If you’ve driven down I95, or on I20 near Florence, or any major road in Dillon County, you’ve seen the signs. South of the Border. There are over a 150 of them up and down I95 as far Philadelphia and Daytona Beach. It’s a tourist trap if there ever was one with motel, truck stop, restaurants, carnival, and whatever near the North Carolina border. You can’t miss it with that giant Sombrero standing tall over the complex along with the 97 foot high Pedro. I admit. I’ve stopped there. Didn’t buy anything, but I took pictures. It’s a slice of South Carolina bad or good.
The place started out as a beer stand in 1949. With the counties on the North Carolina side being dry, that is no alcohol allowed to be sold, Alan Schafer stood to make good business. And he did. The name, South of the Border Beer Depot referred to the fact the business was south of the North Carolina border.
With business good, Mr. Shafer added a grill and a motel. The name transformed too. From South of the Border Beer Depot it went to South of the Border Drive-In, to just South of the Border.
For those who’ve been here or seen the signs, the Pedro part comes from Mr. Schafer brought two young men from Mexico back to South Carolina after a business trip. They worked as bellboys at the motel and people would call them, in stereotypical fashion, Pedro and Pancho.
How to get there:
Off I95 right at the SC/NC border. Believe me, you can’t miss it.
What’s Close by:
Little Pee Dee State Park
Little Pee Dee State Park Bay Heritage Preserve