I-95 and you...and me....and them...and


I live in central Maryland and will be headed down lovely Interstate 95 to Disney come mid-November:blink: . Does anyone else here make the trek down the cement and asphalt trail and does anyone have suggestions for good overnight stops in North or South Carolina?


(aka Mary Beth)


south of the border is usually where we would stay when we used to drive. it is in dillon, SC, just south of the NC/SC border (hence the name)

but there are nice places all along the highway in that area…


We’ve done it. Usually we stop at “South of the Border” just because it’s such a cheesy and interesting place. We also have two dogs and they let the dogs stay in the room with us. Pretty unsavory digs, but South of the Border is worth a stop if you get a kick out of strange kitchy places.


ahhhh a question for Bella!

So, the best and safest place to stay would either be Florence, SC or Santee, SC. Florence is about 20 mins past the NC border (and where I went to college…whoot whoot…) AND it is the largest city on I-95 in SC…therefore…more hotel options…total time until you’d see the Disney gates: 7 1/2 hours
Santee is the half way point in SC, for no other reason than this it is the 2nd largest cluster of civilization on I-95 in SC…there are maybe 4 hotels there and Santee is generally a safe town…this is also about 10 miles from where I-95 and I-26 connect (so if you live in the mid-west…you PROB can come through this way) total time until you’d see the Disney gates: 6 hours and 15 minutes
Another option is Hardeeville, SC…the last town in SC…it’s not the greatest place ever, kind of shady, but.total time until you’d see the Disney gates: 4 hours and 45 minutes.

So, those are my reccomendations…be warned everyone, after Santee, SC there really is NOT MUCH until you get to the Jacksonville border…if you make it all the way to GA, I reccommend just going ahead to Jax it’s only another hour ahead…
Dillion is OK…but there have been some shady goings ons there in the past few years…South of the Border is well, something you should see once but never again!


i concur. i have seen the way that place is headed. probably the best thing about it is the half million billboards that dot i95 for a few hundred miles…


I made the trip many times while I was moving to FLA. Take Cinderbella it is the best.

In fact in Santee there is a new Holiday Inn express. It is very nice, clean, safe, and the price was just right. Easy access to the highway, gas, and a number of restaurants.

I would get up early (out of the parking lot by 6) and the roads all the way down to GA would be empty. From GA on the traffic starts to build.

(Thanks again cinderbella for all your help…I don’t know if I had thank you for your advice before :flowers: )


If you go to the AAA website and use their online triptik tool, it will show all of the hotels along the way, with links to the hotels themselves. It’s a pretty helpful tool.

Also, there is a book called Drive I-95 that you might find helpful. You can find that online or in bookstores.

I understand from people that do alot of I-95 driving that the gas in SC is cheaper than Fla (perhaps locals can confirm that one way or the other). So also, think about where/when you fill up.


Thanks, Bella. I was thinking about stopping in Florence. It’s about a 7 hour drive for me, so it might be a bit much after leaving town at 3:00 (work and school issues).

If I can’t make it that far, was thinking maybe Fayetteville in NC. About an hour less on the road. However, as I am a bit of a road warrior, Florence is probably doable.

BTW…which college is in Florence?



As far as South of the Border goes…I’ve been there once, and agree with the sentiment that everyone needs to expeience it once, so I may have to stop and let the child wallow in the waves of kitsch.

(I’ll have to hide her money, though…)


Francis Marion University…home of the fighting Patriots…

and you’ve never heard of it?

haha…if you’ve seen the movie Mel Gibson The Patriot, thats who it’s based on good ol Francis Marion, the swamp fox.


cinderbella is a smart cookie and absolutely 100% correct, stay away from south of the border unless your just gonna grab a quick bite to eat or maybe purchase some fireworks… it’s definitely NOT somewhere to stay overnight, not safe!! :eek:


I’m driving in December, but we’re not stopping!!! We’ll see how THAT goes…:glare:


We’ve done that a couple of times and it works well for us. We leave my DILs about 3 am and get to Orlando about 7 pm. A couple of years ago we left home and drove all night, it was nice not to have any traffic but the hours between 4 am and 7 am were the worst, staying awake was so tough.


We are leaving at 11pm. I am actually leaving my house at about 10ish to go pick him up at work so we can leave from Manhattan at 11. I am going to keep the kids awake as long as possible, so they CRASH for as long as possible in the car. Eugene made the drive last year (he did a favor for someone at work) and he made it in RECORD time…but he didn’t have any kids with him. So we’ll see how it goes. I hope it’s OK! :blink:


I’m sure you’ll be fine and the kids sleeping all night will be nice, you’ll make fewer stops and the lighter traffic will speed things up. We take a DVD player and a GameBoy and Nate’s good for hours. We also checked out a couple of books on tape fomr our local library and that made the long night more interesting. We now have XM Radio so that is another bonus for long trips.


South of the Border is very different now from when we were kids and stopped there on the drive from NY to Fla… I wouldn’t recommend stopping there … especially not at night.


I was a history minor…so I knew the Swamp Fox reference. However, you were right about that I would have never heard of it :blush:


We make the trek down as well from New Jersey, lol
We try and make it as far as we can and stop at any decent looking hotel in a bigger city, normally it is in north or south caralina!


I’ll be the only adult (well, chronologically, at least) in the car, so I don’t want to push things too far. I figure 7-8 hours behind the wheel will be my max.

I wish I couldgo straight through, but I know how bad “road zone-out” can hit me.

Thanks for all the great advice! I’ve been checking out hotels in Florence and think I have a good idea of where I want to stay.


once you decide where you want to stay in Florence send me a PM and I’ll give you the skinny, most of the hotels there ARE good hotels, but there are a few…like the Cadillac Inn…