Coolest Rest Stops and Gas Stations Around the World
Even if you’re in full on “road mode,” these 11 gas stations, rest stops and truck stops are worth braking for.
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Pops, Arcadia, Oklahoma
You can’t miss the 4-ton, 66-foot-tall illuminated soda bottle in front of Pop’s on Route 66. Whether you need to fill your tank or quench your thirst, Pop’s has what you need. The restaurant features over 700 types of sodas, seltzers and other soft drinks.
Alzu Petroport, Near Middelburg, South Africa
Baby rhinos. Need we say more? South Africa’s Alzu Petroport, situated on the N4 between Belfast and Middelburg, boasts the usual truck stop amenities - clean restrooms, dining and shopping. But the big draw here is the adjacent wildlife preserve, where rhinos, ostriches and buffalo roam.
Trail’s Travel Center, Albert Lea, Minnesota
From the outside you wouldn’t know that Trail’s, located off I-35 in Minnesota, features every service imaginable for the weary motorist - from showers and laundry to a movie theater and church services. Trail’s also carries one of the largest selections of whiskey in Minnesota.
Gazoline Petrol, Cuneo, Italy
Applying modern Italian design to the lowly rest area, Cuneo, Italy’s Gazoline Petrol enhances the roadside landscape with its ribbon - like architectural form, which is meant to symbolize the road and invite drivers in for a break. The project was designed by Damilanostudio Architects.
Beckley Travel Plaza, Beckley, West Virginia
A comfortable stopping point for travelers on West Virginia’s I-77, Beckley Travel Plaza may be the only truck stop in the world that’s also a destination craft hunters. Beckley’s offers a wide array of West Virginia made handicrafts including quilts, glassware and local foods.
Helios House, Los Angeles, California
Welcome to the future! The first gas station in the U.S. to be submitted for LEED status, the Helios Gas Station on Los Angeles’s Olympic Boulevard is made entirely of recycled steel and features 90 solar panels. It is drought resistant and energy efficient
Skovshoved Petrol Station, Copenhagen, Denmark
Designed by Arne Jacobson and opened in 1936, this historic gas station on the outskirts of Copenhagen is a signature example of functionalist architecture. Its mushroom canopy protects motorists from rain and sun. Lit from below the canopy also serves as a sign at night.
Ashigara Rest Area, Shizouka Prefecture, Japan
Not far from Mount Fuji, Japan’s sprawling Ashigara Rest area, which re-opened after renovations now features more than 20 restaurants and food stalls, pony rides for children and an outdoor hot springs.
Willkomm’s Petro Truck Stop, Racine, Wisconsin
At Willkomm’s Petro, off I-94 in Racine, Wisconsin, travelers can treat themselves to one of O&H Bakery’s world-famous “Kringles” (a doughnut-like confection), get a haircut and even see a doctor.
Orival Gas Station, Orival, Belgium
Considered one of the world’s most beautiful filling stations, Belgium’s Orival Gas Station, which spans both sides of the highway running between Brussels and Nivelles, was designed by Philippe Samyn and Partners to have the least impact on the environment. It features an art gallery and landscaped parks, as well as the usual service area amenities like covered fuel pumps, restaurants and picnic areas.
Iowa 80 Truck Stop, Walcott, Iowa
This 100,000 square foot truck stop along I-80 in Iowa is billed as the biggest in the world. Inside you’ll find a Laundromat, library, chiropractor, dentist, barber shop and workout room. Plus, as the home of the Trucker’s Museum, I-80 celebrates each summer with an annual Truckers Jamboree, which includes a Trucker’s Olympics and a Super Truck Beauty Contest.