Truck stops have long been a fixture of America's wide-open roads. As anyone who transports goods across state and regional lines will attest, rest stops are an essential aspect of life on the road. Today, truck stops are more exciting than ever because they function as more than mere rest and fuel stops. This article details the best truck stops in the U.S.A. for food, entertainment, rest and lodging.
Best Truck Stops in the West
Many of the best truck stops in America are located out West, just outside one of the nation's fastest-growing cities or in little towns:
Jubitz — Portland, Ore.
One of the best truck stops west of the Mississippi, and no doubt the finest in the Pacific Northwest, is Jubitz. Situated at Exit 307 off Interstate 5 near the Portland International Airport, Jubitz has all the accommodations that you could want in a truck stop, including gas, lodging, food and entertainment. With one stop at Jubitz, you have the following amenities at your fingertips:
- Moe's Deli: Acclaimed for its sandwiches.
- Jubitz Cinema: A place to catch a movie for only $6.
- Cascade Grill: Open 24/7, this place serves up all-American food.
- Ponderosa Lounge and Grill: A country western bar with food and a dance floor.
- The Portlander Inn: Comfortable rooms complete with kitchenettes, phones and cable television.
In addition to the food and overnight accommodations, Jubitz features ample parking and reasonably priced fuel. During long drives up or down the West Coast, Jubitz is the place to rest, recharge and refuel.
The Flying J Truck Stop at Whiskey Pete's – Primm, Nev.
More than any other truck stop in the southwest, the Flying J Truck Stop at Whiskey Pete's offers an all-out experience. In addition to serving as a truck stop, Whiskey Pete's offers gambling and entertainment as well as the usual amenities. Located at 100 W Primm Blvd off Interstate 15, Whiskey Pete's features the following attractions:
- Subway: When you have a craving for a long sandwich.
- Starbucks: Perhaps you are just in the mood for coffee and a croissant?
- Dairy Queen: If you are in the mood for drinks, sundaes or a quick bite.
- Qdoba Mexican Grill: Hungry for a full lunch or dinner? Here is the place.
- Slot machines and free Wi-Fi: The travel center has 40 slot machines and a lounge where you can access the Internet via laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Additionally, you can take in the various forms of entertainment and recreation at the casino. Before you head back out on the road, fill your tank at one of the 10 diesel pumps or 24 gas pumps at the Flying J Truck Stop.
Little America — Little America, Wyo.
For truck route stopovers in the Western states, few stops top Little America in the Cowboy State. Located at Exit 68 off Interstate 80, Little America offers food, fuel, an ATM and showers. At any hour, day or night, you can pull in at Little America to enjoy the following amenities:
- Fuel center deli: For sandwiches, fries, drinks and a whole lot more. Open 24/7.
- Convenience store: For refreshments, snacks and other essentials. Open 24/7.
- Drivers lounge: Complete with a 50-inch screen television.
- Shower rooms: Seventeen private showers.
- Laundry facilities: So you can embark on the rest of your journey with a clean wardrobe.
Before you head back on the road, you can put cash in your wallet at the ATM and fuel up your truck for another round of mileage. Little America even has a post office, in case you want to send letters back home.
Best Truck Stops in the Midwest
Most of the nation's best truck stops are situated in the Midwest, where full-amenity travel centers are in abundance:
Sapp Bros. — Sidney, Neb.
A great truck stop in the Great Plains is the Sidney Sapp Bros. off highway 17J. Sapp Bros. is a chain of travel centers with 16 different locations throughout the U.S. The brand touts the cleanliness of its restrooms and showers, which are among the freshest and most sanitary of any on the travel center circuit. The Sapp Bros. in Sidney also offers the following amenities:
- Lucille’s Famous Fried Chicken: If the craving for chicken calls, you can fill your plate here.
- Deli/food bar: If sandwiches are more your thing, you will have plenty of options.
- Showers: Reputed to be as clean as the restrooms, which the Sapp Bros. site deems "mom approved."
Sapp Bros. Sidney has further eateries and a 24-hour restaurant. When you stop and refill your truck, you can also send messages to friends and loved ones on the wireless Internet. With a Sapp Bros. Express Pay card, you can refuel with ease at one of the high-speed pumps.
Clearwater Travel Plaza — Clearwater, Minn.
When it comes to food options, the Clearwater Travel Plaza at Exit 178 off Interstate 94 is one of the most distinguished road stops thanks to the chicken/rice soup served at the Nelson Brothers restaurant, which earned a spot on the Food Network. A further range of delectables can be found at the plaza bakery with its selection of bread, cookies and pies.
Before you fuel up and resume your journey, you can take some time to catch up on social media with the plaza's free Wi-Fi and even pick up a souvenir to send back home in the USPS drop box.
Trails Travel Center — Albert Lea, Minn.
Throughout Minnesota, few truck stops are as spacious as the Trails Travel Center, which boasts 300 truck-sized parking spots. Loved for its wood carvings and Viking-style fixtures, the Trails Travel Center is located off 775th Ave and East Main St. in Albert Lea near Interstate 35.
Trails Travel Center has all the usual amenities, including a laundromat, a truck wash, shower facilities, two restaurants and an ice cream parlor.
Iowa 80 – Walcott, Iowa
Billing itself as the "World's Largest Truck Stop," Iowa 80 is among the most entertaining break spots in the Midwest. When you pull in to fuel up, there are numerous attractions at Iowa 80 that will likely make you stay for a while. From movies to super truck displays, the entertainment is boundless. The following amenities can be found at Iowa 80:
- Fast food: Iowa 80 has a Wendy's, a Dairy Queen and an Orange Julius.
- Convenience store: A clean and classy stop for snacks, coffee, drinks and prepared foods.
- Barbershop: Need a trim? Drop in here for a clean cut before you head back out on the highway.
