THE OFFICIAL SITE OF SOUTH OF THE BORDER.

Blog

Keep up with South Of The Border news, events & happenings in the community.

The Border Celebrates Blenheim Ginger Ale

Friday, October 1, 2010 ˜ 1:17 am

blenheim_ginger_ale1

As some of you know, Good Ole Blenheim Ginger Ale is made right here on the grounds of South of the Border, America’s Favorite Roadside tourist attraction in Dillon, South Carolina. Today Pedro is helping them celebrate and announce the opening of their Online Store. You can now place an online order for the tongue-slapping ginger ale that was created in 1903, making it America’s oldest independent soft drink.

Blenheim Ginger Ale is owned by the Schafer family, who also own South of the Border. As the story goes, Alan Schafer began drinking Blenheim Ginger Ale as a youngster and fell in love with that spicy heat and homemade flavor. Legend has it he once credited his long life and good health to two things: An Old #3 Blenheim Ginger Ale and a beer every day. So when the opportunity arose to buy Blenheim Bottlers, he jumped at the chance. After a marketing campaign in the Seventies, the demand for Blenheim Ginger Ale became so great, he decided to build a new modern factory near his office on the grounds of South of the Border. He may have modernized the equipment, but Blenheim Ginger Ale is still made the old fashioned way with sugar and a century old recipe that puts the fire and spice in ginger ale.

For over 100 years, Blenheim Ginger Ale has been made in small batches with the love and attention only a family run business can offer. This made getting your hands on a bottle pretty difficult if you didn’t live in the Dillon, SC area. But now every home in America can have a case of Blenheim Ginger Ale sitting in the fridge in just a few short days. Once you place you online order, the factory will ship it to your home in a couple of days for the incredible price of $24 per case plus shipping. That’s only a dollar a bottle, and Pedro loves a good bargain. So head on over to their website and read all about Blenheim Ginger Ale’s 3 unique flavors: Old #3 Hot, #5 Regular and #9 Diet.

You can get more updates, news, info and fun from South of the Border by following Pedro on Twitter, @sotbpedro or checking out our Official Facebook page.

Reptile Lagoon ~ South Of The Border’s Newest Attraction

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 ˜ 7:48 am

reptile_lagoon_banner_blog

REPTILE LAGOON

The newest addition to the South of the Border Tourist Attraction is our Reptile Lagoon, run by Pedro’s cousin Zurdo. It’s the largest indoor reptile exhibit in the U.S. and it’s right here in Dillon, South Carolina. It has an amazing collection of snakes, alligators, crocodiles, turtles and other creepy crawlies.

On your next trip to South of the Border, make sure you allow ample time to spend in our fun and informative Reptile Lagoon. We have an experienced veteran snake and reptile handler, along with friendly staff who are here to educate the kids while they marvel at the huge variety of exhibits. What would a trip to South of the Border be without shopping? Boring is what it would be, so of course the Reptile Lagoon has a gift shop full of reptile themed items to remember the experience.

Our Reptile Lagoon has a wide variety of crocodile species. We have over 15 varieties that are on display. These include American alligators, Nile crocodiles, a slender-snouted crocodile, and many other types. We also have crocs that are on the endangered species list and a portion of every admission goes to the Crocodile Conservation Institute to help save these prehistoric animals. The custom built pools and walkways allow close up viewing, while always maintaining strict safety.

TAKE A PHOTO TOUR

The Reptile Lagoon boasts an exotic collection of slithering snakes from all around the planet. A visit here is a must for any snake enthusiast. There are gigantic reticulated pythons, awesome anacondas, and beautiful Burmese pythons. Daisy is a rare albino Burmese python and is our largest snake. She stretches over 22 feet in length and weighs more than 220 lbs. That’s more than Pedro!

No reptile exhibit would be complete with some of the most deadly and dangerous venomous snakes known to man. The Reptile Lagoon’s most lethal residents include King Cobras from India, American Diamondback rattle snakes, and the world’s most feared killer: the African Black Mamba.  Along with these treacherous creatures, we also have dozens of different beautiful and fascinating snake specimens.

