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Yes, I said it, I hate Buc-ee’s.
I was recently on a women’s hiking trip in Utah, and one of my travel companions appeared at breakfast wearing a sweatshirt adorned with the toothy logo of Buc-ee the Beaver in all his trademark red baseball-capped glory.
“You know Buc-ee’s, Jill,” she grinned, pointing to her shirt.
I’ve lived in Texas most of my life and have been on more in-state road trips than I can count, so I do know Buc-ee’s. If you’ve driven through Texas, you probably know Buc-ee’s, too.
Buc-ee’s is a popular convenience store and gas station in Texas that’s spread beyond the borders into seven other states, mainly in the Southeast. There are 48 Buc-ee’s locations, with about a third in Texas. Buc-ee’s is generally accepted as the Texas road trip stop.
“I hate Buc-ee’s,” I replied. It was out of my mouth before I could censor myself, and I couldn’t take it back. A look of utter horror crossed my new friend’s face. “I don’t know if I can still like you,” she responded, half kidding.
Texas stereotypes are strong, but we don’t all adore the oh-so-trite phrase, “Everything’s bigger in Texas,” or root for the Dallas Cowboys. But, most of my fellow Texans at least like Buc-ee’s. I, on the other hand, detest it.
My friend’s reaction was typical of what I get when I tell someone I’m not on the Buc-ee’s bandwagon. Telling someone I hate Buc-ee’s is akin to saying I hate cute, cuddly puppies or that I advocate putting the toilet paper on the roll backward. I’ve been told I should consider relocating and asked if I were a “real Texan.”
I have a generally positive outlook on life. I try to look for the good, and if something’s not for me, I’m usually happy to move past it rather than dwell on the negatives. But I hate Buc-ee’s with the fire of a thousand suns. I hate Buc-ee’s more than I hate beets, and that’s really making a statement because beets are gross.
My kids will occasionally convince me to stop at Buc-ee’s, but I’ve regretted that decision 100% of the time. I’ve come away from all my Buc-ee’s experiences anxious, irritated, and behind my desired timeline. My opinion on this popular road trip stop plants me firmly in the minority, but travelers flock to Buc-ee’s for a variety of reasons, like plentiful gas pumps, pristine restrooms, and the variety and quality of snacks.
Popular Buc-ee’s food items include brisket sandwiches, beef jerky, and beaver nuggets (puffed corn with a sweet coating). If you love sugary breakfast cereal, beaver nuggets will be your jam. While I’ll grudgingly admit that a Buc-ee’s brisket sandwich can hit the spot, it’s not enough to make me change my “I hate Buc-ee’s” tune.
If crowds and chaos stress you out, Buc-ee’s probably isn’t for you. While there are a lot of gas pumps, there aren’t many parking spaces. Your mileage will vary based on location, but there aren’t many places to park your car other than at the pumps.
Buc-ee’s popularity makes navigating their parking lots unpleasant at best, especially during busy periods. Cars are jockeying for the few coveted spaces near the entrance, and there are no signs or designated right-of-way for pedestrians flocking to the door. If you remember the old-school video game Frogger, it’s kind of like that.
The chaotic atmosphere continues inside the store as excited patrons bounce from displays of seemingly endless varieties of beef jerky to aisles upon aisles of snacks, housewares, and beaver-branded merchandise. You might not think of a roadside convenience store as the best place to buy a bird feeder, buckets of bacon grease (yes, really), or farmhouse décor, but Buc-ee’s has all that and a bag of chips.
You’ll find everything from boogie boards to bottles of hot sauce emblazoned with the Buc-ee the Beaver logo. I’ve even seen a leopard print one-piece bathing suit adorned with a decal of a smiling, baseball cap-wearing beaver.
I set loose time or distance goals when I’m driving. While I try not to be rigid to the point of missing opportunities to experience road trip gems like “Snake Farm Zoo” or “World’s Largest Ketchup Bottle,” I usually have some target in mind when I climb behind the wheel. While I appreciate cheap gas and restrooms that don’t gross me out, I want to roll in, gas up, take a pee break, pay for snacks, and move it on down the line. If we need a longer break from the road, I prefer to find a green space where I can stretch and let my kids burn off some energy.
Breaks from driving are healthy and necessary, but I can think of many better places to get respite from the road besides Buc-ee’s. An hour lost inside a superstore is not enjoyable for me and not what I want from a road trip.
Despite my distaste for Buc-ee’s, their expansion and Tik-Tok videos have only amplified their popularity. I hate Buc-ee’s and I’m okay with that. Everything isn’t for everyone, and I don’t have this level of venom for anything else except beets. I’ll happily hold my pee and drive a few more miles down the road until I find a nice QuikTrip or Love’s.
If you just want to get gas and a quick snack, no this is not the place for you. If you want clean bathrooms, really good hot food, warm nuts, lots of variety of snacks (including healthy ones) then you will love Buc-ee’s. Of course it is not a museum or road side attraction. I live in Texas and driving long distances here is pretty boring. Finding a decent bathroom and something other than your standard fast food on the road is not easy. I have been to many different Buc-ee’s at different times, yes it is busy, but I have never had to wait in line for a bathroom or at the register. And have always found parking, but I am not a park right next to the front door kind of person.
Never seen one (I live too far north) but they sound like a place to definitely avoid if at all possible, just like most any big-box store.
All this does is proove you are NOT white trash!
I used to enjoy Buc-ees for convenient gas and great clean bathrooms. I did buy some snack products there, but never hot food. I’ve not been in one for several years now due to the horrendous crowds that negate any time savings
I agree, I hate buccees too. No windshield squeegees . Nothing is on sale in the store.you always ay full retail price.their food is not that good.
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