- Movie theater: Iowa 80 has a vast selection of movie titles that are screened on request.
- Dogomat: Bring your furry, four-legged travel companion here for a bath.
Iowa 80 also has a chiropractor and a dental office, both open six days a week. Once you leave, you can have your truck newly washed at the Truckomat and refurbished with new parts if necessary.
Highlands Petro — Racine, Wis.
For the Midwest driver who seeks replenishment after hours on the wide, open road, Highlands Petro offers rest options as well as physical therapy. Located off Highway's 94 and 20 on the outskirts of Racine, Highlands Petro has an in-house chiropractor and shower facilities.
If you arrive in need of a trim, you can stop by the hair parlor. If entertainment is more up your alley, the Highlands Petro movie theater could give you a few hours of escape. Before you refuel and hit the road, you could even drop by the Internet room to send messages to the folks back home.
Morris Travel Center — Morris, Ill.
During routes through the Midwest, Morris Travel Center is one of the most spacious and accommodating places to park, refuel and enjoy some refreshments. With 200 truck-sized parking spaces, Morris Travel Center is well-equipped to handle the volumes of traffic that pull in night and day from the busy Illinois roadways. Located off Interstate 80, Morris Travel Center offers the following amenities:
- R Place: A restaurant that serves all-American meals and deserts, 24/7.
- Charley's Philly Steaks: The place to stop by for a fast bite.
- Minit Mart and travel store: For refreshments, snacks, road essentials and souvenirs.
At Morris Travel Center, you can also have maintenance performed on your truck. Before you resume your trip, stop here for an oil change, tire change, alignment, engine examination and preventative maintenance. Morris Travel Center also has laundry, Wi-Fi and a Western Union location.
Best Truck Stops in the South
Some of the most popular truck stops in the U.S. are located down south, where truckers and regular folks come for food, entertainment and sightseeing features:
North Forty Truck Stop — Holladay, Tenn.
Of all the truck stops in the southeast, North Forty Truck Stop at Exit 126 off Interstate 40 is among the finest. Here, you can fuel your truck and grab a bite or take an overnight rest, complete with luxury accommodations. At North Forty Truck Stop, you will have the following amenities at your disposal:
- Deli: The place for sandwiches, pizza, fried pies and more.
- North 40 Auto Truck Stop Restaurant: All-you-can-eat lunch and dinner buffets from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Sunday.
- Gift shop: Stock up on souvenirs, both as memorabilia of your trip and as gifts for loved ones back home.
- Entertainment store: Looking for a book or CD to take on your trip? Get it here.
- Clothing store: Need a new shirt? Get one here, along with hats and other apparel.
North Forty Truck Stop is also the place to fill up your tank before you head back out on the Tennessee highway. The station accepts cash and all major credit cards, as well as TCH, EFS, TChek, Comdata, Fleet One and MultiService fuel cards.
South of the Border — Hamer, S.C.
One of the most distinctive and eye-catching truck stops in the U.S. is South of the Border, located off Interstate 95 in Hamer, S.C. The first thing that you will notice is the giant, 200-foot sombrero-topped mascot, Pedro. As soon as you pull in, the following amenities are there to greet you on your break from the road:
- South of the Border Restaurant: Whether you crave Mexican food or all-American grub, you can chow down here.
- Pedro's Motel: If you need a full rest before resuming your trip, check in here for a comfy stay-over.
- The reptile lagoon: Want to see crocodiles and rattlesnakes? They can be found here.
- Pedroland Park: Built in the 1950s, this vintage amusement park has a Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, bumper cars and various other attractions.
Truck drivers who stop at South of the Border usually stick around for at least a few hours. As one of the nation's leading roadside attractions, the site offers a lot more than simple fuel and refreshments.
Best Truck Stops on the East Coast
You can find some of the best rest stops along the eastern part of the country, especially as you drive down the coast:
Pilot Travel Center — Bath, N.Y.
Pilot Travel Center is a national truck stop chain with over 800 different locations, of which the Bath location is among the finest. Located off highway 53 in upstate New York, Pilot Travel Center is a place where you can stop to fuel up or take a break from your trip for food, refreshments and wireless Internet access. Pilot Travel Center is loved for the following amenities:
- PJ Fresh Marketplace: The place for macaroni, soup, sandwiches and numerous other comfort food selections.
- PJ Fresh Pizza: Mozzarella-rich pizza with a variety of toppings, whether you like meat, vegetables or both.
- The Pilot Health Tree: A program designed to help drivers stay fit and healthy on the road.
Additionally, Pilot Travel Center has ATMs, game rooms, laundry and shower facilities, check-cashing services and payphones. With the Pilot myRewards program, you can earn points on your next reserved parking spot.
Speedway — Disputanta, Va.
Few truck stops are as accommodating as Speedway, one of the largest stops along the mid-Atlantic coast. Located off Interstate 460, Speedway can accommodate more than 100 trucks at a time. As a national chain with locations throughout the U.S., Speedway also has a rewards program, redeemable at any Speedway stop.
At Speedway, purchases on select items can earn you points toward money off on future purchases. Drop by Speedway in Disputanta or any other one of the chain locations for comfort food, snacks, fuel and other essentials.
Tamarack Tourist Information Center — Beckley, W. Va.
Another great stop along the mid-eastern part of the U.S. is the Tamarack Tourist Information Center, located at Exit 45 off Interstates 77 and 64. While not technically a refueling station, Tamarack has plenty to offer for the road-weary motorist in need of stretch time.
Billed as an attraction more than a rest stop, Tamarack has an art gallery, a tourist center and a teaching facility where locals can practice woodworking and pottery. Visitors at Tamarack usually head to the gift shop or stay a few hours to watch a show at the local theatre.
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