Things You Should Know Before You Visit Buc-Ee's

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Buc-ee's path to being an American institution began in 1982 when founder Arch Aplin III opened the convenience store chain's first location in Texas (via Texas Monthly). This would become one of many Buc-ee's in the Lone Star State and throughout the rest of the country. As of 2022, there are more than 40 Buc-ee's locations in America, and roughly 10 new stores are slated to open before 2026 (via Houston Business Journal).

To fuel this expansion, Buc-ee's had to do something right. Its passionate fan base didn't simply appear out of thin air. Instead, the chain built a reputation for providing an exceptional rest-stop experience. At Buc-ee's, drivers expect clean restrooms, a place to refuel, a car wash, extensive food options, and additional shopping opportunities for last-minute items. It's everything you could ask for in a travel center and more, which explains its success.

As such, Buc-ee's isn't just a pit stop on the road, but an exciting destination for tourists. If you're planning your first trip to Buc-ee's and don't know what to expect, or perhaps you've been several times but haven't understood the hype, we've got you covered. Read on to learn about how to do it right by avoiding common mistakes people make at Buc-ee's.

The gas stations are huge and incredibly busy

Buc-ee's locations are humongous with some locations having hundreds of gas pumps (via WHNT) So the pumps get busy and proper gas station etiquette is appreciated. Some errors might hurt your shopping experience while others will affect people around you, possibly inconveniencing them in the process. In some cases, your thoughtlessness can come back to haunt you. Fellow Buc-ee's patrons might get angry and retaliate — or at least call you names. Leaving your parked car in the fueling area after you're done filling up is one of those kinds of mistakes.

As one Reddit user lamented in a post, "Buc-ee's is not good [...] People just park their cars at the pump and leave for 30 min like they own it." To their credit, these individuals probably think that moving their vehicle isn't necessary, since Buc-ee's locations have so many pumps (via Dallas News). But even with all of the fuel pumps available, parked cars can get in the way of people actually trying to gas up. To avoid angering your fellow Buc-ee's shoppers, we recommend moving your car to the parking lot once you're done refueling. Then, you're free to spend as long as you like leisurely checking out the store. 

It's known for its clean restrooms

Visiting a Buc-ee's without getting a glimpse of the bathrooms would be a serious mistake. The gas station chain has actually won awards for its cleanliness. In 2012, Cintas — a company that gives out an annual award for the best restrooms in America — granted Buc-ee's with the prestigious honor. Specifically, the award was given to the Buc-ee's location in New Braunfels, Texas. Cintas commented, "It's the 83 stalls in this Buc-ee's restroom that really impress! [...] this one-of-a-kind rest stop is fit for a King."

But it's not just the New Braunfels Buc-ee's that has exceptional restrooms. Those at every Buc-ee's are known for being great, boasting a large number of toilets, private stalls, and a spacious design. On top of those winning features, Buc-ee's bathrooms are always kept sparkling clean — which is not usually the case with rest stops that host travelers continuously throughout the day.

Just listen to what Buc-ee's customers had to say about it: "They have almost as many bathroom stalls and sinks, as they do gas pumps," a Yelper wrote about the Royse City location. "Legit the cleanest restrooms ever," said another patron of the Temple location. "The bathroom sinks had warm water. Thoughtful details, you know?" noted another reviewer about the Melissa location. 

Buc-ee's doesn't disappoint when it comes to meal options

No matter what time of day you stop at Buc-ee's there will be food available, so we recommend you arrive hungry. Locations are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, per the chain's website, and you'll find hot freshly prepared items for sale during that entire time. Breakfast is served between 4 a.m. and 11 a.m., with lunch and dinner options starting thereafter. 

Buc-ee's is not your typical gas station and its selection is far from limited. Breakfast items include pastries, breakfast tacos, biscuit sandwiches, and more. For lunch, try the beloved sausage and cheese kolache. If you end up at Buc-ee's around dinner time, you could fill up on some classic Texas barbecue. You'll find brisket, pulled pork, sausage, and chopped beef options to satisfy meat cravings. "Great food choices, especially the Barbeque Sandwiches," one pleased person wrote about their Buc-ee's experience. Not to mention, there are countless sweet and salty snacks to curb your hunger. If you're passing by Buc-ee's, don't even think about making an additional stop for food elsewhere.

Be sure to take a photo with Buc-ee's mascot

Especially for Buc-ee's first-timers, taking a picture with a statue of the mascot is not to be missed. Forgetting to do so would be an absolute slip-up, and you'll surely regret it when you see photos of people posing with it. Thankfully, avoiding this mistake is easy enough, as many Buc-ee's locations have a statue of the cartoon beaver. 

The statues were designed by artist Clint Howard, who first created one of these artworks for the Bastrop, Texas, location of the chain, according to CBS Austin. After the first mascot statue was a hit, Howard created several more metal beavers for the company. Today, there are at least 29 in existence. With roughly 45 operating Buc-ee's as of late 2022, you're likely to come across one of these statues in your travels. When you do, be sure to snap a picture with the adorable beaver.

Don't even think of showing up in an 18-wheeler

Although not everyone is in danger of making this mistake, those that do will end up extremely annoyed. If you show up to Buc-ee's in a semi-trailer truck, you will not be allowed in. You will not be able to refuel and you'll have no chance to use the restroom — that's because you won't have anywhere to park. Per El Paso Car Transport, the chain displays a sign prohibiting 18-wheelers from entering the parking lot. Per a Reddit post, bobtails — semi-trailer trucks without trailers attached — are also not allowed on the premises. Reasons for the ban include a concern for parking lot space and cleanliness — both of which Buc-ee's claims would be reduced if truckers were allowed into the establishments.

Many truck drivers are not so happy about this restriction. On Reddit, one trucker voiced their discontent about Buc-ee's ban: "I think it's time we start a petition to allow 18-wheelers into Bucees' parking lots. [...] Their turkey club melts, brisket sandwiches and beaver nuggets need to be accessible to everyone."

Other truckers were less interested in ending the ban: "Even if I was in a car and able to go in, I wouldn't. [...] I just can't give a place that dislikes us so much my money," one commented. However, some self-proclaimed truck drivers admit that they do indeed have a reputation for being messy and understood the reason for the ban, even if it meant not being able to visit Buc-ee's.

Fans can't get enough of Buc-ee's Beaver Nuggets

With its reputation as a road trip stop, it makes sense that Buc-ee's offers plenty of snacks. One of the most popular treats in stock is the Beaver Nuggets. Forgetting to purchase a bag of these would be a major oversight. If the ingredient breakdown isn't intuitive from the name, these crunchy puffed balls are made with corn and a brown sugar coating (via Texas Snax). 

As the Houston Chronicle explains, Beaver Nuggets are great because they are crunchy, sweet, salty, and easy to grab from the cup holder. They also come in a large variety of flavors. Per Texas Snax, you can choose from options like sea salted caramel, milk chocolate, and cinnamon. Beaver Nug-ees are simply a savory version of Beaver Nuggets and come in various flavors including white cheddar habanero and bold 'n sorta spicy.

Due to the ease of snacking on Beaver Nuggets during long drives, we recommend picking up a few bags when you stop at Buc-ees. But if you can't make it to the store, Beaver Nuggets are also sold online. "Such a great product .... taste is fantastic .... wish I had a "Buc-ee's" close to me!" an Amazon consumer wrote upon receiving the fun snack.

The chain lays claim to the world's longest car wash

There's no need to waste your time or energy washing your car before stopping at Buc-ee's. Along with all the other amenities, a few locations actually offer a car wash service. As long as you have the time, you can get your car washed while you shop and munch on snacks. Per the company's website, the locations with car wash centers are all in Texas. If you happen to stop at a Buc-ee's in Cypress, Denton, Katy, Lake Jackson, or Richmond, you'll be able to clean your car.

