5 On-The-Border Attractions

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Borders between states and nations have often been met by contention. Humans have always been territorial, placing markers on what is “mine” and what is “yours.” Sometimes, the human race gets a little creative when drawing a line in the sand, and sometimes Mother Nature does it for us.

Here are some notable on-the-border land markers.

1. Nevada/California pool

Courtesy of I Am Bored

The Cal Neva Lodge, popularized by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. in the ‘60s before the glamour of the Las Vegas Strip took the attention away, placed a swimming pool smack dab on the border of the two states. With a little shade being thrown toward the land of Hollywood, the shallow end of the pool was placed on the California side.

2. Niagara Falls

Courtesy of Bobolink

The oldest state park in the United States, Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the border between Ontario and New York state. The falls, a part of the Niagara River, connect Lake Erie and Lake Ontario but split the twin cities of Niagara Falls into two different countries. There’s much debate over which side of the falls is better, but both have their pros and cons. Regardless, there are a lot of tourist traps.

3. South of the Border theme park

Courtesy of mollypop

Barely shy of being right on the border, this Mexican-themed rest stop and amusement park is located between Dillon, South Carolina and Rowland, North Carolina. The attraction’s owner Alan Shafer began his business as a simple beer stand. But when he visited Mexico to better his imports, he met two young men who he helped get admitted to the U.S.—and that’s how the nationality theme came about. It also helped spawn the park’s mascot, Pedro.

4. Four Corners Monument

Courtesy of Tim Pearce

This is the only place where four states intersect at one point. The convergence of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado sits at a remote quadripoint in the middle of the desert. The Monument—controlled by the Navajo Nation, which charges a fee to view and take a photo with the round marker—may actually not be in the right place. The Four Corners was first surveyed in 1868 during the initial survey of Colorado's southern border and intended for the states to meet-up at 109 degrees west longitude and 37 degrees north latitude—but because of surveying errors, the states connect about two and a half miles west of the intended spot.

5. Star of Caledonia

Courtesty of The Gretna Landmark

Okay, so this one hasn't been built yet, but it's still pretty cool. Scotland and England have always had an interesting relationship when it comes to power and boundaries—both physical and figurative. The Star of Caledonia—meant to celebrate Scotland's scientific contributions and Edinburgh-born physicist James Clerk Maxwell, who produced ground-breaking work in electromagnetic theory—is set to cost taxpayers nearly five million pounds. Approval is still pending on the project, but planning officials are urging the council in charge to give the green light. A report from the council said the idea for the landmark was a way to turn crossing the border into a "memorable experience" and to raise publicity for the area.

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March 4, 2013 - 2:00pm
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