10 States That Have the Best Highway Rest Stops According to Travelers

Any driver who has embarked on a road trip knows the importance of a quality highway rest stop. Nobody likes pulling off the road and taking a break at a small shack with a bathroom and vending machine. Recently, travelers met in an online discussion to reveal which states boast the best rest stops in the country!

1. Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut, USA downtown skyline.
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Although it’s a small state, Connecticut makes up for it with near-overwhelming options for drivers looking for rest stops. Not only are Connecticut rest stops clean, quaint, and modern, but it feels like there’s one every few miles–how’s that for peace of mind while going on a road trip?

2. Maryland

Baltimore Maryland
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It always helps when the state government makes rest stops a priority. For residents and travelers alike, it’s appreciated. They’ve been renovating many of the rest stops in Maryland lately,” reveals one resident. “Taxes are actually being put to good use. They look very nice now.”

3. New Jersey

New Jersey
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Say what you want about the Garden State—that it’s dirty, smelly, and filled with never-ending traffic, but it does have one major amenity: excellent rest stops! In New Jersey, rest stops are usually extended plazas with multiple food, drink, and gas options. It’s a nice reprieve from the mundaneness of driving on the Jersey Turnpike.

4. Iowa

Aerial View of the Des Moine, Iowa Skyline facing West
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The Hawkeye state has something no other state can match: the largest rest stop in the world! Akin to a small mall, the rest stop isn’t just a place to take a break; it’s where you can get lost for a few hours—it’s that expansive! So while I wouldn’t wish visiting Iowa on my worst enemy, at least travelers can pick up some quality souvenirs and indulge in quality Midwest cuisine on their way through the state.

5. New Hampshire

Manchester, New Hampshire, USA Skyline on the Merrimack River.
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The kind folks of New Hampshire have discovered the secret to running successful highway rest stops: include the option to purchase alcohol! “I went to New Hampshire for the first time a couple of weeks ago,” reports one driver. “It was absolutely wild seeing signs for state-run liquor stores on I-95. And they helpfully state that they’re open on Sundays.”

6. California

Sunset aerial view of historic downtown Riverside, California.
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Although rest stops in southern states often feature barbeque restaurants, many travelers believe California rest stops have them beat for one reason: In-N-Out. The popular fast-food burger chain is found at countless California rest stops, ensuring no traveler will drive away hungry. It’s just one of many things California does best!

7. Florida

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As one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the United States, Florida must have one of the best networks of rest stops. “I was really impressed with a few just north of Fort Lauderdale,” explains one man. Tesla superchargers, good fast food with kiosks, large, clean bathrooms, and other nice amenities.

8. Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
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Like Maryland, there’s been a renewed push by state legislatures to revitalize rest stops throughout Illinois. Many drivers admit these rest stops are modern, clean, and, most importantly, convenient. It says a lot about a restroom when you don’t have to pre-wipe the toilet seat before using it.

9. Kansas

Aerial View of the Population Center of Wichita, Kansas
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For history buffs, you can’t go wrong with the rest stops in parts of Kansas. “The section of I-70 west of Topeka, Kansas is the oldest piece of the original interstate highway system, and the bathrooms only appear to have been renovated perhaps once, maybe in the early 1980s,” says one expert. “They are gross in the most epic ‘we are preserving this for history’ kind of way.” You have to be really into history to appreciate the grossness of the bathrooms.

10. Utah

Moab, Utah USA - October 19, 2019: Tourists enjoying the natural beauty of the Double Arch in Arches National Park.
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It doesn’t get any better for nature lovers than the rest stops in Utah. If driving through the canyons and stopping for gas surrounded by majestic natural beauty is right up your alley, you’ll love going on a road trip that takes you through Utah!

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