You know that feeling when you’ve spent a few hours on the road. Your legs are getting restless, your back is tingling, and your stomach rumbles in anticipation of a hot meal. Then, like a beacon of light, the truck stop slides into view, a gleaming mini-metropolis that hums with cheerful sounds like hot coffee brewing, friendly chatter, and food sizzling on the grill.
These days, truck stops are packed with all sorts of amenities, like movie theaters, swimming pools, showers, fitness centers, and even music venues. Here are some of our favorite picks:
1. Iowa 80, “The World’s Largest Truck Stop.” This trucker heaven, based in Walcott, Iowa, has been in business almost five decades. The building boasts a 300-seat restaurant, 50-ft salad bar, game room, movie theater, driver’s den, barber, dentist, and a state-of-the-art fuel center. Truckers can order any truck part imaginable from the Iowa 80 catalog, or they can take a turn in the trucking museum, which houses antique trucks and memorabilia.
2. Lodi Travel Center, Seville, OH. This pristine truck stop features huge marble showers, Internet access, a Starbucks where you can buy a strong cup of hot coffee, and a lounge, perfect for the road-weary trucker.
3. Jubitz. Lauded as the “world’s classiest truck stop,” Jubitz calls I-5 in Portland, OR home. It has a great restaurant, a lounge featuring live music and up-and-coming country singers, a Laundromat, medical clinic, deli, and a movie theater.
4. Florida’s 595 Truck Stop, Davie, FL. The huge truck stop offers a service and repair shop, a 4,000-square-foot shop filled with gleaming chrome, a home-style diner, an arcade, and parking for over 300 trucks. There’s also a medical and dental clinic and a Tiki bar!
5. Little America, Flagstaff, AZ. This concrete paradise features excellent dining options, huge tubs and showers, friendly staff, and comfortable hotel accommodations.
6. Whiskey Pete’s, Primm, NV. This active truck stop and business center is surrounded by casinos, monorails, outlet malls, restaurants, and even a roller coaster.
7. Morris Travel Center, Morris, IL. What’s the biggest draw to a truck stop? Good food, of course, and Morris has just that. R Place restaurant is known as one of the best truck stop diners, featuring burgers and sweet homemade pastries.
8. South of the Border, Hamer, SC. You know this truck stop is coming 100 miles away by the billboards lined up announcing its impending arrival. But you’re never quite ready for South of the Border. Part truck stop, part roadside attraction, this highway oasis features a reptile lagoon, mini-golf, a wedding chapel, jogging trail, and a Sombrero Observation Tower. There are also numerous places to dine and hotels if you choose to stay the night.
Which truck stop is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!