August 11, 2021
Convenience Stores to Navigate to
A trusty convenience store is essential for any good road trip. From good eats to on-the-go essentials, there’s no pit stop quite like the store that just has everything. And depending on your part of the country, there are a lot to choose from.
Everyone has their favorite, but some convenience stores have even gained a cult following by going the extra mile with scenery and selection.
Here are some of the nation’s favorite must-see convenience stores.
Wall Drug (Wall, South Dakota)
This aptly named convenience store has a deep history that can be felt the moment you pull up. Founded as a small Depression-era pharmacy, Wall Drug has grown and grown….and grown to the 76,000 square foot attraction it is today. Drawing more than 2 million visitors each year, it could be the 5-cent coffee and free ice water that keeps visitors coming back. But more likely it’s the chapel, fudge shop, playground, Western Art Gallery Restaurant and soda fountain that marks this convenience store as a major pit stop on visitors’ travels to Mount Rushmore or Rapid City.
With locations sprawling mid Texas, Bruc-ee’s is popular with travelers from all over. With over 80 gas pumps at each location and up to 67,000 square feet of indoor space, this convenience store really lives up to its hype. Founded in 1982, Bruce-ee’s prides itself on its clean bathrooms (a pit stop must), delicious food and even the world’s longest carwash! If everything is bigger in Texas, Brucee’s definitely doesn’t disappoint.
Pops 66 Soda Ranch (Arcadia, Oklahoma)
You may not see Pops 66 from a mile away, but it’d be hard to miss their towering 66-foot tall light-up soda bottle dawning the front. Known for what else, their special sodas, Pops 66 is an unforgettable glass-walled restaurant right on Route 66. With over 700 varieties of specialty sodas lining the inside and a large, decorative awning covering their pump stations outside, this convenience store is more of an experience than a simple pit stop.
Helios House (Los Angeles)
Truly a unique sight to see, Helios House is a futuristic landmark that simply cannot be missed. Known as the “gas station of the future,” this architectural convenience store and gas station was created from recycled stainless steel with 90 solar panels. With strong commitments to the environment, the structure also hosts an irrigation system that delivers rain water to plants around the premises. On your next trip to the city of angels, don’t forget to make your pit stop into the future.
Wawa (Mid-Atlantic States)
This chain of convenience stores has become a fan favorite for road trippers on the east coast. Founded in 1803 as an iron foundry, Wawa transformed through the centuries to take on dairy farming and then eventually opening the first Wawa Food Market in 1964 to sell their dairy products. Today, Wawa has 850 convenience store locations, best known for their wide range of coffees, made-to-order sandwiches and extra clean bathrooms! From an iron foundry to a pit-stop favorite, Wawa is the perfect destination on the way to your destination.
Fueling up at a gas station doesn’t have to be just any old stop on a road trip. Make each stop fun and exciting for everyone. Whether you drive up to your favorite go-to chain or a one-of-a-kind convenience store, make sure to make it an experience. And don’t forget the snacks!
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