Buc-ee’s isn’t just a gas station. It’s a destination — and should be a stop on your next road trip. Find out why Buc-ee’s is America’s Favorite Gas Station.
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Let’s start this off by saying Buc-ee’s is a gas station. On the surface, it’s a gas station. And if you’ve never been to Buc-ee’s, you think it’s just a gas station. So what’s the big deal? Why does every seem to be obsessed with it? Once you see it, you realized Buc-ee’s is not just a gas station.
I say this about Wegman’s too. The first time I went to Wegman’s and tried describing it to people who had never been in one before, I would say, “Wegman’s isn’t a grocery store. It’s an experience.”
And that’s Buc-ee’s. It’s not a gas station. It’s a destination.
But why? Why has a gas station with a beaver mascot become American’s favorite gas station? I mean, it doesn’t even have Slurpee’s, right? Who cares. It has brisket.
Buc-ee’s: Why It’s America’s Favorite Gas Station
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Buc-ee’s is wild. They’re all huge (like 50,000 to 60,000 square feet) and packed with travelers. There’s so much noise and so many tiny cartoon beavers looking at you. It can be overwhelming the first time you go into one.
But you’ll get acclimated real quick and you’ll start to understand the gas station’s appeal.
If you live outside of Texas and have been traveling down I-95 recently, it seems like Buc-ee’s are popping up out of nowhere. But Texas residents have been graced with Buc-ee’s for decades.
The first Buc-ee’s was opened in Clute, Texas in 1982, so 2022 is Buc-ee’s 40th anniversary.
The chain remained exclusively in Texas for over 30 years, finally expanding in 2018.
Currently, Buc-ee’s operates 40 locations, with 35 in Texas and the rest scattered in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Tennessee with plans to expand to additional states.
Where is the largest Buc-ee’s?
Buc-ee’s official claim to fame is that it has the designation of the world’s largest convenient store. The New Braunfels, Texas location is over 66,000 square feet. The station has120 gas pumps and 1,000 parking spots.
But, it probably won’t hold that designation for long.
The current location in Luling (near Austin) is going to be replaced by a 75,000 square foot Buc-ee’s, with 120 gas nozzles at 60 pumps.
Where is the smallest Buc-ee’s?
The smallest (unofficial) Buc-ee’s was actually an art installation set up in West Texas. Dubbed the World’s Tiniest Buc-ee’s, a cinderblock shed was adorned with the Buc-ee’s name and logo for two days in April 2022.
What is Buc-ee’s famous for?
Officially, Buc-ee’s holds the title of the world’s largest gas station. So, sure, it’s famous for that. But, unofficially, Buc-ee’s is famous for its bathrooms. Seriously. If you ask anyone about Buc-ee’s, the first thing they’ll tell you is how the bathrooms as so clean.
And they are.
Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cleaner gas station bathroom. There are tons of stalls, lots of sinks and mirrors, and when you walk in, the walls are adorned with artwork. Really expensive artwork. That you can purchase.
Buc-ee’s road signs
If you’re been to South of the Border, or just driven past it, you know the appeal of all the ridiculous billboards counting down to the attraction. Looking for them was always my favorite part about driving to Florida from New York.
Buc-ee’s has similar billboards. They’re not as witty or eclectic as South of the Border, but they’re just as entertaining. They’re all black, with Buc-ee’s branding on them, and boast about Buc-ee’s locations and offerings.
Funny aside. We passed one that said, “I Brake For Brisket.” When we finally got to Buc-ee’s, it was packed. Almost wall to wall people. “What is everyone doing here?” I asked. My mom quickly quipped, “Braking for brisket.”
5 Things You Shouldn’t Miss at Buc-ee’s
There’s a lot at Buc-ee’s. So if it’s your first time and you’re just trying to navigate the store while you find those aforementioned bathrooms, you might miss a few things that you don’t want to miss.
So take this in your pocket (I mean, your phone is always in your pocket, right?) as a mini checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Most gas stations sell food. But most that food is whatever has been sitting out on a roller grill all day (I’m looking at you, Circle K). Some gas stations sell really good sandwiches (like Sheetz and Wawa), and Royal Farms chicken is delicious, but all that pales in comparison to what Buc-ee’s offers.
