Why Southerners Will Always Love an Old-Fashioned Roadside Store

Stuckey's pecan log, anyone?

Back in the day, when Southerners embarked on family road trips down to the beach or over to visit distant relatives, they'd do so five-deep in a station wagon and without all of the distractions we've become accustomed to today—things like podcasts, Spotify playlists, and movies on a tablet. Instead, they'd look forward to the point midway through the drive that the car would pull off the highway with the promise of the ultimate entertainment: a visit to the roadside store. There, you'd stock up on sweet Southern delicacies such as pecan logs, peanut patties, homemade ice cream, and fudge, as well as peruse aisles filled with eclectic items like wooden peg games, souvenirs, cheese straws, and pickled goods.

Still seen around the South and known for its famous pecan logs, Stuckey's might be the most well-known of the retro roadside stores, but every state once had their own scatterings of mom-and-pop general stores and farm stands that stocked the best of classic treats and fresh produce to be picked up on any drive across the South, along with a pump of gas. The family road trip just wasn't the same without stopping at spots like Weigel's in Tennessee or Allsup's in Texas for homey hospitality and welcome respite from a packed car.

Courtesy Stuckey's

Nowadays, most retro roadside stores have evolved into more modern versions of the all-in-one gas station and general store, but longtime favorites like Stuckey's and newer renditions such as Buce-ee's still beat on, like a beacon of light for any Southerner on the road with a penchant for pralines. Have you seen Buc-ee's snack selection? Talk about options. For those looking to capture the sweet sentiment at home, our recipe for Old-Fashioned Pecan Logs will have you dreaming of a road trip. Or find your closest Stuckey's locations here.

Southerners will always love crossing paths with any roadside store, if only for nostalgia's sake. The pralines are a plus.

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