A little over an hour from Dubuque and the Tri-States, on the outskirts of Davenport, exists an oasis of epic proportions. It is a place where truckers and motorists congregate, and take a figurative and literal bite out of a record-breaking beacon of food, drink, entertainment, and more.

The place is the Iowa 80 Truckstop, which is billed as "The World's Largest Truck Stop," in Walcott, IA. The establishment sits on 220 acres of land (the typical plot of land for a truck stop is 75 acres). Its main building is 67,000 sq ft, and has enough parking for a whopping 900 trucks. Beyond that, it's equipped with 15 diesel fuel pumps, and also has a dedicated pump for dispensing bulk diesel exhaust fluid, per Wikipedia.

Iowa 80 Functions Like "a Small City:"

Iowa 80's website contextualizes what makes it so unique, beyond being so large:

A place where people want to stop. On the eastern edge of Iowa, not far from the Mississippi River, adjacent to the small town of Walcott, you’ll find a place like no other in the world. The Iowa 80 Truckstop, now the World’s Largest Truckstop, established its home here in 1964 and is now in itself a home away from home to countless drivers and a destination for travelers as well. Some say Iowa 80 Truckstop is like a small city, others have likened it to a Trucker’s Disneyland, all can agree it is a place not to be missed.

With nearly 5,000 visitors every single day, there are a plethora of photos of Iowa 80 on the internet, as well as video compilations of YouTubers making the trek to the otherwise indistinct town of Walcott. I found a video by Maverick Hayes (embedded above) that does a good job at giving the truck stop an overview.

Iowa 80 Has a Shocking Number of Food Options:

Photo Credit: Maverick Hayes, YouTube
Photo Credit: Maverick Hayes, YouTube

The food options at Iowa 80 are vast: Blimpie subs, Wendy's, Caribou Coffee, Dairy Queen, Orange Julius, Taco Bell, Einstein Bros. Bagels, and Pizza Hut are the big chains that exist inside the truck stop. In addition, the truck stop's own kitchen boasts a salad bar featuring "home-cooked" meals.

The busy Iowa 80 kitchen serves one million cups of coffee and 90 tons of meat annually, per the History Channel show Modern MarvelsThe restaurant itself seats up to 350 patrons, and even has a banquet room (I wonder what kind of parties people have had at a truck stop).

You Can Even Get Your Teeth and Back Checked at the Truck Stop:

Photo Credit: Maverick Hayes, YouTube
Photo Credit: Maverick Hayes, YouTube

Included under Iowa 80's roof are both a dentist and chiropractic office. Clients of the dentist extend beyond truckers; some local residents trust the truck stop dentist with all of their dental work. While ostensibly grungy and unappealing at first blush, consider the fact that the nomadic lifestyle that truckers live inherently makes them unable to get adequate, consistent dental care.

The same can be said for the chiropractor; long bouts of sitting and endless hours on the road can lead to back issues, hence the need for a back specialist.

The Annual Walcott Truckers Jamboree:

Photo Credit: Maverick Hayes, YouTube
Photo Credit: Maverick Hayes, YouTube

Every July, Iowa 80 holds the "Walcott Truckers Jamboree." It looks like I just missed it this year, as it's usually held in early July. You can mark your calendars for July 11th - 13th, 2024 when next year's will take place. Here are some of the things that go down at Iowa 80 for the yearly event:

  • Antique Truck Display
  • Super Trucks Beauty Contest
  • Over 175 exhibits
  • Iowa Pork Chop Cookout
  • Live Country Music
  • Trucker Olympics
  • Fireworks
  • FREE Admission
  • FREE Parking
  • And so much more!

Discover more about Iowa 80, the World's Largest Truck Stop, on their website!

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