Not far from the Mississippi River, near the small town of Walcott, at exit 284 of Interstate 80, you will find the largest truck stop in the world –iowa 80. Built in 1964, the Iowa 80 Truckstop is three times the size of an average truckstop and spans more than 220 acres. It has a huge main building, enough parking space for 900 trucks and around 450 employees who oversee the complex.
Iowa 80 is a great stop for truckers and travelers, but the amount of amenities it offers makes it a destination in its own right. Here are a few things to do besides gas up at Iowa 80, the world’s largest truck stop.
Visit the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum
Iowa 80 Truckstop founder Bill Moon enjoyed collecting antique trucks and other memorabilia. He decided to share with the public by building the Iowa 80 Trucking Museum. The museum has a number of stationary exhibits including a Cummins ISX engine, NH-250 Cummins Cutaway, Knox-5. wheel and a radiator as well as a Hall Scott engine. You’ll also find a tribute to Bill Moon, antique gas pumps, antique metal signs, and vintage toy trucks. Visit the museum each month to see a new Truck of the Month.
Watch a movie in the theater
The third level of 67,000 square feet. Iowa 80 Truckstop houses a 60-seat movie theater complete with comfortable, plush movie seats with cup holders. The cash register in the Truckstop gift shop offers guests a huge selection of movies. All you have to do is grab some snacks from the grocery store, pick a new movie (or an old favorite), and ask them to play it. Spend the whole day watching movies if you like.
Get a haircut
You don’t need an appointment to go to Irene’s Barber Shop when you need a cut. Iowa 80’s Barber Shop is the perfect solution for those in a hurry. Traveling to an out of town wedding? Is your regular hair salon closed or too busy for a cut? Heading home to an important appointment and don’t have time for an edit? Whatever the situation, you can stop by Irene’s for a quick cut.
Get your teeth cleaned
The Iowa 80 Truckstop conveniently has a dental office on the complex. You can certainly get emergency dental treatment. After all, who wants to travel with a toothache? However, you can take preventive care of your mouth by visiting Iowa 80’s Interstate Dental. They offer full-service dental work, don’t require an appointment, and are happy to accept walk-ins. You may never want to go back to your regular dentist when you stop by a dentist in Iowa 80.
Have a bite
At Iowa 80’s Food Court you will find any type of fast food you like including Dairy Queen, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Einstein Brothers Bagels, Chester’s Chicken and Wendy’s. However, if you’re looking for a hearty home-cooked meal, head to Iowa 80 Kitchen, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. The huge restaurant can seat up to 300 guests and offers a wide range of menu options. Still, truckers and travelers who regularly stop at Iowa 80 love the All You Can Eat Family Style Feast buffet, open for breakfast daily from 10:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 7:00 a.m.
Wash your dog
Yes, you read that correctly. wash your dog Is your furry friend muddy? Has it fought with a skunk? Or is it just time to brush up on Fido or Fifi? Regardless of the answer, you can take your dog to Iowa 80’s Dogomat Pet Wash. Iowa 80 welcomes all pets on its property but not in its buildings as long as they are securely leashed and never left unattended, and people clean up after their pets using the Pet Waste Stations located around the truck stop. The self-service Dogomat Pet Wash is open for you around the clock.
It’s not a full gym, or even a small gym, but if you need to work out while traveling, the Iowa 80’s workout room does the trick. Your room has a weight machine that you can use to work your arms, legs, and core. You can also do some cardio on an elliptical trainer or the recumbent bike in the room. Iowa 80 is certainly big enough to walk around and take a few steps or run a lap. But if it’s too hot or too cold for an outdoor workout, head to the workout room.
Get custom swag for your family and friends
You’ll find 80 fun gift items throughout the Iowa Convenience Store that don’t have your name or business on them. What’s more fun than ordering funny family sweatshirts, custom printed hats for friends, or embroidered gifts for co-workers? Visit the Iowa 80’s Custom Shop for all the custom swags you can handle.
By Jessica Lee
Part of an independent news network, Iowa Starting Line focuses on how state and national decisions affect the daily lives of Iowans. We rely on your financial support to keep our stories free for everyone to read. You can register with us here. Keep following us Facebook and Twitter.