Truck stops are as ubiquitous to road travel as travel itself. If you’ve been on the road for hours and you’re yearning for something more than a shack in a dark parking lot, where do you go?
There are a countless number of unremarkable truck stops, useful for the basest of needs, but not much more. For those of you in the know, however, there’s a select few that meet the criteria for wonderful, useful and unique. Let’s take a closer look at the top ten best truck stops in America!
- The Iowa 80 Truck Stop
Even people who don’t work in trucking have heard of the world’s largest truck stop, located just off of I-80, on exit 284 in Walcott, Iowa. This 100,000 square foot facility makes sure that if you need it, it’s there. Along with a huge selection of practical everyday items, the food court is a who’s who of fast and casual food chains.
There’s also a full movie theater, shower, laundromat and even church services. Brush up on your historical trivia by checking out the trucking museum. Next time you’re riding through Iowa, stop by and be one of the 5,000 people a day that pay a visit to the I-80 truck stop.
- South of the Border
Despite the name, this truck stop is very much located north of the border. Just off of I-95 in Dillon, South Carolina, this truck stop is a food nirvana, with six different restaurants, from casual to steakhouse.
In one of the more interesting things to be found at a truck stop, South of the Border has the largest indoor reptile exhibit in the United States. And just in case you’re looking to have a little fun, an amusement park is next door, replete with a ferris wheel, carousel, bumper cars and arcade.
This Texas staple has twenty-two locations across the state. They’re known for their large convenience stores with huge restrooms, lots of gas pumps and a deli.
The New Braunfels location even won the America’s Best Restroom Award in 2012. And it’s not just the bathroom that’s impressive, the store itself is 68,000 square feet, is stocked with 80 soda fountains and has a whopping 83 bathroom stalls.
- Little America
When you arrive at Little America, you’ll wonder if you’ve actually arrived at the country club. Located off of the I-40, at exit 198, in Flagstaff, Arizona, this truck stop boasts a 500-acre hotel and golf course. Looking to unwind? Try their swimming pool or fitness center.
Oh, did we almost forget about the actual travel center? They’ve got a gas station and 24-hour convenience store stocked with a wide array of groceries, books, CDs and DVDs. Feed the beast by checking out their Little America Grill, which has a huge menu and is open daily until at least 10:30 pm.
- Sapp Bros.
If you’re traveling on I-80 somewhere between Utah and Pennsylvania, you may see a Sapp Bros. Travel Center. With sixteen locations to back them up, Sapp Bros. offers a unique 24-hour roadside service.
At six of the locations you can find the Apple Barrel, their popular restaurant chain. The prices are reasonable and the American cuisine comes in hefty portions. It’s American comfort food at its finest.
- Tamarack Tourist Information Center
Located off of Exit 45 where the I-77 and I-64 meet in Beckley, West Virginia, you’ll find the Tamarack Tourist Information center. Over half a million people stop at the center every year, and it’s not just for food or rest.
In addition to a large food court, it has a fine arts gallery, a theater that supports live performances, a conference center, and a large store selling all the essentials, plus some cool local products.
- Jubitz Truck Stop and Travel Center
Surely you’ll want to say you’ve visited the “World’s Classiest Truck Stop,” according to the Travel Channel? Located just off of I-5 in Portland, Oregon, the Jubitz Truck Stop boasts a 100 room inn, a restaurant, convenience store and movie theater.
Want to park it and unwind? Visit the Ponderosa Lounge and try your hand at a game of pool or video poker. On the weekends you can indulge in a dance lesson or live music.
- Bear Lake Rest Area and Overlook
If you asked the Travel Channel, they’d tell you that this rest stop, located off of route 89 in Bear Lake, Utah, has the best view of any rest top in the U.S. Judging by some of the pictures, they may be right.
There’s an overlook with a beautiful view of Bear Lake and the surrounding mountains. If you’re looking to get some exercise while viewing the splendors of nature check out their hiking trails.
- Trails Travel Center
We couldn’t exactly leave out the truck stop that has the largest whiskey selection in southern Minnesota, now could we? Located off of I-35 in Albert Lea, Minnesota, Trail’s Travel Center boasts a restaurant and tavern with an extensive menu, reasonable prices and the aforementioned whiskey selection.
For those who are seeking a little entertainment while on the road, there’s also a movie theater, full wi-fi and church services.
- R-Place Restaurant
And for our final entry, we give an honorable mention to a place that’s not quite your traditional truck stop. R-Place Restaurant, located in Morris, Illinois off the I-80 is a 24-hour restaurant that serves classic American cuisine and baked goods.
Oh, and did we mention the 2-pound hamburger? The challenge is to eat it within one hour without leaving your table. Could you do it?