Professional drivers value the simple things from their truck stops—clean restrooms and shower facilities, ample parking, and great food they can’t get anywhere else. Moreover, while these amenities will always be in high demand, there are other more unique features of a truck stop that give it that little something extra that makes us want to come back. As busy interstate exits become more and more corporatized, the beloved “mom and pop,” independent truck stops appear to be in decline in 2019. These independent truck stops have lost ground to the newer, shinier truck stops run by corporate chains, but have instituted various attractions and amenities to set themselves apart. We’ve searched high and low to go over the top and bring you the coolest truck stops in America.
Coolest Truck Stops in America
North Forty Truck Stop
Location: Holladay, TN
1-40, exit 126
Cool Amenities: Breakfast Buffet, 24/7 Restaurant, Deli, TV Lounge, Massage Therapist, Barber
North Forty Truck Stop located just west of Nashville, TN is a must stop destination for the breakfast lover or any weary traveler needing a break from the road. The owners of this truck stop understand the irritation derived from missing dinner, and so the restaurant is open 24 hours a day, every day. They also offer a lunch and dinner buffet, a barbershop, and even an in-house masseuse to take off the edge of sitting in the driver’s seat all day.
Petro Stopping Center #330
Location: Glendale, KY
I-65, exit 86
Cool Amenities: Iron Skillet Buffet, Trucker Lounge, Laundry Facilities, CB Shop, Chapel, Truck Wash, 24/7 Restaurant, Barber Shop
The Petro’s isn’t your typical Petro filling station and convenience store. Not only does offer the standard amenities you’d expect such as super clean showers, laundry facilities, and trucker lounge, but also features a truck wash, barber shop, and CB Shop. This unique truck stop is also home to a chapel where truckers away from home can attend church service on Sunday mornings. This stop on 1-65 is also the right stop if you are looking for repairs, inspections, or services.
Midway Travel Plaza
Location: Columbia, MO
US 40, exit 121
Cool Amenities: Tattoo Parlor, Health Clinic, Boot Store, Firework Store
Midway Travel Plaza was once highlighted in a Travel Channel special called “Truck Stop Missouri” and is home to your typical great food and convenient fuel that you’d expect from a truck stop. This truck stop, however, houses a couple of other cool features that make it truly unique. For starters, the truck stop has a Quality Inn on the lot, for those times where you don’t want to sleep in your truck. Midway Travel Plaza also offers amenities such as a tattoo parlor, health clinic, and a great restaurant. If you’re a trucker arriving in Columbia at the end of your shift, Midway Travel Plaza’s second floor is home to the Backdoor Lounge, an excellent stop for American food, pool, live music, and drink specials. Midway Truck Stop and Travel Plaza is also home to several events throughout the year such as flea markets, and concerts. Truckers who love food challenges may also want to take on the Big 70 Challenge at the Midway Truck Stop: 1 hour to eat 7 big biscuits, 1 lb of hash browns and bacon, and 70 ounces of gravy! 24 hr notice needed to participate in the Big 70 Challenges, so let them know you’re coming.
Jubitz Travel Center & Truck Stop
Location: Portland, OR
I-5, exit 307
Cool Amenities: On-site Hotel, Barber Shop, Post Office, Movie Theater, Bar & Grill, Shower Rooms, Jacuzzi Tubs, TV Lounge
While not in our Southern Eastern US hot lane route, our list of coolest truck stops in America would be remiss if we left out the Travel Channel’s “World’s Classiest Truck Stop” Jubitz Travel Center & Truck Stop in Portland, OR. This massive complex is home to a 24-hour convenience store and 9 high-speed diesel pumps, as well as, multiple dining and entertainment options to have some fun after the driving is done. The Ponderosa Lounge offers drivers the opportunity to kick back and play pool or video poker while waiting for your meal. The Lounge also offers live music on the weekends and even advertises dance lessons for those drivers with two left feet.
Petro #22 Truckers Store
Location: Atlanta, GA
1-285, Exit 12
Cool Amenities: Tattoo Shop, Barbershop, Nail Salon, Movie Theater, Exercise Room
Drivers traveling through Atlanta know how difficult it can be to find well-lit, secure, and safe parking. Petro 22 in Atlanta, GA, offers ample parking with onsite security, in addition to, a host of other amenities that are sure to make your stop a pleasant one. The Petro trucker store, like many national truck stop brands, has gone towards a pay-to-park model. However, they also wave the fee if you spend more than $25 in the truckers’ store or more than $50 in fuel. For those health-conscious drivers, this truck stop has a fully equipped, onsite work out room. Oppositely, it’s also a great place to get some of the best soul food available at a truck stop in the south.
TA Truck Stop #236
Location: Morris, IL
1/80, Exit ??
