When you’re on a road trip, sometimes it’s nearly impossible to find a good place to take a rest. With high-cost hotels, boutique bed-and-breakfasts, and other pricey accommodations, there’s almost nowhere to just take a nap without breaking the bank. However, there are several rest stops throughout the country that are more than just bare bones. If you need to stop along the way, make sure to seek out a few of these spectacular rest stops.
1. South of the Border
Located off Interstate 95 in Dillon, South Carolina, this bizarrely entitled rest stop has tons of amenities to soothe yourself after a lengthy trek. Here, you’ll find six restaurants ranging from casual dining to extravagant steakhouses. For your entertainment, there’s the world’s largest reptile exhibit, as well as Pedroland, which is an amusement park that features carnival games, a Ferris wheel, mini golf, and an arcade. Once you’ve arrived, there’s a chance you won’t want to leave.
2. Bear Lake Rest Area
This rest area off U.S. Highway 89 in Bear Lake, Utah, may not have the amenities you’ll find at South of the Border, but it does have arguably the best views of any rest stop in America. When you pull in, you’ll become mesmerized by the picturesque Cache National Forest and Bear Lake. There’s also a trail that leads you to a memorial plaque of famous poet Mary Swenson, who penned many of her most famous verses in the nearby wilderness. If you’re looking to do a hike in the area, there’s a map that will point you in the right direction.
3. Mars Cheese Castle
If you’ve ever taken the short drive from Chicago to Milwaukee, you’ll run across Kenosha, Wisconsin, which doesn’t seem like the most happening place. However, you might catch a glimpse of the Mars Cheese Castle, which is worth a trip all by itself. The outside looks like a modernized castle, yet when you go inside, you’ll see endless piles of meat, cheese, and beer. These three foods constitute the Wisconsin trifecta, and each product has been fine-tuned for the best flavor. Plan on spending at least an hour here, with a budget of no less than $100. It’s not that it’s particularly expensive, but you’ll probably need seven types of cheeses, a six-pack of local beer, and some authentic Wisconsin sausage to really complete your trip.
4. Tamarack Tourist Information Center
Most visitors centers and tourist information kiosks are somewhat mundane. Then there’s the Tamarack Tourist Information Center in Beckley, West Virginia. Located in the midst of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this center provides you with resources for local tourist attractions and scenic hikes. Once you’ve got a good idea of your plans, you can visit the art gallery, performing arts theater, or one of the local stores on-site. With more than 500,000 visitors a year, it’s a place you can’t afford to miss.
The next time you’re on a trip, don’t pull over at a gas station or ordinary rest stop. Instead, visit one of these spots. You won’t be disappointed.