Trail's Travel Center in Albert Lea named a top coolest rest sto - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Trail's Travel Center in Albert Lea named a top coolest rest stop in the world

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ALBERT LEA, Minn. (FOX 47) -

Trail's Travel Center in Albert Lea has been recognized by USA Today, as well as other travel sites, in the past.

Now, it's been listed as one of the “Top 11 Coolest Rest Stops and Gas Stations Around the World” by the Travel Channel.

Located on I-35 in the little town of Albert Lea is a mecca for truck drivers, travelers, and locals, alike.

"Huge. Pretty much everything you kinda need all in one spot. Convenient, right on the freeway," said Josh Wilson, who lives in the Twin Cities, of the Travel Center.

Wilson said he goes down to Iowa for work, and whenever he does, he makes sure to stop at Trail's.

Owned and Operated by Rocky Trail, Trail's Travel Center has been up and running in its current location on I-35 since March of 1998.

And before that, Trail said he was located further in town, originally called East Side Truck Stop.

"If we're in the area, we definitely do stop by because it is such a neat place," said Carol Dooley, who lives in New Mexico.

Dooley added that she and her husband do a lot of driving, and stop at Trail's every time they get the opportunity.

And, not only is it one of the top rest stops, but according to Travel Channel, it also has one of the largest selections of Whiskey in the state.

"In the Skull Tavern, right now we've got over 60, I don't even know the exact number, but it's over 60 whiskies and we keep adding to that number," said Trail.

Trail said location is key when it comes to customers, which are definitely not lacking at the travel center.

"Probably about one and three-quarter to two million people a year come through our doors," said Trail.

Though the truck stop has many amenities that other truck stops have, its unique atmosphere is what keeps drawing people back.

"It's special, it's Scandinavian and stuff, they have a lot of unique things in the boutique. A lot of fun things. I did buy some things here for Christmas when we came through in November," said Dooley.

Wilson added he comes to the rest stop for drinks at the Skol Tavern, and for the meat.

"We come here really for the bacon though, that's kinda the main thing. We'll get usually 3 or 4 packs of bacon when we come here,” explained Wilson.

What else does Trail's have that keeps travelers flocking through its doors?

"We've got our gift store, we make homemade fudge, we have our wood fire rotisserie right over there and a large food court with a McDonald's, Pizza Hut, and Coldstone," said Trail.

Trail's also has laundry appliances, clothing, a boutique, and showers.

"Its nice to clean up once and a while,” said Dooley, who had actually just used the shower when we interviewed her.

But here's the kicker: Trail's even has a private movie theater.

“Probably seats about 20 people, 25, and it's for the professional drivers so they have some time to kill and wanna sit down and watch a movie in a relaxed environment. So we kinda provide that for them as a unique thing,” said Trail.

He went on to add, “One thing we wanted to create was a destination place for people that would want to make this a destination in their trip."

So, next time you hit the road and find yourself on I-35, keep in mind the little (or shall I say exceptionally large) rest stop in Albert Lea.

Trail said by the time summer rolls around, there will be a covered patio built outside the Skol Tavern, complete with a huge stone wall and torches. 

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