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The two RV Gypsies went to
"South of The Border"
in South Carolina
and Lee tried on some crazy hats
October 15, 2014
USA map showing NC and SCmap of South Carolina showing location of South of the Border

South of the Border is a rest stop and roadside attraction on Interstate 95 and US Highway 301/501 between Dillon, South Carolina, and Rowland, North Carolina. It is so named because it is just south of the border between North Carolina and South Carolina. The rest area contains restaurants, gas stations, a motel, a small amusement park, shopping, and fireworks. Its mascot is Pedro, a Mexican bandito.

South of the Border sign

istory bookSouth of the Border was developed by Alan Schafer (1914 – July 19, 2001), who founded a beer stand at the location in 1949, chosen because of its location adjacent to Robeson County which was at one time, one of many dry North Carolina counties. Business was steadily expanded with Mexican trinkets and numerous kitsch items. He had a great deal of success turning South of the Border into a "tourist mecca". He grew his small business into what was, by local standards, an economic empire. South of the Border grew to over a square mile, required its own infrastructure, and had its own fire and police departments. Assisting in this growth was the fact that the new (at the time) Interstate 95 and the existing US 301 criss-crosses at the site of the South of the Border complex. Schafer became reclusive, building a large compound of interconnected houses outside the Dillon city limits. At South of the Border, he kept secret apartments hidden in the backs of restaurants and shops.

South of the Border serves as a rest stop for vacationers and tourists traveling to and from Florida. US 501 is also the main route to Myrtle Beach. The revenues generated from the higher than average numbers of patrons allowed South of the Border to grow and expand into the Mexican theme kitsch location it is today.

Karen and Lee first visited South of the Border in 1975 with their children. That Flashback is shown at the bottom of this page.

South of the Border tower and Mexican hat
South of the Border tower and Mexican hat and Pedro

The 165-foot tall Sombrero Tower, built in the 1970's, is one of its main attractions, as is the South of the Border's large neon welcome sign with Pedro who straddles the SOB entrance. At 97-feet tall it is "the largest freestanding sign east of the Mississippi."

tower and sombrero
giant South of the Border Mexican man

The lovable mascot of the place is Pedro, a grinning moustached caricature topped with an over-sized sombrero. Pedro speaks from the billboards, and he is everywhere.

Pedro

Below are photos of the two RV Gypsies with another Pedro.

Karen Duquette and Pedro
Lee Duquette and Pedro
a spotted elephant
a blue gorilla
moose
South of the Border hound dog
Lee Duquette and a big bull
slot machine cow
cacti Pedro
yellow horse with blue tail and mane
two big roosters

A gorilla grabs Karen Duquettelaughing clipart dude

Lee fights with a big gorilla

a gorilla grabs Karen Duquette
Lee fights with a big gorilla
mural on a wall
camel in a Mexican hat

Lee Duquette tried on some different hats

Lee Duquette in a witch hat
Lee Duquette gets into regaee
Lee Duquette and his dinosaur buddy
Lee Duquette gets colorful
Lee Duquette is ready for New Years' Eve with this hat
Mexican hat is bigger than Lee
Scary dude
fish head
gator head
scaly dude
Lee Duquette gets crabby

FLASHBACK to 1975 - South of the Border with Renee and Brian Duquette

FLASHBACK to 1975 FLASHBACK to 1975
Brian Duquette
FLASHBACK to 1975
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Menu for the two RV Gypsies in South Carolina
October 15 - 18, 2014
You may visit these four sections in any order you choose. There is also a link to Georgia below.

South of the Border

Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet

Seafood Festival in Bluffton

Hilton Head Island

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go to the next adventure of the two RV GypsiesAFTER you have enjoyed all four sections above, please continue on to the USA State of Georgia.