Cool Amenities: Wi-Fi, Showers, Homestyle Restaurant, Bakery
Located a stone’s throw away from the Illinois River, this Travel Centers of America truck stop in Morris, IL, may seem unassuming, and, well, that’s because it is. We picked this stop for two reasons: number one is that it’s smack dab in the middle of everything, and is less than a mile from a hospital, Costco, Walmart and a host of local restaurants and hotels. Secondly, it is home to the R-place family eatery which for the adventurous, is sure not to be your normal lunch or dinner stop. While we don’t condone eating massive amounts of red meat in one seating, R-place offers worthy challengers the opportunity to take the Premium Ethyl Burger Challenge. Harry’s #4 Premium Ethyl Burger is a whopping 2 lbs. Of hamburger meat complete with a 1 lb bun and 1lb in fixings. Unfortunately, there’s no onsite attorney to set your affairs in order with before attempting this ultimate burger lover challenge.
White’s Travel Center – Petro Raphine
Location: Rafine, VA
1-81/1-64, Exit 205
Cool Amenities: Truck Wash, Medical Clinic, Pharmacy, TV Rooms, Notary Public, Pet Wash
Promoted as the Largest Truck Stop on the East Coast, White’s Travel Center is a massive sea of trucks and envelopes almost the entire 205 exit off 1-81. White’s Travel Center includes some genuinely amazing eateries including White’s Deli for a quick fresh meal or the Iron Skillet Restaurant for homestyle meals. Drivers even have access to quality shopping for household gifts and country décor at the Orchard Creek store.
There’s nothing worse than getting sick on the road, far away from home. Luckily, White’s Travel Center also looks after driver health with a walk-in clinic that offers same-day appointments in addition to a pharmacy, both located on premise. Not only are all a driver’s basic needs covered, but the Petro Raphine is also a cool place to catch a firework spectacular or truck show, which occur at the truck stop annually.
South of the Border
Location: Hamer, SC
1-95, exit 1A
Cool Amenities: Restaurants, amusement park, mini-golf, shopping, fireworks stores
If you’re within 40 miles or so of Porky’s Truck Stop, you’ll know by the South of the Border billboards which count down the miles to this amazing stop on Interstate 95. Located just below the North and South Carolina borders, South of the Border is more of a small tourist trap, but it does contain Porky’s Truck Stop and is also home to a few other oddities including the South of the Border Motor Inn, The Sombrero Tower, and a Reptile Lagoon. Any professional truck driver can tell you about the slow decline of the “mom and pop,” independently owned truck stops. South of the Border and Porky’s Truck Stop offer a different and unique experience that provides the more eclectic drivers a welcomed change of pace. Drivers looking for fuel and food can grab a meal from the nearby Peddler Steak House or the Sombrero Room Restaurant, or pick up some unique gifts for the family from one of the many gift shops on exit 1A.
Grand Travel Plaza
Location: Shawnee, OK
1-40/US 102, exit 178
Cool Amenities: Truck Bays, Full-service Grill, Firelake Casino Buffet Vouchers
Grand Travel Plaza’s most significant pull has to be the adjacent Firelake Casino. Drivers filling up at Grand Travel get a free voucher to eat at the casino’s buffet restaurant which includes crab legs and several other mouthwatering dishes and desserts. This voucher is an excellent deal if you are passing through Oklahoma as you have to get gas anyway! Drivers can take a break by gambling at the casino or relaxing at the Lucky 7’s bar as well.
Iowa 80 TA
Location: Walcott, IA
I-80, exit 284
Cool Amenities: Laundry Mat, Movie Theater, Public Library, Dentist, Chiropractor, Trucking Museum
As the largest truck stop in America, Iowa 80 holds the top spot of “Coolest Truck Stops in America.” This behemoth of a truck stop is sometimes referred to by truckers as the 13th Wonder of the World (or however many wonders there are now). Spanning hundreds of acres, the Iowa 80 truck stop is bigger than many small towns in Iowa and has nearly every single amenity or service that a professional truck driver might need.
The complex itself looks like a large shopping mall divided into several buildings. The three-story main building includes your typical convenience store but also houses a custom shop for custom decals and lettering and a super truck showroom with over 50,000 truck accessories available. To give you an idea of the size, the main lobby of the convivence store has a full-size Freightliner Classic complete with Kentucky Trailer inside. That’s not even the only truck in the building either. This original building also houses a stellar food court, gift store, and the famous Iowa 80 Kitchen.
The third floor houses the “Trucker’s Loft” and is what drivers get excited about. With hot showers, a gym, and laundry facilities, drivers can enjoy the ordinary creature comforts while watching a movie at the driver’s movie theater or TV lounge or catching up on reading at the public library. Iowa 80 even has a dentist, chiropractor, and barbers on site.
Drivers See America
We support independent truck stop owners across the nation and thank you for taking care of our driver’s when they are out on the road. Love to travel and see new sights? Want to get paid to do it? You’re in luck! Roane Transportation is currently hiring new professional drivers for national, regional, and local routes today. Driver’s interested in a new role at Roane Transportation should fill out a New Driver Application or call 865-354-3288 for additional questions.