Most of the time traveling can be a boring task. Lots of miles of interstates and highways with very little to see. You might pull off the road every now and then to get fuel or stretch but for the most part lots and lots of open roads. During your travels you will likely encounter a few different types of rest stops that you may find while traveling around this country.
The first type that you may come across is a ‘Welcome Center”. This type of rest area will usually be located right after you enter a new state and will be located on the Interstate/freeway. They generally have an area to park for cars, trucks and Rv’s. There will be no fuel but they will have restrooms and some type of food. Most types will just have vending machines. There will also be an information area with pamphlets, maps, and sometimes small displays of the area’s history.
Rest Areas/Welcome Centers
There are also many rest areas that are set up similar to Welcome Centers. They have a place to park for Cars, trucks, and Rv’s. Just like the welcome center, you don’t need to exit the Interstate/freeway and travel through a town to find something. They have parking and restrooms. We use these all the time if we are looking to stretch and/or eat and don’t need fuel.
Another type is one similar to the Welcome Center/Rest area type except you will find fuel, restrooms, and some different types of fast food. The advantage to these is that you don’t need to get off the interstate/freeway and go through a town. It’s easy on/easy off and you have all the usual travel necessities all in one stop.
Off The Interstates/Into A Town
The last type you might find is an area off the interstate or freeway. This type you will have to actually get off an exit and it will lead you into a town. There you will usually find gas stations, fast food places, restaurants, and anything else associated with small towns. After getting what you need you just get back onto the interstate/freeway and be on your way.
When we were in Texas, one of our motorcycle trips were to the Blue Hole and Rt 66 Auto museum in New Mexico. As we were traveling back from the Blue Hole and Rt66 auto museum on interstate 40, we needed gas. We saw a sign for Russells Truck & Travel Center and decided to exit. At this point, we were overheated as the temperatures were in the 90’s and we needed fuel anyway. It also advertised a free car museum which we dismissed as an advertising ploy.
Easy To Navigate On A Motorcycle
This rest/fuel stop was the kind you needed to actually get off the exit but it was not far off the exit. These are easy to navigate on a motorcycle so it was a no-brainer. When we travel with the truck and RV set-up we usually look for signs that list multiple fuel stops. This way we have a better chance that we will fit in at least one of them. That’s a discussion for another blog.
So we pull into this gas station and filled the tank. We parked the bike and headed inside to cool off a bit and see this “free museum”. The gas station had a convenience store, a food area called “The Rt 66 Diner”, and the museum.
As we entered the auto museum we were pleasantly surprised. This museum was as good as or better than the one we just left in New Mexico and that one was $5 per person with no air conditioning!!!
It featured a bunch of nostalgic cars and collectibles. As soon as we entered the museum part we were greeted with a smile and a piece of paper listing all the cars that were on location for that date. We wound up spending quite a bit of time here. We couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised.
So I guess not all truck stops/rest areas are the same as we originally thought. This one features all the usual things you would find in a truck stop like gas, diesel, truck services, scales, food, restrooms, and a gift shop.
So far in our travels, this has been our favorite rest area/truck stops so far. It will actually be hard to beat. Have you found any cool rest areas/truck stops in your travels? Leave a comment below and let me know.