Buc-ee’s has a carving station in the middle of the store. Associates carve brisket and other meats while you casually walk around them, looking at the hot sandwiches located near them. What gas station have you been to with a carving station? None I’ve ever been to. A Las Vegas buffet, sure, but not a gas station.
You can pick up pre-packaged, hot sandwiches and wraps as well. The pulled pork sandwiches are delicious. And there’s turkey and sausage and chicken sandwiches too.
There’s so much more too, like hot dogs, chicken tenders, tacos, burritos, sausage, and steak. It’s like a grocery store with its options.
It’s meant to be grab and go. I mean, this is a gas station after all. So you won’t find any cafeteria seating at Buc-ee’s, which is a complaint I’ve heard. But, keep in mind, this is a gas station serving delicious food, not a sit down restaurant.
Not there for lunch? No worries. Buc-ee’s has a snack for you. From a wall of jerky to sweet and savory kolaches, Buc-ee’s has a ton to eat.
The Beaver Nuggets (a crunchy corn nugget with a brown sugar caramel coating) are the uncontested champion in the snack category. If you grew up with Buc-ee’s, you won’t leave without those. They’re so popular, you can actually purchase Beaver Nuggets online in Buc-ee’s Amazon shop.
Personally, I’m fond of the Buc-ee’s Lemon Crisps, which are the crunchiest cookie I’ve ever had. They crunch, then melt in your mouth.
You can purchase fudge, fresh fruit and salads, parfaits, chips, and more. So whatever you’re hungry for, you’ll find it here.
Most people I know stop into a gas station to go to the bathroom and get a drink for the road. Which is counterintuitive, but it’s what people do.
Buc-ee’s has a ton of drinks. The wall is filled with Buc-ee’s branded fountain drinks, like its own root beer, cherry lime, orange dreamsicle, pineapple cream, blue cream soda, and homestyle lemonade. Buc-ee’s does sell branded sodas, so if you’re partial to your current brand and don’t want a drink made by a beaver, you can get that too.
There’s also an ICEE machine and a huge coffee bar. So no matter what you’re thirsty for, Buc-ee’s has it.
If you’re on a trip and don’t want to stop at the grocery store to pick up the barbecue sauce you forgot at home, you can get it at Buc-ee’s.
Most gas stations have a couple short aisles with grocery items. Not Buc-ee’s. A third of the store (give or take) is grocery aisles with a ton of items. Lots of them are Buc-ee’s branded, like Buc-ee’s barbecue rub, and then there are non-Buc-ee’s items like packaged cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, and 12-packs of soda.
If Buc-ee’s can slap a beaver on it, it will. That beaver is branded on everything and anything that will sit still, from dog toys to sweatshirts to coolers.
T-shirts are the most popular item, and you’re sure to see people wearing Buc-ee’s shirts in the wild. And once you’ve been to a Buc-ee’s, you’ll understand. That shirt is like a secret head nod. If you know, you know.
Buc-ee’s: Frequently Asked Questions
In my experience, the gas prices at Buc-ee’s are average for the area. Our closest Buc-ee’s is in Florence, SC and it’s on the same street as a Pilot. When Buc-ee’s first opened, it’s prices beat Pilot. But now, either Pilot dropped its prices or Buc-ee’s met the average, but they’re the same. Actually, Pilot ends up being a better deal because of its discounted gas for loyalty members.
Not all Buc-ee’s locations have a car wash, but some of them do. In fact, the car wash at Buc-ee’s in Katy, Texas is the longest car wash in the world.
Maybe everything is bigger in Texas.
Your closest Buc-ee’s is just a click away. Head over here to see all the Buc-ee’s locations.
Buc-ee’s is a gas station. It’s not a truck stop. And with that in mind, 18-wheelers aren’t allowed at Buc-ee’s.
Buc-ee’s is already super crowded and a little hard to navigate getting in and out because of the volume of cars (at all times). Allowing 18-wheelers into the gas station would add to those issues, so Buc-ee’s bans trucks.
It seems like everyone loves Buc-ee’s. It’s a road trip staple. But, that’s not always the case for residents.
North Carolina was slated to have a Buc-ee’s built about 40 miles from Raleigh in Efland, North Carolina. The land where Buc-ee’s was plotting would need to be rezoned and after much uproar from the community about wanting to protect the land and not wanting more light pollution, Buc-ee’s pulled out.
This article, from Texas Monthly, is actually a really interesting discourse on that.
Have you been to Buc-ee’s? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.