero TowerA 200-foot tower with a large sombrero topping it off. During the daytime, its observation deck is open to visitors. The low cost is only $2 to take the elevator to the top. Once you have reached the top, you can walk around the brim of the sombrero for an unobstructed 360-degree view of the Border. Its bright neon lights can be seen for many miles along I-95 at night, beckoning travelers to stop for a much-needed break.


South of the Border Motor Inn – This hotel offers travelers a number of recently renovated rooms to choose from. From a standard economy room to 2-room King suites, rooms meet all needs. The hotel also offers outdoor and indoor pools. An excellent option for a nighttime stop-over while traveling I-95. 

Camp Pedro – Like many modern RV parks, Camp Pedro offers back-in sites, 30-amp pull-throughs, and 50-amp pull-throughs. The park is working to expand to add more sites with patio areas for Class A and Class C RVs. All sites are paved. Campers will have access to laundry rooms, bathhouses inside the campground, and stores within walking distance. 


Sunoco Gas Stations – Two self-serve Sunoco gas stations are available for drivers. They are both open 24 hrs and offer gas and small convenience stores for snacks, coffee, and other needs. 

Pedro’s Truck Stop – This is a diesel truck stop for over-the-road truckers traveling north and south on I-95. This truck stop offers DEF, supplies for big rig truckers, and showers. 

odd roadside attraction

Our South of the Border Review| A Corny & Certainly Odd Roadside Attraction

During our travel around the U.S., we have seen a lot of interesting sights. South of the Border is one roadside attraction that we will not forget for sure. 

We finally decided to stop and look around because in today’s climate it doesn’t seem like a roadside attraction based on a Mexican stereotype can survive much longer. It was something we have driven by many times, something we have read about and were genuinely curious about what South of the Border really was all about. 

We were driving south to Myrtle Beach in our Rv, and this would be our last fuel stop before reaching Ocean Lakes Family Campground, Myrtle Beach. 

We choose option #5 in the above list of things to do, and our stop was not very long. However, the people we encountered were extremely polite and very helpful. 

Well, it was everything we expected. It looked its age and reminded us of an old carnival, or county fair. We could certainly understand how it could be considered un-PC in today’s climate. 

The Mexico shop was huge and we could literally find just about any type of souvenir with the logo on it. We ended up picking up a coffee mug to add to our collection, and a magnet to add to the Rv. 

For travelers, this odd roadside attraction is a great place to stop, stretch, and take a look around. It is far different than the typical rest area or welcome center found up and down Interstate 95. 

We love to hear from our followers. Please leave a comment below. 

Have you ever stopped at South of the Border? How was your experience? Are there any other odd roadside attractions you have visited?

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We are a  family of four who travels all around the country in a small RV.

So far we have RV camped in 33 different States, visited 14 National Parks, and 17 National Park Sites. 

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