THE OFFICIAL SITE OF SOUTH OF THE BORDER.

Archive for January, 2010

Rise Up: Sombrero Observation Tower

Monday, January 25th, 2010

sombrero_observation_towerThe Sombrero Tower rises above the flat Dillon, South Carolina countryside surrounding South of the Border like the Space Needle rises above Seattle. It signals the end of your journey to America’s Favorite Roadside Attraction. It also signals the beginning of a fun-filled time exploring the numerous shops, arcades, restaurants and stores of South of the Border. The 200 foot tall Sombrero Tower was considered the World’s Largest Sign until just a few years ago. At night, its neon glow can be seen for many miles up and down Interstate 95, beckoning weary travelers to stop for a much needed break.

Recently South of the Border has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation project.  The Sombrero Tower’s once vibrant southwest color scheme had become faded after years of rain, snow and blistering summertime South Carolina sun. Some of the neon tubes had lost their luster or had burned out. Pedro has changed all that!! Now its warm orange, yellow and green hues glisten and sparkle in the sunlight. At night, the new neon lights blaze and twinkle in the Dillon night sky like a sombrero-shaped alien spacecraft is about to land on the grounds of South of the Border.

During the daytime, The Sombrero Tower’s Observation Deck lets you see the lush green North and South Carolina countryside for long stretches in all directions. As you glide to the top in the glass elevator, you begin to see the grounds of South of the Border from an entirely new angle. The ride is a mere 10 pesos, but Pedro will make it $1 for all his friends. Once you’re high atop the tower you can walk around of the brim of the sombrero for an unobstructed 360 degree view of The Border and beyond.

Visitors have taken some amazing photos from high atop The Sombrero Observation Deck. Here, Derek Lee Anderson checks out the lush fields around South of the Border. On the site Panoramio, Starrider99 took this amazing shot from the south side of The Sombrero. You can see the Pedroland Amusement Park on the left side of the photo, and I-95 South on the right side.  This video shows a family having a fun day at The Border, and taking a ride to the top.  Jacob K. has this shimmering nighttime photo of the neon lights in his Flickr stream, which reminds Pedro of something. You can now follow Pedro on your choice of social media sites. Our official Facebook site can be found here, and Sherry Lynch of the famous radio DJ duo Bob and Sheri created a fantastic fan page. You can follow Pedro on Twitter under the name @SOTBPedro.

So next time you come to South of the Border, make the time to enjoy a leisurely trip high above the grounds and enjoy an amazing view of the majestic Carolina countryside.

“Hey Mom, what’s for dinner?!?”

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

sotb_restaurant

South of the Border has the answer when the kids start yelling that they’re hungry as you cruise down Interstate 95 at the North Carolina and South Carolina border. We make feeding a hungry family on the move super-easy, very affordable and incredibly yummy. Everyone can find a tasty treat at one of the SIX restaurants on the grounds of America’s favorite roadside attraction. You can grab a quick bite at Pedro’s Diner, or enjoy an elegant steak dinner from The Peddler Steakhouse. And of course, if you live in the area, we make a great date night destination for a little fun after you eat.

The Sombrero Room restaurant is the perfect place for the entire family to take a break from the journey and enjoy a wholesome sit-down meal together. The ceiling is covered in hundreds of sombreros and a new one goes up every time some donates $20 to The Shriner’s Children’s Hospital. This was one of SOTB founder Mr. Schafer’s favorite charities and we proudly honor his memory by continuing his charity work for this worthy cause. The restaurant is located on the north side of the complex where the original South of the Border Drive-in stood in the 60’s, and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.

There are hearty dishes for the big appetites like prime steak and chicken cooked over our charcoal fire grill. For the diet conscious, our salad bar is filled with fresh fruits, veggies and our homemade tuna and chicken salads. The Kid’s Menu has special items like grilled cheese and applesauce for the picky young ones. Finding something for every finicky eater is easy at the Sombrero Room because we have a real variety to offer. We have down-home Southern favorites like crispy fried chicken, tender BBQ ribs and smoky BBQ chicken. Pedro’s South of the Border Mexican specialties include crunchy tacos, saucy enchiladas, cheesy quesadillas and a breakfast burrito. For lunch we have an assortment of sandwiches like our char-grilled huge ½ pound steak-burger, Carolina pulled-pork sandwiches and an All-American club. We pile the NY-style corned beef high on rye bread with Swiss cheese and sauerkraut to make our signature Reuben sandwich, so Pedro’s Yankee friends will feel right at home.

