Ask any trucker or family traveler – one of the most important things on any road trip is rest stop accessibility. No parent wants to be too far from the next stop point when that young voice in the back seat calls, “But I have to go now…” and no trucker wants to spend any longer on the road than he has to before his next break.
Fortunately, not every rest stop in the world is limited to gas, food, and toilets. Some have gotten a little more creative, providing not only a safe place to sleep, but also some evening entertainment or chiropractic care. Make sure rest stops are marked on the map before your next road trip, and try to include one or two of our top 10!
10. Lodi Travel Center
The Lodi Travel Center is located in Lodi, Ohio and is know as the first truck stop to ever house a Starbucks coffee shop. Everyone loves a good cup of coffee – even truckers! They also love keeping in touch with family and friends, which is why the conveniently located internet lounge gives those traveling far from home a fuzzy feeling as they stay connected with their loved ones.
9. Derrick Plaza Truck Stop
The Derrick Plaza Truck Stop can be found in Salisbury, North Carolina and caters to the more religious at heart. Truckers who spend countless days on the road, or families exploring the country on vacation, may feel as though their spiritual needs aren’t being met. The chapel located at the edge of this stop has services for visitors up to six nights per week!
8. Rip Griffin Travel Center
Everyone deserves a pampering break. Visitors to the Rip Griffin Travel Center in New Braunfels, Texas will enjoy a short Cadillac ride to Rip’s Country Fare Restaurant (literally across the street from the truck stop). There they can indulge in some of the finest barbeque fare in Texas – if they don’t mind that the meat smoker is actually a converted tractor! Now that’s relaxation with a flare!
7. Alamo Plaza
The Alamo Plaza in Sparks, Nevada saves travelers from having to venture to Reno or Las Vegas if those destinations weren’t already part of the plan. This rest stop houses over 250 slot machines as well as a number of other gaming tables in its very own casino. It’s a normal truck stop, with gasoline, restaurants, and repair bays – the casino is just an added bonus. Just make sure you don’t gamble away your gas money!
6. Autohof Strohofer
How’s this for different? On the highways of Munich, Germany you’ll find the Autohof Strohofer rest stop. The sit-down restaurants, drive-through dining options, and weekend entertainment all pale in comparison to the rest stop’s main spa. That’s right – there is a co-ed spa complete with a sauna and pool. The clothing optional experience certainly gives new meaning to the rest stop experience!
Find some of the best places to stay in Munich Germany right off the Autobahn.
5. Highlands Petro Truck Stop
Truckers know the importance of health while traveling, as do those who travel for business on a regular basis. Truckers frequently experience sore backs from the hours behind the wheel. The Highlands Petro Truck Stop in Racine, Wisconsin has a dedicated chiropractor on hand to help ease your pains. Aside from dedicated parking and sleeping areas, the rest stop also has restaurants and showers.
4. Jubitz Travel Plaza
The Jubitz Travel Plaza in Portland, Oregon almost seems like a vacation destination in itself. Visitors can opt to sleep in a hotel instead of in their truck’s cab, dance the night away in the Ponderosa Lounge, or take in a quiet movie. The rest stop also houses one of Oregon’s main Welcome Centers, laundry services, a medical office, and the esteemed Moe’s Deli. Parents who need a few minutes to themselves can give their kids a pocketful of quarters and leave them to burn off their pent-up energy in the arcade!
3. Ayer Keroh Stop
Travelers all over the world need to take a few minutes to kick back. The Ayer Keroh Truck Stop in Maleka, Malaysia allows jungle travelers to do just that. The raised walkways from the suspended truck stop allow visitors to explore the jungle while the Muslim prayer room gives others a place to explore their faith. Don’t worry – standard American fare can be found here as well!
2. Iowa 80 Truckstop
The Iowa 80 Truckstop in Walcott, Iowa is known as the world’s largest! They say that over 5,000 truckers visit this stop each day, with parking for 800 at a time. Restaurants, showers, and a relaxing lounge are on the beginning.
Truckers can stop for a hair cut or even visit a dentist if the need should arise. Stop by the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum to understand the art of truck driving, or time your visit so that you can be a part of the Truckers Jamboree, hosted at the stop each year!
1. South of the Border
South of the Border, located in Dillon, South Carolina, is more than a simple rest stop. Tourists from all over flock to this incredible stop on their way to their vacation destinations. The stop includes restaurants, amusement park rides, souvenir shops, and a mini-golf course! Can’t wait to marry your sweetie? Get married in Pedro’s Pleasure Dome! Eat in one of the dozens of restaurants or spend the night in the gigantic motel. South of the Border has almost everything you could ever dream a rest stop might have!
These rest stops provide more entertainment than the average bathroom break and snack machine. Try to map your next trip so that it takes you past one of these incredible stops. You might actually enjoy that break from the road!