If you’re driving on a road trip on Interstate 80 near the Iowa/Illinois border and find yourself needing gas, there’s only one choice for where to stop: Iowa 80, the world’s largest truckstop. In fact, you should probably stop even if you have a full tank. Because this gas station is a roadside attraction in itself.
Iowa 80 is located in Walcott, Iowa off I-80 on exit 284. It spans 220-acres and sees 5,000 visitors every day who are stopping to enjoy one of the property’s many amenities.
There are the standard conveniences you’d expect to find at any truckstop, like gas islands, a diesel fuel center, a truck service center, a truck wash, and a CAT Scale. But it doesn’t stop there. On site, there are eight restaurants, a convenience store, a gift shop, a movie theater, a workout room, a barber shop, a chiropractor, a dentist, the Super Truck Showroom, a laundromat, private showers, and a pet wash. There’s even a trucking museum! To house all of this (and make room for visitors) the main building is 67,000 square feet and outside there is room for 900 trucks to park.
Iowa 80 wasn’t always the world’s largest truck stop. It was opened as a modest destination in 1964 when Bill Moon, a Standard Oil regional manager, purchased the land along the still-in-construction 3,000-mile I-80 highway. Moon took over a year later and, in 1984, when Standard Oil (now Amoco) was set to sell, Moon and his wife Carolyn purchased the facility for themselves. It was then that they really began to slowly expand into the mega-truckstop we know and love today.
Now affiliated with the TravelCenters of America chain, Iowa 80 is open 24/7 (and haven’t closed a day since they opened) as a destination for truckers and road trippers far and wide. It serves as a home away from home from truckers on long journeys and an always fun pit-stop for the rest of us.
The World’s Largest Truck Stop in 2019:
Iowa 80 in 2008:
Looking for more Iowa roadside attractions off I-80? Be sure to also visit the Agri-Symbol 76-Foot-Tall Corn Stalk in Shelby, the Little Mermaid Fountain in Kimballton, Albert the Bull (the World’s Largest Bull) in Audubon, the Danish Windmill in Elk Horn, and the Giant Volkswagen Beetle Spider in Avoca.
Iowa 80: The World’s Largest Truckstop
Address: 755 W, I-80, Walcott, IA 52773
Cost: Free to See, Amenities Vary
Hours: Open 24 Hours, 7 Days a Week
Visit the Official Website