What is this crazy place on Highway 95 that the billboards announce for hundreds of miles? “You never sausage such a place!” “Backup amigo. You missed it. Pedro so sad.” “Making Whoopee. South of the Border.”
If you are looking for a funky, old-school tourist trap, take a break at the last offramp on Hwy 95 heading north in South Carolina. It is just south of the border!
How Did South of the Border Start?
So here’s the story. In 1948, Mr. Schafer built a small beer stand. As it was on the North Carolina border, and counties of North Carolina were dry, he had a roaring business. In 10 years, Mr. Schaefer added a grill. Ten years later a motel. The South of the Border tourist trap was on a roll.
So who is Pedro? Well that one’s pretty easy. Mr. Schafer took a trip to Mexico to buy imports for his growing business. He met two young men who wanted to relocate to the US. He sponsored the kids, gave them a job and eventually they became citizens. Pedro was one of those two young men. Soon, he was part of the story.
So Isn’t This Place Politically Incorrect?
In classic 50’s style, South of the Border does not show a great deal of “cultural sensitivity”. But in truth, there is no insult to our neighbors to the South. It’s a riot of color and joy and great Mexican food. Perhaps the sensitives among us will be concerned. But the rest of us can just enjoy the goofy artwork and silly jokes.
What About the Goofy Billboards?
Mr. Schafer designed most of the billboards himself. At one time there were 250 billboards up and down Highway 95. There are fewer now, but they still ensure that you cannot miss them.
Come for the Crazy “Artwork”
If you let the kid in you come out, you will love the fun statues. Dinosaurs, gorillas, hot dogs (dogs I mean, that are long and skinny). Don’t forget the 97′ high Pedro that you can drive under.
Lots of O
ther Reasons to Stop
Don’t forget to have dinner. Grab snacks at the pantry. Get gas! There is a small RV park that is being expanded this year. The original motel is still operating. It’s a funny, fun place to stop on your trip up and down Highway 95.