South of the Border // land camera photos // part 1 - The Dainty Squid

South of the Border // land camera photos // part 1

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

While in Georgia Mickey and I decided to get road trip tattoos. We got matching peaches that ended up being even cuter than either of us had imagined. During our short visit to Anonymous Tattoo we told the artist all about our trip and how we were obsessed with silly roadside attractions. He asked if we had stopped at South of the Border and suggested if we hadn't already stopped we make it a priority. We looked it up and decided to hit it on the way home since it would only take us a little bit out of the way.

It didn't take long before we started seeing signs for South of the Border. I have literally never seen so many billboards for one thing in my life. I don't even understand how they could possibly make enough money to cover the advertising costs. The closer we got the more there were and the more excited we grew.
South of the Border is a strange, strange place. There are over a dozen large animals, at least two restaurants, an ice cream parlor, a bunch of souvenir shops, a motel, and even an indoor reptile exhibit. It's all so wildly colorful too!

According to their website "Our trademark has always been a value-oriented service ~ we provide a clean, safe & fun environment for travelers of all types to visit on their way to or from the southeast." I'm not so sure about that. Mickey and I used one of the bathrooms while we were there. As we walked in the attendant scowled at us and then sat down in a rusty old chair. Needless to say, she didn't get tipped.

It's apparent the place seen better days. It's a bit sketchy and I probably wouldn't want to be there at night but it sure was awesome. Running around from animal to animal taking pictures was a blast. I'm not sure any roadside attraction could ever top this but you best believe I'm gonna look.
xoxo

PS. There's a part two to this post coming soon since I took so many land camera photos. After that I'll have another post about it with color 35mm film. Like I mentioned, South of the Border is super colorful so, of course, I want to share those! I apologize in advance! ;)

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29 thoughts

  1. That's hilarious! I've never heard of that place but it sounds worth checking out on the way to Savannah or Charleston or something. I can't wait to see the rest of the photos!

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  2. Just a heads up, Dodd Camera is running a special for the next few weeks, on Wednesday you can order 8x10 prints for 99 cents. It's only through their website, and it's unlimited. In case you wanted to order any big prints from your trip with Mickey :)

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  3. i'm not going to lie, i wait every week too see what new adventures you're going to share, so i could dream about it, you are amazing!

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  4. Wow, what a quirky, weird place. Totally up my alley! If you would ever be in Singapore, I would bring you over to Haw Par Villa aka Tiger Balm Garden. You would be blown away!

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  5. This place seems pretty epic (ahem, dinos in sombreros). I definitely want to check it out on my upcoming road trip! :)

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  6. What a cool place! I would love to go there in the future. It sounds a bit like WALL DRUG. Weird place with random stuff in it. Definately an adventure place!

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  7. Two thanksgivings ago, my girlfriend and I took a roadtrip from North Carolina to Florida, and just like you, I used roadside america to find some of the coolest and kitschiest places to stop for photos. I have been up close in personal with Bucko's moose, the I <3 fleas cow, the Great Dane Trailers great dane, the pink and grey elephants and many more from other areas (and other trips!) thanks to roadside america! On you previous post about your roadtrip, I was so happily surprised to see these landmarks and realize we must have taken the same route, but I literally screamed at my computer "I can't believe she didn't get to South of the order!" South of the border is been a place I have visited since childhood, and I have fond memories of the carnival rides. Thankfully, they have removed a lot of the more racist imagery. I just enjoy the colorful quirkiness of it! I can't wait to see the rest of your trip on film!

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  8. What a coincidence! My family was just talking about South of the Border yesterday! It's been since I was very VERY young since I last passed through it, but the thing I remember most is, of course, the billboards!

    Elyse @ Cuddly as a Cactus

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  9. I love that place! I moved from New York to Florida when I was 6, and I remember my mom, brother and me stopped there overnight- I think because the hotel was one of the only ones along the way that would let us have our dog with us. It seemed amazing when I was a kid, but looking back it was probably pretty sketchy.

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  10. Haha this stuff looks awesome! It's my goal for this spring and summer to go to local roadside attractions. I have a pretty large list going!

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  11. This is just crazy! I'm pretty sure roadside attractions just aren't a thing in the UK? Apart from Stone Henge ;)
    Rosie x
    Every Word Handwritten

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  12. I have driven past South of the Border so many times on the way to the beach as a child growing up and as an adult on my own, but I have never stopped. I think I may the next time I hit the beach. ;D

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  13. Oh, I love Anonymous Tattoo! I'm so glad you went there. I haven't had any tattoos from them but I met the owner a few years ago here in Florida and have been dreaming of getting art done by them since then. I love their work! Glad your tattoo is super cute.

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  14. I always love your land camera photos! Seems like a weird but fun place, I love the first photo. It seems like it gets you very excited for the "South of the Border" :D But all of the Gorrillas (one even photobombed the zebra photo) are a bit creepy though ahah!

    Chamomile Dealer

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  15. I really want to go on a fun road trip like this when it gets warmer! Awesome photos!!

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  16. Oh my gosh. The billboards for that place are so ridiculous!
    One is like SHALOM south of the border... what?!

    I've never stopped there before, but I've always wanted too!

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  17. Wow this place looks so interesting! I can't wait to see the color photos, an that's really neat that they had an indoor reptile exhibit...I'm a sucker for reptile exhibits! I think my favorite photo so far is the gorilla-he kinda looks like he's trying to show off his bum-it made me laugh when I saw it :)

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  18. Oh my God! South of the Border! As frequent vacationers to Georgia and the Carolinas, our Florida-based family tracked our location by those signs. My brothers' scout troop made it there once; I think it's been a little sketchy for a while. Great pics, though! Glad you documented it while it's still there. :)

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  19. That does look cool, but man, I hate when a place has potential to be brilliant, but then they have crappy service.

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  20. Oh my goodness! This looks amazing. I love places like this.
    We don't have too many roadside attractions in Australia.. but my parents always made sure that we visited them if we ever found ourselves roadtripping. We have a giant merino sheep, an oversized strawberry and a mammoth banana in my state. I wish we had a big whale.

    Jess | Malt Memories.

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  21. What a crazy place! Those animals remind me of something you'd see at a putt-putt, but the fact that they're just randomly placed around makes it so funny! The land camera prints give it a super eerie look. I love it! Can't wait to see the rest of the shots.

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  22. Oh it looks like a photogs paradise! I need to do a roadside attraction photo trip some day.

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  23. I've driven past there so many times in my life but never been there! My family and I always drive by on our way down south for vacation.

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  24. Have you been to House on the Rock? It's my absolute favorite weird tourist attraction. The house itself is great, but the music machines and endless collections are amazing.

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  25. I'm encouraged to take more roadside attractions by reading your posts. There are a lot of cute dainty ones here in Thailand, a lot of them out of place but then there's the fun of taking pictures of them, right? Right:)

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  26. The dinosaurs in sombreros... the sassy gorilla... Amazing.

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  27. Giant animals at a somewhat sketchy roadside... That's my kind of trip :)

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  28. Definitely keep the road trip photos coming - I adore silly roadside attractions, and have LOVED following along on your adventure.

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