10 Reasons We Love Love’s Travel Stops

The Oklahoma-based gas station and convenience store is a sight for sore eyes on long car rides.

We’ve all been there. You’re five hours into an eight-hour car ride, or maybe you’ve only made it an hour from your house, but already everyone is getting restless. Someone needs to go to the bathroom. Someone spilled the box of Cheez-its, so you’re running dangerously low on snacks. The driver needs a caffeine fix, and Fido looks like he’s about ready to jump out the window. That’s when you see it—that familiar bright yellow sign topped with a beating red heart. There’s a Love’s at the next exit that’s about to solve all your road trip woes. Here are 10 reasons why we’ll always brake for a Love’s Travel Stop and why we can’t get enough of this Southern-born franchise.

Love's Travel Stops

Courtesy of Love's Travel Stops

1. It’s owned by a Southern family.

Tom and Judy Love started Love’s in 1964 when they spent $5,000 to lease an abandoned service station in Watonga, Oklahoma. Though Tom passed away in 2023 at the age of 85, the nationwide franchise is still privately owned and run by the Love family.

2. There’s always a Love’s right when you need one.

With about 600 travel stops in 42 states, nearly every highway in the U.S. is blessed with a Love’s. This means that no matter where you’re driving in the South—even if you’ve gotten really deep in the sticks—you’re likely to find a Love’s stocked and waiting to welcome you in.

3. Their road trip snacks are elite.

The one redeeming quality of a long car ride (other than a great playlist) are the snacks. Like any convenience store, Love’s has a huge selection of packaged snacks—chips, sunflower seeds, Little Debbie cakes, beef jerky, the whole nine yards. But the real star of the show at a Love’s is their company-branded candy line, which includes everything from gummy bears and peach rings to frosted heart pretzels and saltwater taffy.

4. They’re always open.

Driving late into the night? Love’s is open. What about those wee hours of the morning? They’re open then, too. There’s something about a 3 a.m. Coke and peanuts that just hits different.

5. It’s a great place to stretch your legs.

After long hours spent cramped in the car, your legs may be itching to move. Love’s is a great place to stop because the store is so big that you’ll have plenty to peruse while you walk the life back into your aching limbs.

6. You can have a meal there.

Hundreds of Love’s locations are paired with fast-food favorites like Arby’s, Dairy Queen, Burger King, Hardee’s, and Bojangles. But even if there’s no dining partner, Love’s has its own line of hot sandwiches and tacos (for breakfast and lunch), as well as a roller grill that features hot dogs and smoked sausages, as well as their signature Tornados taquitos in flavors like Ranchero Beef Steak and Southwestern-Style Chicken.

7. They give back to the community.

Giving generously is a huge part of the Love’s company culture. The franchise donates to nonprofits in Oklahoma and beyond, including Teach for America, Operation Homefront, and the United Way of Central Oklahoma. In addition, all locations donate a part of their budget to a local nonprofit of their choice, and Love’s participates in the Children’s Miracle Network. To date, Love’s has raised more than $33 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.  

8. They think of everything.

There’s a lot more to a Love’s Travel Stop than just gas and snacks. Locations across the country offer truck care, RV parking and hookups, laundry facilities, and even private showers.

9. Dogs are welcome.

Not only does Love’s accommodate humans, but it takes care of their furry friends, too. Many Love’s locations feature dog parks and pet waste station.

10. You’ll find plenty of clean restrooms.

The number one reason to stop on a road trip? Someone’s got to go. Rather than pressing your luck on a small-town gas station, count on Love’s to provide clean restrooms without a line.

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