Yup, you got it. Another installment of Odd America. This one is actually pretty well-known, but ya know, it’s still odd. It’s none other than South of the Border, America’s favorite highway oasis. Said another way, an insanely glorified rest stop off I95, just “south of the border” between North Carolina and South Carolina.
And if you happen to be travelling southbound on I95, don’t worry. You wont miss it. The giant billboards start about 150 miles up the highway. After reading all the goofy lines on them, you cant help but stop. And what will you find when you get there? … Pedro. In all his glory. (Pedro is the little (actually quite huge) Mexican dude you will find all over South of the Border. In fact, you’re greeted by a 97-foot Pedro, who greets you as you drive in to this funky mini town.)
If you’re hungry, you can eat at any of the six eating establishments, including The Sombrero Restaurant, Pedro’s Hot Tamale and Pedro’s Diner. Looking for a little bit of entertainment amidst your travels? Check out the Reptile Lagoon, the 200-ft Sombrero Tower that you can ride to the top of, or Pedroland (more of a kid thing). And of course, the goofy gift shops are all over.
So when we rolled in to South of the Border, it was far from peak season, because it was pretty dead. This was fine with me, because, personally, I just wanted to SEE and photograph this crazy place. You know me, anything goofy and out of the ordinary are right up my ally. So I would recommend stopping if you have a funky sense of humor and can appreciate giant statues of Mexican dudes, cactuses and pink flamingos. If you’re the serious type, you’ll think the place is completely ridiculous. Which, of course, it is. But some of us like the ridiculous.