You miss out on the comforts of home when you’re over the road – warm showers, a familiar coffee pot, the convenience of your own washer and dryer! That’s just the basics and doesn’t include missing family, friends, and a home-cooked meal.
Enter what was once the humble truck stop. You may have noticed that in recent years, truck stops have become a lot more than just a place to fuel up, use a restroom, and grab a meal. They’ve become full-on destinations! Multiplexes with churches, movie theaters, casinos, and much more all exist now so when you’re stuck trying to find a load or waiting out hours-of-service limitations, at least there are some place out there to help pass the time.
Buc-ee’s is known for their happy logo and specially-branded snacks available in their enormous convenience stores. With huge bathrooms, loads of pumps for truckers, huge convenience stores, and delis, they’ve become a destination for carriers and families. Make sure you get to one next time you’re in Texas.
Interstate 80, Exit 284; 755 W. Iowa 80 Road
Iowa 80 has the distinction of being the “World’s Largest Truck Stop.“ Given that claim to fame and its 900 parking spots, it makes sense they offer a variety of services not typically found at truck stops including a chiropractor, a dental office, a barber shop, a custom embroidery shop, a workout room, and a super truck showroom. They also have the amenities you’d expect like laundry facilities, showers, a CAT scale, a place to wash your truck and your dog, and a movie theater.
Interstate 5, Exit 307; near the Portland International Airport
Jubitz offers 27 acres of services for truckers. You can get your truck serviced, wash your dog/truck/self, have your shoes repaired, get your hair cut, and so much more! There’s also places to dine, dance, or rest. If you’re in Portland and need a place to park it for a while, they also offer 300 parking spaces. Stop in to find out why it’s called the “World’s Classiest Truck Stop.”
Interstate 80, Exit 68
Everyone has heard of Little America – it’s an institution! They have private showers, a lounge for drivers, a trucking repair shop, a deli and grill, truck scales, and much more.
Interstate 40, Exit 126
The North Forty is known for their 24/7 diner which serves up a mean breakfast at any time of day – or you can hit up the breakfast buffet from 5-11 a.m. They also offer a TV room, laundry facilities, showers, and even massages.
Pilot Flying J Travel Centers come up again and again in favorite lists, and there are so many of them around that they can be found just about anywhere. Most locations have a CAT Certified Scale, laundry services, shower facilities, parking spaces you can reserve online, and a variety of restaurant options (Subway, Wendy’s, etc.), all in addition to their PJ Fresh Marketplace which features high-quality meals to go. Pilot Flying J also offers a rewards program to earn points and credits for purchasing fuel, products, and services which can be redeemed for food, WIFI, and showers.
Sapp Bros. has a number of full-service travel centers across the U.S. offering clean bathrooms and showers, restaurants, scales, and a Loyalty Card so you can earn points every time you fill up. Sapp Bros. also has a number of service centers (no appointment necessary!) and 24-hour roadside service so if you have truck problems, they can most likely fix them while you wait.
Interstate 95-U.S. 301-501
South of the Border is not just a truck stop but an actual destination for families hitting the road. There’s the Sombrero Observation Tower 200-feet up. There’s Pedroland Park with rides for kids including a carousel and bumper cars, that’s in addition to mini-golf courses, bounce houses, and an enormous jungle gym. There’s also a Reptile Lagoon which boasts the largest indoor reptile display in the States. Pedro’s Truck Stop offers showers and a trucker’s lounge. There’s also three different restaurants and an ice cream shop.
Intersection of I-35 and I-90; 820 Happy Trails Lane
Trail’s Travel Center has everything a carrier needs including more than 300 truck parking spots, a CAT Scales, modern shower facilities, a truck wash, and a number of restaurants – everything from fast food to Skol Tavern (a full sports bar). There’s also a movie theater and a chapel where truckers can attend a service conducted by Truck Stop Ministries at 10 a.m. every Sunday.
Whiskey Pete’s is actually an entire hotel and casino complex, but it’s also your last place to fill up going into Las Vegas (from California) or heading into the California desert. There’s a drivers’ lounge, laundry facilities, and showers. If you need a longer break and want to stay awhile, Whiskey Pete’s is part of a much larger resort where you can see a live big-name show in the arena, catch a movie in the theater, or visit one of several golf courses – all of that in addition to an enormous casino.