Another section of the Reptile Lagoon features the lovable turtle. Pedro and Zurdo couldn’t find a Ninja Turtle, but we have brought in a Giant Tortoise from Aldabra Island. Aldabra is halfway around the world off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean, and the Giant Tortoise is considered one of the largest types. The Fly River, or Pig-nose turtle, comes to us from the far away island of New Guinea and Australia. This is a very rare creature because it is the only freshwater turtle that has true flippers like an ocean turtle.

From closer to home in South America comes the funny looking horned Mata Mata Turtle. It’s a must see because it looks like someone crossed a turtle with a dinosaur. Kids will love it for sure. From right here in the good ole Southeast U.S.A. the Reptile Lagoon has the giant Alligator Snapping Turtle, the largest freshwater turtle in N. America. Many a country boy has been on the losing end of messing with this beast. Legend has it, once it bites down it won’t let go until it hears thunder and lightning. Zurdo found this out the hard way, but Pedro won’t find out you can be sure of that!

Zurdo and Pedro will be constantly adding new species, exhibits and learning opportunities. Every trip to the Reptile Lagoon at South of the Border can be a whole new experience, so come back often. You can follow Pedro on Twitter (@sotbpedro) and on our official Facebook page for the most up-to-date information about Blenheim Ginger Ale, the Reptile Lagoon and the South of the Border Tourist Attraction.

Hours of Operation
Monday-Thursday: 10am-7pm
Friday: 10am-9pm
Saturday: 9am-9pm
Sunday: 9am-8pm

Spring Brings New Things To South Of The Border!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 ˜ 10:34 am

spring_pool_postThe days are heating up here in Dillon, SC at South of the Border, and we have a lot of hot new things going on around the 300 acres that make up America’s Favorite Roadside Attraction. Everything from renovations and updating of all of Pedro’s classic attractions to construction of a brand new feature is coming together as the summer travel season gets closer. We invite you to stop by and see all the exciting new changes on your way to your favorite summer vacation fun spot!

South of the Border features 3 different ways to spend an evening with us on the way to your vacation destination. Our Motor Inn has 300 newly refurbished rooms to get you relaxed, rested and ready to hit the dusty trail the next morning. Our Pleasure Dome features an indoor heated pool, sauna and locker rooms with showers to help motel and campground guests with their relaxation. Also, the Pleasure Dome and surrounding area has just been outfitted with free WI-FI wireless internet for our guest’s convenience. Our campground has full hookups and power for motor homes and campers, and barbecue grills and showers for those who rough it in a tent. You can see our newly published rate schedules for Camp Pedro and the Motor Inn on our Accommodations page.

Construction of a new attraction for South of the Border is progressing extremely well. We will be transforming our Pedroland Park page into an Attractions page in the very near future to reflect the park’s new direction and focus. Our new environmentally themed attraction will feature a “Reptile Lagoon” ~ complete with live alligators and crocodiles run by Pedro’s cousin Zurdo. It will also have a Learning Center to educate our guests, school groups and locals about the vital need to preserve our natural resources and respect Mother Nature. We will have more details in a future blog, which you can receive through an RSS feed.  Or you can follow @SOTBPedro on Twitter and join our official Facebook group for regular updates and happenings at South of the Border.

Round Up at South of the Border ~ Mustang Car Show

Wednesday, February 24, 2010 ˜ 3:53 am

round_up_sotbOn March 20, 2010 South of the Border will be hosting the 8th Annual Round Up at The Border car show, bringing in Ford Mustang and Classic Ford auto enthusiasts from all over the East Coast here to Dillon, South Carolina. Each year the show gets bigger and better, and this year should be the best yet. The Round Up at The Border car show is a must-attend event if you love the classic good looks of a true American automotive icon like the Ford Mustang. You can see a fantastic video of a previous show, posted by the Southern Mustang and Ford Club.

