Heading west on Interstate 80 in Iowa, you’ll come across a gigantic billboard proclaiming, “18 miles to WOW!” If you follow the billboard’s instructions and get off at Exit 284, that’s just what you’ll say.
In eastern Iowa, just west of the Quad Cities, lies the Iowa 80 Truck Stop, the largest truck stop in the world. Established in 1964, the Iowa 80 Truck Stop has been dubbed “A Small City” and “A Trucker’s Disneyland,” and to this day it serves as the ultimate one-stop shop to make every cross-country trucker feel at home. Spanning dozens of acres and advertised with the words “Iowa 80” in huge red lettering, the Iowa 80 Truck Stop is impossible to miss. Upon entering the two-story, 55,000-square-foot facility, truckers will be greeted by the smells of eight different restaurants, from Dairy Queen to the home-cooked Iowa 80 Kitchen. Past the convenience store and rows upon rows of souvenirs, visitors will descend into the Super Truck Showroom, which has every truck part imaginable on display, plus a gift shop, a towering panel of flashing lights, a game room, and even a personalizing embroidery center.
Three trucks are on display, including one that is painted with an Iowa-themed mural and another that is constantly rotating in circles. That’s just the first floor. On the building’s second floor, nicknamed the “Trucker’s Loft,” truckers will find a workout room, old-time gas pumps, and even a walk-in barber shop waiting for them. The Trucker’s Loft also includes a laundromat, a miniature library, a certified chiropractor, the Trucker’s Christian Chapel, and the Driver’s Den, a small movie theatre. Also found at the Trucker’s Loft is the “Interstate Dental,” a dentist shop that has been run by Dr. Thomas Roemer for 23 straight years. Outside of the main truck stop building you’ll find a hotel, RV camp, truck wash, and “Dog-O-Mat” dog wash. The 40,000 square foot Iowa 80 Trucking Museum, located a few hundred feet north of the truck stop, is home to the REO Theatre, 304 road signs, and 60 antique trucks. Wow indeed!