First published by Travelocity
The list of “must-see” funky tourist spots includes Rock City in Chattanooga and Wall Drug Store in South Dakota. But travelers tooling down I-95 can visit one of Americas’ unsung tourist Meccas without leaving the highway.
The Maryland House Rest Stop, plopped between the north- and south-bound lanes of the Interstate about 40 miles north of Baltimore, claims to be the busiest rest stop in America. About 3-million of the estimated 25-million people who pass it each year stop in for a snack or a leak or to fill up gas tanks and guts for the next leg of the trip.
It’s a hungry, thirsty bunch that sets the parking brake in the 500-space car, truck, semi-trailer, motorcycle, RV, and motorcoach parking lot. Last year, they ordered 157,002 Cinnabons, 215,323 slices of cheese pizza, and ate 83,000 breakfasts at Bob’s Big Boy.
The rest stop’s busiest day of the year is the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Travelers returning from the annual family bonding session ordered 6000 burgers, 3000 hot dogs, and 1000 cups of coffee. The rest of the year, the Roy Rogers outlet served up 88-thousand ‘no cheese’ roast beef sandwiches. Cheese lovers bought another 70-thousand meals.
No figures on how much diesel the tractor trailers drank in 2000, but at the self-serve, drivers pumped nearly 12-million gallons of gasoline. More than enough to cruise to the next hot spot in the guidebook.