Have you ever driven down south to Florida on 95S? Then you know it. It will never escape your memory. THE SIGNS counting down to SOUTH OF THE BORDER!!! The actual ✖️marks the spot on the 🗺 is Dillon, South Carolina right at the North Carolina border.
So we started in Charleston and drove “north to the Border” lol on an exciting countdown to find South of the Border.🎉
I have vivid memories as a kid, piled in the minivan with my little brother and sister staring out the window playing what I like to call the OFG. A game I taunt and suggest to my kids often when they need a dose of reality. 😂😈It’s called the OFG because it’s the Old Fashion Game called, sit there, shut up, stop fighting and LOOK OUT THE DAMN WINDOW! 🖼They always get super irritated and immediately whine back that it’s “THE WORST MOST BORINGEST GAME EVER”! Except this time they didn’t.😲
Starting 90 miles out you see your 1st huge tacky Mexican themed billboard imploring you to stop at South of the Border!🛣
I haven’t been there in well over 25 years so I had no idea what to expect 😱and the reviews online were very dicey 😵but we were passing through to NC anyway and I decided that this day would go to the kids. 👭👬✔️My husband looked at me anxiously and was like are you are sure about this? 🤔It looks like it’s decrepit and a ghost town! 🌾🌾👻I’m Like well we’re about to find out so get driving!😜👍🏽
The drive from Charleston took 2 hours but looking for the huge billboards made the time fly 🕖🕟🕥🕢🕝and the kids could hardly wait! Our end goal, ground zero of South of the Border is Pedroland.
We were looking for a few landmarks in the distance 🔭and when we saw the defunct Sombrero Looking Space Needle Ride, the giant Pedro wearing a Sombrero and the Neon Lights and Tacky Souvenir Stores with wild themes we knew WE HAD ARRIVED!🎊🎊🎊🎊🎊👏🏽👍🏽
First impressions. Wow this place is a time warp from the 50/60s. 😳Hailey said this place looks straight out of PeeWee’s Great Adventure 👨🏻🚲Movie, all Dylan could do was laugh and the boys ran straight for the animal Statues that were allllllll over to be climbed on.
This is how we spent our 3 hour pit stop. First took our iconic pics under the huge Pedro.
Then went inside the hugest tackiest funniest souvenir store ever and let the kids just play play and play.💸💰
Once we bought our crap we headed next door to the only Mexican Restaurant (the highlight was playing with their GAK) and I think only 1/3 food options on the strip. Had a Taco Bell Style sit down meal.🌮🌯🌮🌯
Then we were off to explore the animal Statues and take silly pics, climb them, take selfies with them etc…🐘🐅🐒🐯🐻🐢
Obviously we needed to take our family pic under the South of the Border Sign…went into some more souvenir shops.📸
Checkout our THAT space needle looking ride from the distance and it looks like you can go to the top anymore but there is an arcade inside that we skipped…🎰🎲🎮
We decided to head straight for Reptile Island, really the paying attraction that still looks in operation and making “money” .
We got to see every single alligator 🐊from all over the world. For literally half the tour we actually collectively decided they were fake and we were scammed until we finally saw a few move. Then we marveled at about 30 different types of snakes 🐍of ALL sizes including a hissing King Kobra.
Unfortunately the real Pedroland was defunct 😰and all of the rides and amusement park has since been abandoned 🎡🎢✖️and looked like a 1960s relic. What a shame. But we did give an adios hug to our amigo Pedro and told him hasta la vista!👨🏾👋🏽
It was a pretty neatly unique experience. 👍🏽👏🏽By then we were running out of steam💤 and had another 2.5 hour drive ahead to Charlotte so we decided to call it a day. We actually could’ve stayed at the only motel for like $50-70 bucks which really are like 1960 prices to a New Yorker for the night but instead we decided to head to Charlotte.🚐💨
We left at dusk which was cool because all the Neon lights were now in full effect.🆒
I consider words like cheesy and tacky adult words, but for kids it’s like a unique kooky and fun playground to explore. 👧🏻👧🏻👦🏻👶🏻So if your in the area or you decide to make a drive to Florida make a pit stop, do it for the kids… Off to North Carolina we went! Next stop Charlotte! ✔️🚐