The coffee is always hot and fresh to give you that little shot of energy to get back on the highway to your ultimate destination after your visit to South of the Border. The Sombrero Room fixes our big fluffy 3-egg omelets filled with ham and cheese will boost your protein levels and keep you going strong the rest of the day. And our grill serves up golden pancakes, Belgian waffles and French toast that can be topped off with fruit, syrup or whipped cream for those of us who like a little sugar rush in the morning. We don’t forget about that sweet tooth at dinner either. Our strawberry cheesecake is simply divine and the Hot Fudge Cake with chocolate fudge and ice cream is sinfully rich and delightful.

If you need a light snack or sandwich as you make you way around South of the Border exploring the sights and shopping, stop off at The Hot Dog Stand or The Hot Tamale. They serve up a wide selection of subs, burgers, pizza and Pedro’s infamous tamales. For the late night traveler, Pedro’s Diner is open 24 hours a day serving up diner classics, breakfast and sandwiches. If the kids scream for ice cream, Pedro’s Ice Cream Fiesta has flavors galore and low-fat yogurt for those worried about the old waistline battle. Blenheim Ginger Ale is available at most of our stores and restaurants, so don’t miss out on South Carolina’s only native soft drink and it’s addictive fiery ginger flavor.

So stop on in to South of the Border and visit Pedro as you pass by, he will make sure you get a hot, delicious meal and get you back on the road in no time.

South Of The Border’s 60 Year Anniversary

Friday, January 1st, 2010

history_donkeyThis year South of the Border, America’s favorite roadside attraction located near Dillon South Carolina along Interstate 95 at the North Carolina and South Carolina border, marks its 60th year of operation and our plans are to get bigger and better than ever before. Pedro has seen a lot of changes in the world and a lot of changes here at South of the Border over the years, and Pedro has many new projects and renovations in the works.

South of the Border began as a 600 square foot stand selling beer to thirsty patrons from dry counties north of the border in North Carolina and has developed into a 300 acre complex with such diverse features as a motel and campground, six restaurants, a theme park, mini-golf, fireworks store, gas stations and more than a dozen gift shops with everything from Mexican jumping beans to antiques. In the beginning Mr. Alan Schafer worked the stand by himself and now SOTB is run by the third generation of the Schafer family and hundreds of employees, making it the biggest employer in Dillon County, S.C.

The people used to come to in a few at a time in American made Chevys and Fords traveling along Highway 301. Now Pedro greets millions of cars, made all over the world, traveling from New York to Florida on Interstate 95, and now some of those cars even run off of electricity. And now, people can travel on jet planes from one side of the U.S. in only a few hours instead of having to drive for days. Speaking of traveling, Pedro has even seen people take voyages in rocket ships from the Earth to the Moon and live in space stations circling high above our planet.

Communicating has changed immensely in the last 60 years. Back in 1950, telephones weighed a few pounds and their use was limited by how long the cord that was attached to it would reach. The sound traveled over wires stretched from coast to coast, and operators transferred calls by switching plugs to make the connection. Now the phones weigh only a few ounces and are wireless so that you can carry them with you on your trip to give Pedro a call if you need to reserve a room at the South of the Border Motor Inn. The cell phone signals now bounce off satellites orbiting the earth and can reach nearly any point on the planet. The satellites themselves are another creation that has happened in the last 60 years, with Russian putting the Sputnik 1 in orbit in 1957. Floating high above the earth and circling the globe, they now carry every type of communication one can image. Television, phone calls, global positioning signals (GPS), surveillance cameras and outer space research are all carried by satellites today. GPS has become a vital part of modern communication and travel. The satellites send signals to small devices, cars, and cell phones that are equipped to guide people to their destination with on-board maps that are displayed on the screen or by a voice that speaks to you.

The computer might be the biggest change in world since South of the Border opened all those many years ago, followed closely by the invention of the internet. In the 1960’s computers were so large that each one would take up space equivalent to the average living room just to do the simplest of calculations. Now smart cell phones that fit in the palm of your hand are able to pack the power of dozens of those computers, and they can connect to the internet so you can surf the web while away from home. The internet has become ingrained in everyday life, with people doing their shopping, paying bills, learning, playing games, watching movies and using social media sites to connect with their friends who might live far away.

Other notable inventions, events and milestones since South of the Border opened are:

  • Microwave oven- Pedro thinks microwave burritos should be on here too!
  • The Snuggie- Pedro has been wearing one for 60 years, we call it a serape in Mexico
  • The Polaroid camera and digital camera- Pedro looks very handsome right?
  • E-mail- Lets Pedro stay in touch with his many friends and visitors all over the world.
  • Remote control- If Pedro can ever find his, have you seen it?
  • Automatic Teller Machines- Made getting more money to spend with Pedro VERY easy
  • Salsa takes over as #1 condiment- Pedro thinks plain old ketchup never stood a chance!

We know there are so many more events, inventions and important happenings in the last 60 years and we invite you to share your memories of anything that was important to you and your family, or simply tell us your favorite memory of South of the Border and the changes you have seen to our complex here in Dillon, SC.