The Round up at The Border is hosted by the Eastern South Carolina Mustang Club based out of Florence, South Carolina. All models of Classic Ford cars are welcomed at this event, and there will be many different classes to choose from for Mustang owners. Door prizes will be given away all day during the show so make sure you register to win, even though Pedro always thinks you are a winner. The show will begin at 8AM and continue until 4PM. You can check your hot-looking cars in from 8AM to Noon.

round_up_border_thumbnail

The registration fee is only $20, but you can get and Early Bird discount if you register before March 13th. To get your registration forms you may contact Gene Turner at gtmustang@bellsouth.net or give him a call at 843-617-1456.

Pedro is also helping you out at this event with a good deal at the South of the Border Motor Inn. If you would like to stay over or come a day early, simply give us a call at 800-845-6011 and mention that you would like the special rate for the Round Up at The Border show. We also have full camping sites available with room for even the largest RV’s. There is also plenty of parking on the South of the Border complex for trailers and car haulers. And of course, no trip would be complete without some trinkets, collectibles or kitsch from one of our many shops. There are 6 different dining options at South of the Border ranging from the high-end steak house The Peddler to Mexican food at the world famous Pedro’s Hot Tamale.

EVENT DETAILS:

Hosted by: Eastern South Carolina Mustang Club
Location: “Pedro’s South of the Border” on I-95 at the North Carolina South Carolina border.
Event time: 8am – 4pm; check-in 8am- noon.
Registration Fee: $20 ($15 before March 13).
Door prizes, classes for all models of Mustangs and Fords, special motel rate with South of the Border.
Contact: Gene Turner at gtmustang@bellsouth.net, call 843.617.1456.

Click here to view large flier »

We encourage everyone to drive safely on your trip to Dillon, SC and we will see you on March 20th for the 8th annual Round Up at the Border here on the grounds of America’s Favorite Roadside Attraction, South of the Border.

South of the Border- A Schafer Family Tradition

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 ˜ 4:00 am

schafer_company_dillon_herald_2
Click image to download pdf (452KB)

Scanned from the Dillon Herald Centennial Edition
02/04/2010 www.the dillonherald.com

South of the Border is in its 60th year of business in Hamer, South Carolina, but its roots in Dillon County extend much deeper. The Schafer family has been an integral part of the community since the 1870’s, not only as residents but as business owners and employers. The Dillon Herald recently published their Centennial Edition and included an article about the Schafer family history, the origins of South of the Border and Schafer Distributing.

The Schafer Company originally began as a dry goods store, and then evolved into a distributorship for Miller Beer throughout most of the major cities in South Carolina. South of the Border began as a beer depot to sell alcohol to “dry” Robeson County in North Carolina, and has evolved into a 300 acre tourist attraction. Each year millions of hungry, curious and weary travelers take advantage of the shops, restaurants, hotel and amusements. Tens of millions of dollars flow into the local economy from taxes, jobs, charitable donations and related spending.

Enjoy this article, courtesy of the Dillon Herald, and learn more about America’s Favorite Roadside Attraction~ South of the Border.

Rise Up: Sombrero Observation Tower

Monday, January 25, 2010 ˜ 2:00 am

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 17, 2010 ˜ 11:37 pm

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 1, 2010 ˜ 12:52 am

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.

Holiday Time At South Of The Border

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 ˜ 3:30 am

Antique Shop Christmas

It’s that time of year again, where Pedro and all his Amigos at America’s #1 roadside tourist attraction, South of the Border in Dillon, SC, get ready for the holiday season. As you and the family rush around trying to get that perfect present for the special ones in your lives, don’t forget that South of the Border is a gift shopping mecca. That’s right, South of the Border for holiday shopping! We can make your holiday shopping easy, exciting and extraordinary. Our gifts can range from silly to superior and cost 50 cents to $5,000.

