South of the Border

Monument in South Carolina

Yes, that's a giant sombrero rising above I-95 on the North Carolina–South Carolina state line. Bienvenidos to South of the Border, a Mexican-flavored monument to American kitsch. Begun in the 1950s as a fireworks stand – pyrotechnics are illegal in North Carolina – it's morphed into a combo rest stop, souvenir mall, motel and (mostly defunct) amusement park, promoted on hundreds of billboards by a wildly stereotypical Mexican cartoon character named Pedro.

The place looks tired, but it's still worth a quick stop for a photo and some taffy.