The Ultimate I-95 South Road Trip in the 2019 Chevy Traverse

If you are looking to take a road trip and make memories this summer with your family we have compiled a list of “MUST SEE” stops heading on I-95 South from Wilmington to Florida!

Starting with….

South of the Border

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Image Courtesy: South of the Border

Your first stop on the trip heading south on 95 should be South of Border. For over 50 years South of the Border has been a landmark of the southeast. Pedro the lovable grinning mustachioed caricature mascot stands 97 feet tall making him the largest freestanding sign east of the Mississippi, you can even drive through his legs! When driving on I95 you see Pedro talking to you from the signs for miles telling you you’re almost to South of the Border. Mexico Shop East and West have tons of souvenirs, everything you can think of. A summertime favorite, fireworks start at the South Carolina state line, Pedro’s Rocket City has a huge selection with all the favorites! Don’t forget about the best Mexican food in northern South Carolina at Sombrero Room Restaurant. There are other food choices if you do not want Mexican or a sit-down restaurant. Pedro’s Casateria offers food in short order making it quick and easy to get back on the road. There’s also Pedro’s Southern Fried Chicken which looks like an antebellum mansion with rocking chairs and a giant chick on the roof. Then there is Peddlers Steakhouse shaped like a Mexican hat very hard to miss. Before getting back in the car be sure to ride to the top of Sombrero Tower in the glass elevator. If you decide to stay at South of the Border there is RV campgrounds and 300 motel rooms spread of 135 acres which allows access to Pedro’s Pleasure Dome with indoor pool, steam room, jacuzzi, bar and wedding chapel.  

 

Darlington Raceway

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Image Courtesy: Motorsports.com

Head to “The Track Too Tough to Tame” at Darlington Raceway. Even if there’s not a race going on when you visit you can still take a walk through the Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum. Not only will you see the history of Darlington Raceway but also the entire sport. Whether you’re a long time race fan or new to the sport the Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum and NMPA Hall of Fame offers a unique stroll through the history of NASCAR. Darlington Raceway gift shop, NMPA Hall of Fame and Darlington Raceway Stock Car Museum are open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. Be sure to stop by, who knows you may even spot some Jeff Gordon history!   

 

Wood Bay State Park

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Image Courtesy: South Carolina Parks

Next on the stop is the Wood Bay State Park, get out and stretch your legs while enjoying some time in nature! Wood Bay offers one of the last remaining large Carolina Bay on the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain. The 1,590-acre park features a wide range of habitats such as marsh, sandhills. Oak-hickory forest and shrub bog. There is much wildlife to see and great for bird watching especially during migration seasons. The park can be explored by taking the nature trail which circles the mill pond or walks the length of the 1,150-foot boardwalk, where you can see the alligators in the cypress-tupelo swamp. If you want to make it a longer adventure the best way to see the park is by following the canoe trail which will take paddlers pas the Carolina Bays to the elliptical depressions.

 

Congaree National Park

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Image Courtesy: TripAdvisor 

Just a short drive down the road from Wood Bay State Park is the Congaree National Park. The Congaree National Park offers a wide range of biodiversity with the largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forever remaining in the southeastern United States. There is so much to do at Congaree, with canoeing through the beautiful rivers, camping, fishing, hiking, nature watching, you’re sure to enjoy time with the family while taking a break.

 

Santee State Park

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Image Courtesy: Paddle SC

Another great State Park is the Santee State Park sits along Lake Marion, and is known for its abundant population of large catfish. Other activities include hiking, biking, pontoon boat tours, kayaking, boating and a whole lot more! If you want to camp on the lake there is lakeside camping, if you prefer indoors there’s also 10 cabins that sit on the piers overlooking the lake.

 

UFO Welcome Center

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Image Courtesy: Strange Carolinas 

In the small town of Bowman, SC with less than 1,000 residents is the UFO Welcome Center. Bowman resident Jody Pendarvis has been building the UFO Welcome Center for the past 25 years. Pendarvis graduated from Bowman High School in 1970 then he went on to serve in the Air Force from 1973 to 1984, where he gaining a military education working on computers. Following his service in the military, Pendarvis attended South Carolina State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1990. Four years later he began working on the welcome center. The UFO Welcome Center consists of a 42-foot-wide flying saucer built out of wood, fiberglass, and plastic, in 2003 a smaller saucer about 20 feet in width was added on top of the original structure. There is everything that an alien might need if they are to visit, Pendarvis envisions himself as an ambassador for aliens. During the summers the top saucer is cooler than Pendarvis’ mobile home so he stays in the top saucer. There is a wooden container near the sentence that is painted blue saying “Tips” as the admission fee. There is a sign near the entrance that reads “Space People Only. Enter at Own Risk, Danger” then you walk in there is a book which asks you to write down your name and the planet that you come from. Bowman Mayor Marion Glenn would like to make the UFO Welcome Center more a true town welcome center, however, Pendarvis is indifferent about it, for now, it will remain Jody’s Welcome Center. When visiting the UFO Welcome Center like all places be sure to watch your step, stay safe, and take a lot of photos. Who knows you might be there to welcome the aliens.

 

Carolina Heritage Outfitters

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Image Courtesy: South Carolina Living 

The Carolina Heritage Outfitters just outside of Walterboro, SC is the perfect night getaway especially after being on the road. At the Carolina Heritage Outfitters, you can enjoy canoeing and if you plan to stay you will be able to stay in beautiful tree houses. The tree houses offer the perfect relaxation with the privacy which is only accessible by canoe, it is a beauty to take in the longest free-flowing blackwater river with sandy banks and a shallow sandy bottom perfect for swimming and picnicking. When the water is higher during the winter months you can paddle right into the forest of cypress trees.

 

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Image Courtesy: Atlanta Business Chronicle 

Savannah, GA

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Image Courtesy: Smarter Travel 

Now we continue south to Georgia where our first stop is Savannah, a city with a lot of history and so much today is a coastal city separated from South Carolina by the Savannah River. Take a trip to Savannah Historic District with tours of the downtown and water tours you can see the history and beauty of Savannah. Or head over to City Market for fine dining, shopping, and fun entertainment while taking in the historic town.

 

Tybee Island, GA

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Image Courtesy: Tybee Island 

Just 20 minutes outside of Savannah is Tybee Island is the perfect sandy getaway. Tybee Island is home to Georgia’s oldest and tallest lighthouse which you can take a tour of, you can also visit Fort Pulaski where the Union Army successfully tested a rifle canon in 1862 during the Civil War. If you want to get into nature and enjoy the water Tybee has boat rides where you can see the dolphins, kayaking, paddle boarding and all of the beach favorites!

 

Cumberland Island, GA

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Image Courtesy: Club Continental 

Another stop along the Georgia coast is Cumberland Island. Cumberland Island is much different than Tybee Island. While Tybee Island is beautiful and there’s a lot to do it is made for the tourist. Whereas Cumberland Island is the largest and southernmost barrier island in Georgia. It offers over 17 miles of secluded white sandy beaches, wild horses and other island wildlife freely roaming throughout the ruins and along the beach. A beautiful scenic escape Cumberland Island has a lot to offer from history to nature. If you’re interested in riding the ferry it is recommended to book a reservation prior to arriving.

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Image Courtesy: The Blue Book

Now we have made it to Florida, there are a lot of stops to make in Florida along the coast, so get ready for a fun-filled journey as we venture down the beautiful coast of Florida!

 

Jacksonville, FL

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Image Courtesy: Tricon American Homes

Our first stop in Florida is Jacksonville, a large city that shows it all. No matter what type of adventure you are looking for Jacksonville has it! In addition to Jacksonville Beach, there are several others. See some animals at the Jacksonville Zoo & Garden or head over to the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary to see big cats. Downtown Jacksonville has a lot to offer, you could spend all day in Jacksonville or keep heading down the beautiful coast Florida, really just depends on your time.

 

St. Augustine, FL

St. Augustine, Florida, USA Skyline at Bridge of Lions.
Photo Courtesy: Bayfront Marin House

St. Augustine lays the claim to being the oldest city in the U.S., being known for the Spanish colonial architecture and Atlantic Ocean beaches. The history is a must see when visiting St. Augustine. First, we will head to Castillo de San Marcos which symbolizes the clash between cultures. The St. Augustine Light Station is a site to see as it is still an active working lighthouse. Who doesn’t love treasure and pirates, right? Check out the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum to be transported back to the Golden Age of Piracy over 300 years to Port Royal, Jamaica. Cannot miss the beautiful white sandy beaches of St. Augustine to get to the beach cross over the Bridge of Lions. Bridge of Lions spans the  Intracoastal Waterway, it connects downtown St. August to Anastasia Island across Matanzas Bay, it is a site to see for sure! Visit any of the beaches in St. Augustine you won’t be disappointed!

 

Daytona Beach, FL

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Image Courtesy: Kickin’ The Tires

Now we have made it to the “World Center of Racing” Daytona International Speedway! Go to the place where Jeff Gordon 4 time NASCAR Cup Series Champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer won not one but three Daytona 500s! There are 3 types of tours that you can do of Daytona International Speedway. In addition to tours, fans can also access the new Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, which now house the DIS Ticket and Tours Building, as well as take part in NASCAR Racing Experience. The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America showcases and honors all fours of motorsports: Stock Cars, Sports Cars, Open-Wheel, Motorcycles, Drag Racing, Land Speed Records, Powerboating, and Aviation. In addition to Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach has much to offer! If you’re looking to get away from the crows check out Tomoka State Park. Tomoka State Park is a 2,000-acre State Park located along the Tomoka River, where your visitors can camp, hike, and boat. Of course, when visiting Daytona visitors must enjoy the World’s Most Famous Beach. There is so much to enjoy in Daytona.

 

Ponce Inlet, FL

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Image Courtesy: Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort 

Ponce Inlet is a beautiful beachy town in Volusia County, Florida, located on the southern tip of a beach peninsula just south of Daytona Beach. The Ponce de Leon Inlet Light is the tallest lighthouse in the state, beautiful stop for sure! Smyrna Dunes Park is a vast public park where pets are allowed on the leash and fun for the whole family! Go-Kart City is a fun-filled day for the whole family with a lengthy go-kart track, 7-stall batting cages, and a colorful, fun 18-hole putt-putt course because who doesn’t love putt-putt, right? Ponce Inlet has much to offer and is just a short drive from Daytona!

Along the coast, there are many stops in Florida that visitors can stop and not be disappointed in. Now we continue south because our trip must come to an end to Homestead Florida.

Homestead, FL

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Image Courtesy: Bleacher Report

Just south of Miami Homestead has much to offer. Of course, a Jeff Gordon or NASCAR fan must stop by Homestead-Miami Speedway. Another stop is Coral Castle created and structured by Latvian-American eccentric Edward Leedskalnin, who single-handedly and secretly carver over 1,100 tons of coral rock. Everglades Alligator Farm the farm features snakes, alligators, caimans, and crocodiles plus airboat tours. Another fun place to see wildlife is the Monkey Jungle it is a 30-acre wildlife park in 1933 for the exhibition and study of endangered monkeys in their semi-natural habitats.

 

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There you have it you have made it! You have seen I-95-South in its entirety!

All Summer Long Jeff Gordon Chevrolet will feature our vehicle lineup in areas unique to our Coastal Community.  Explore Wilmington, NC along with us, as we showcase our Chevys in different parts of the Cape Fear Region. Hit up Historic Downtown Hotspots, Cruise the Waterways and Discover Wilmington’s Unique Parks and Gardens all in the comfort of your driver’s seat.

Join us for Summer of Chevy for events and giveaways all summer long June-August

TRAVERSE TAKES THE LEAD

The all-new 2019 Traverse is a step ahead of the competition when it comes to offering cargo space, Wi-Fi technology and safety features like the industry-first Front Center Air Bag.

Ready for the road-trip of a lifetime?  Check out our Chevrolet Traverse inventory so you can be well equipped.

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2019 Chevrolet Camaro LT- Gallery

Wilmington, N.C. – Took the new Chevrolet 2019 Camaro LT 6-speed manual around Wilmington Tuesday. This was a fun beauty to drive around! It gets 16 city/ 27 hwy, it is priced at $38,790. Stop by today to check it out and take it for a test drive!

2019 Chevrolet Northsky Blue Metallic Silverado 1500 RST- Gallery

 

Wilmington, NC-The first day of Spring was an overcast in Wilmington, but April showers brings May flowers! Even with the overcast we were able to get some great shots of the Chevrolet 2019 Northsky Blue Metallic Silverado 1500 RST! We went to Humble Roots Farm for some fresh vegetables and eggs, then took this beauty around town. Want this truck to be yours? Schedule an appointment to pick it up by clicking here!

St. Patrick’s Day around Wilmington

This year is perfect for all of those who enjoy celebrating St. Patrick’s Day as it falls on Sunday, March 17th so you can start your weekend off with fun events all around Wilmington!

St Patrick’s Day Fun Facts

  • The St. Patrick’s Day parade tradition first took place in New York City on March 17, 1962 when Irish soldiers who served in the English military held a march to help reconnect with their Irish heritage.
  • New York City and Boston are home to the largest celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day parades, and there are more than 100 parades held across the United States.
  • Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dish.
  • The traditional Irish soda bread gets its name and distinctive character from the use of baking soda.  
  • The shamrock was a sacred plant in Ireland because it symbolized the rebirth of spring. The Celts called it “semory”.

 

Family Friendly

There are many things to do with your family, there are also causes that you can be part of during this fun holiday weekend.

 

2019 St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival

Fun for all to celebrate the Irish Spirit in Downtown Wilmington, NC! Saturday, March 16th the St. Patrick’s Day Parade will march on Front Street beginning at Red Cross Street, the parade will start at 11:00 AM looping through the streets of downtown Wilmington for 60-90 minutes. The parade will end at 2nd and Market Streets where the family-oriented festival will take over with food, music and festivities.

There is no admission charge for either of the events. There will be traditional Irish music, entertainment, dance performances, food, beverages and crafts available for sale. The festivities will happen either rain or shine so be sure to get decked out in GREEN and enjoy a full day of St. Patrick’s Day festivities!     

15th Annual Steve Haydu St. Patrick’s Day Lo Tide Run

Start your weekend off with a 5K or 10K which helps local cancer patients. The 15th Annual Steve Haydu St. Patrick’s Day Lo Tide Run takes place at Carolina Beach Boardwalk, Carolina Beach, NC on Saturday, March 16th, registration begins at 7am, 10K begins at 8:00 AM, 5K starts at 8:30 AM, and the Awards Ceremony is at 9:30 AM at the Gazebo Stage, all times are subject to change. You can signup all the way until race day!

 

Shamrocks & Shenanigans Virtual 4 Mile Run/Walk

What is St. Patrick’s Day without a little running right? Compete in the 1st Annual Shamrocks & Shenanigans Virtual 4 miler event. Yes that says Virtual, celebrate your race with runners from all around the world. Make running fun, bring your friends together, have friends in another state or country? Have them join in as well! Run 4 miles any time from March 1st, 2019 until March 31st, 2019. You’ll get an official tvek race bib, official Shamrocks & Shenanigans 4 Miler Finisher medal which will include 4 leaf mile markers which will be added to your finishers medal. Get the whole family involved, get active, and have fun this St. Patrick’s Day!

 

St. Patrick’s Day is a time for fun and to remember the Irish traditions. Party hard but be safe. If you do not want to go out there’s always alot of things that you can do for fun at home with your friends and family! Happy St. Patrick’s Day, don’t forget to wear GREEN! May the luck of the Irish be with you.