The Christmas and holiday season is most represented and displayed at our Antique Shop. During the holiday season we go all out to create a festive winter season atmosphere with Christmas decorations adorning the walls, halls, furniture and even Pedro himself. We stock the shelves with seasonal wreaths, Santa Claus dolls, Christmas trees, pretty lights, amusing toys and all manner decorations for Christmas trees and the home. The Antique shop is also filled to the brim with antique furniture, old timey signs, country curios, beer company memorabilia, cute teddy bears, cuddly dolls, collectible figurines, fine china, decorative paintings, home accessories, woven rugs and even more.

The Silver Slipper also plays host to a flea market every weekend, where a variety of vendors set up their own booths filled with anything and everything under the sun. If you are just passing through South of the Border on your journey and find something you like, we can arrange to have the item shipped to your doorstep whenever and wherever you request. The Antique Shop is now located in the enormous Silver Slipper building located on the north side of complex next to the Exxon gas station and El Drug Store near the Interstate 95 and Highway 501 intersection.

All kids love a new toy and you can make that sleigh ride to Grandma’s house go by a lot faster with some of our travel games and toys meant to be played with in the car. No more answering the “Are we there yet?” questions is definitely priceless. You can find them scattered throughout the various shops like El Drug Store and the Mexico Shop. The Mexico Shop, our biggest store, also has row upon row of trinkets, treasures and South of the Border branded memorabilia for your crazy friends with a great sense of humor or the ones who love to collect funky baubles. Our Hats Around the World store has a wide variety of ball caps, cowboy hats, visors, sombreros and other chapeaus with an international flair to keep your head warm on the cold winter nights. The international theme continues in the Africa Shop, where uncommon and dramatic artifacts from all over the world’s largest continent are on display.

So be sure to explore our selection of gift shops whether you’re just stopping by for a brief visit to fill up the automobile and grab a bite to eat, or you’re coming to South of the Border to spend a couple days sight-seeing and shopping.

One Sweet Honeymoon Suite

Thursday, December 10, 2009 ˜ 2:14 am

70_style_honeymoonAmong the multitude of kitschy, crazy and colorful items you can find here at South of the Border in Dillon, South Carolina is a small world of glamor and glitz know as “The Honeymoon Suites.” In years gone by, the red shag carpeting, beds with mirrors and sombrero shaped canopies made these rooms a surreal slice of 70’s and 80’s society that brought pop culture lovers from all over the East Coast to stay here with Pedro. Our famous billboards that stretch the entire length of Interstate 95 featured ads for the suites with the very clever caption: “Heir-Conditioned.”

Countless tales and photos of happy honeymooner’s from near and far making the trek to South of the Border can be found online in blogs and photo journals. The infamous $99 Honeymoon Special  included the wedding ceremony,  a bottle of fine champagne, free breakfast from Pedro’s Diner and a water-bed equipped suite.

This package was so popular that over a dozen marriages would take place right here on the South of the Border grounds each weekend over the course of a summer.

Currently these rooms have been remodeled and upgraded as part of our multi-million dollar renovation project here in Pedroland. Pedro’s new suites have plush beds with exquisite linens, a posh décor, and big screen televisions. We know you will find the modern conveniences and amenities of our new suites more in line with the comfort that today’s discerning travelers demand.

In addition, all of our standard rooms are being renovated and upgraded as well, while maintaining a very economical price for the budget conscious family of vacationers. If you are passing through with your travel trailer or recreational vehicle, our 100 space campground is the ideal place to take a break from the long journey. We have 30 and 50 amp electrical hook-ups, hot showers, laundry facilities, grills and a play area for the children.

So even though you might miss the Honeymoon Suites with the wild and crazy 70′s vibe, you still have 300 acres of wacky fun, exciting games, delicious restaurants, fairground rides, gift shops filled with gadgets you never knew you needed, and lots more to explore with the entire family. To make your reservations, call Pedro toll-free at 1-800-845-6011 and we will save room for you and the family here at South of the Border in Dillon, SC.

Take a peek at some of our upgrades: