Home Roadside Attraction Buc-ee’s Is Muscling In On South Of The Border’s Territory

Buc-ee’s Is Muscling In On South Of The Border’s Territory

by SharonKurheg

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that I’m a huge fan of nostalgia and kitsch. Doesn’t matter if it’s Tiki bars or old hotels redone “right,” I love ’em all. Here are some of the places we’ve visited:

There was also the glorious 6 hours I got to spend at South Of The Border, the tourist trap on Rt. I-95 that opened in 1949 in South Carolina, just south of the North Carolina Border.

And, of course, my #1 favorite, Buc-ee’s rest stops (here’s why I love Buc-ee’s so much). By the way, I’m in good company – Shaquille O’Neal says that Buc-ee’s is one of HIS favorite stores, too!

Here’s a great description of Buc-ee’s:

Buc-ee’s has been around since 1982, and until a couple of years ago, its stores and (cheap!) gas stations were only in Texas. But in 2019, their first location outside of the Lone State State opened, in Loxley, Alabama. Since then, they’ve also opened another location in Alabama (in Leeds), plus 2 each in Georgia (Warner Robins and Calhoun) and Florida (Saint Augustine and Daytona Beach. That last one is only 65 minutes from my house, by the way – BE STILL MY HEART! ;-))

Anyway, a friend of mine, Tim, recently sent me an article about Buc-ee’s, that included where the projected new stores would be in the next few years.

  • Richmond, Ky., second-quarter 2022
  • Florence, S.C., second-quarter 2022
  • Crossville, Tenn., 2022
  • Athens, Ala., 2023
  • Auburn, Ala., 2023
  • Sevierville, Tenn., 2023
  • Smiths Grove, Ky., 2023
  • Johnstown, Colo., 2024
  • Hillsboro, Texas, 2025
  • Harrison County, Miss., 2025
  • Boerne, Texas, 2025
  • Anderson, S.C., 2026

None of them are anywhere near me, but one of them caught my eye. You see that second one down? Florence, SC? That town is just about a half-hour south of South Of The Border.

PC: Google Maps

You could call it a clash of kitsch.

I think it’s kind of interesting that the two will be so close, but I also question if Buc-ee’s will really make an impact on SOTB’s business. After all, a half hour is a long time on a car ride. But it’s also two very different offerings to prospective customers.

Buc-ee’s customers are there to go in and out. As a friend said on their first visit to the Daytona store, it’s like a Wawa got together with the merchandise section of a Cracker Barrel and had a baby with really clean bathrooms. You do your business, you get your coffee, brisket sandwich, beaver nuggets, and Buc-ee’s T-shirt, and you go on your merry way. SOTB is more of a “get out, stretch your legs, mosey around from store to store and maybe go up in the sombrero if it’s open” type of location.

Buc-ee’s is newer, more streamlined, and has much cheaper gas. SOTB had its heyday in the mid-20th century, when road trips were king (even when Joe stayed there in the mid-80s, he said it was starting to show its age). It still has lots and lots of fans (hello, I’m one!), and is even in the midst of some much-needed renovations. But it also admittedly saw its prime a while back.

Will it matter if Buc-ee’s starts muscling in on SOTB’s territory? Probably not. But for me, having both of them within a half hour or so of each other will be the grandest road trip EVER! 😉

***Many thanks to Tim B., who gave me the heads up about this very important topic that’s near and dear to my heart! 😉

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

7 comments

Ann Munoz March 4, 2022 - 5:56 pm

stop making buc-ees outside of texas!

Reply
SharonKurheg March 4, 2022 - 10:26 pm

Nahhhhh….they make more money if they do. Good for them, I say! And for those who live out of Texas, too! 😉

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Alva D Cullum March 5, 2022 - 3:44 am

As a truck driver, I refuse to shop at buc-cees. If I’m not allowed to park my truck and shop while I’m working, they will not get my money when I get off work.

Reply
Paul Hallagan March 5, 2022 - 9:58 pm

I Want to know about How RV friendly Buc-ee’s

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SharonKurheg March 6, 2022 - 12:37 am

They are very RV friendly 🙂

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DrRodney E Graham March 5, 2022 - 10:34 am

It’s become a fun thing for me, to see the Buc-ee’s signs in Florida’s South I-95. I’m a former Disney Cast Member, who returns to “The Kingdom,” regularly, from my home near Charleston, SC. Buc-ee’s can be found in Daytona, and it’s great to see the signs as I head down the Interstate, before turning off for Orlando.

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Larry March 23, 2022 - 1:27 pm

I think Buc’ees will have more of an impact on SOB than you realize. I for one love SOB and stop each road trip to to Florida. I enjoy the memories of all the previous trips. It is our regular Gas and bathroom break.
I just drove through last weekend and checked out the progress of the Florence location. I said to the Family that this is probably our last regular stop at SOB because Buc’ees beats it for both my reasons for stopping. Cheaper Gas and Cleaner Bathrooms. Unfortunately SOB is now a shell of its former self (and its former self was also old and rundown) I stop at St. Augustine Buc’ees on the way down and Daytona on the way back. Florence is strategically placed a tankful away.
Unfortunately SOB is now more like stopping at a “Stab and Grab” gas station rather than a destination. Half the buildings are gone and almost all of the remaining are always closed when we stop. Now, the only thing special about it is the memories. I really hope they remodel and bring back some of the lost luster and give me a reason to stop again.

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