If you end up at the Katy, Texas, location, you'll even find yourself at a record-breaking car wash. Per Buc-ee's, this location is home to the longest car wash in the world. At 255 feet long, this isn't your typical car wash experience. However, the Katy location may not hold this title for long. As ABC13 reports, the Buc-ee's location in Baytown, Texas, is in the process of having a car wash tunnel installed. Some sources think it will be longer than the one in Katy, potentially earning the position as the new world record holder.

It's known for its wide selection of beef jerky

Buc-ee's beef jerky is one of the most beloved products sold at the convenience store chain. If you eat meat, it would be a crime to pass it up. This is not your typical gas station jerky either. Instead of grabbing a package of mass-produced jerky meat at the checkout, you'll find a full counter that functions much like a deli counter. You can order the exact quantity of jerky you wish, and the staff will carefully wrap it up so that it stays fresh during your drive. Per The Daytona Beach News-Journal, there are at least 20 different styles of beef jerky at a given Buc-ee's location, including rarer flavors like ghost pepper, cherry maple, bohemian garlic, and peppered turkey.

In addition to the beef jerky counter, you'll find a wall of packaged Buc-ee's beef jerky. While less fresh than the stuff at the counter, this beef jerky is a proprietary product with a reputation for deliciousness. On Influenster, one Buc-ee's customer wrote that the chain's bohemian garlic beef jerky is "super moist and the perfect balance of spices." Another customer commented, "It has a great taste that's just the right amount of garlic and sweetness. It's just the right amount of jerky per bite."

Buc-ee's offers an array of treats to satisfy your sweet tooth

You're going to be in the mood for something sweet after filling up on Buc-ee's Nug-ees, barbecue, and beef jerky. That's why you can't skip out on dessert. Fudge is one of the most popular options, and you can pick up a large supply at the fudge counter. At each store, you'll find many different flavors, including birthday cake, blueberry cheesecake, M&M, and red velvet (via Discover Temple). People love getting the fudge sampler, which includes an assortment of flavors. As one Yelp reviewer raved, "The fudge was fantastic." 

Fudge isn't the only noteworthy dessert at Buc-ee's, and banana pudding, sweet kolaches (popular Texan pastries that come in various flavors), cinnamon rolls, gummy candies, fruit cups, and taffy are all up for grabs. "Terrific pastries. I love the cinnamon rolls," said one Buc-ee's customer. If you can't pick just one, follow the lead of the duo behind the Social Couplepreneur YouTube account and try a variety. The video shows them tasting sweet treats like pecan and cream cheese kolaches, a red velvet cake ball, and a key lime pie cup. Even if you don't want to eat dessert on-site, we recommend grabbing some to satisfy sweet cravings while you're on the road.

You may just want to grab a souvenir or do some gift shopping

With Buc-ee's being such a beloved establishment in the U.S., it's not a bad idea to pick up some gifts when you visit the chain. People will appreciate being reminded of the splendor that is Buc-ee's. Not to mention, everyone appreciates receiving a present if you've been away. While there are some fun ideas for adults, there are even more options for children. With such a cute and cuddly mascot, it's not a bad idea to purchase a Buc-ee's plushie or beaver-embellished item. If there's no one else to shop for, you can buy something for yourself.

Per Texas Snax, there are multiple categories of gifts to choose from at Buc-ee's. For example, you could buy clothing, which comes in the form of swimwear, athletic gear, tie-dye, Texan-themed outfits, and more. The gas station chain also sells home goods like mugs, coolers, tumblers, pillows, blankets, and more. You can even pick up camping gear decorated with Buc-ee's famous logo. The merchandise is just one more way for Buc-ee's fans to express their love for the company.

There is a correct way to pronounce the name

If you've only ever read something in print, you may not know how to pronounce it. This is the issue that seems to have plagued one TikTok user who stopped at a Buc-ee's with their family. In the video, the owner of the TikTok account @crazylifeofash repeatedly mispronounces the name Buc-ee's while filming their first visit to the convenience store chain. Not only did the video go viral — with over 5 million views and 400,000 likes on TikTok — but it inspired others to purposely mispronounce the name in their own videos.

Since the clip was posted in November 2021, many others just like it have cropped up on the social media platform. Some TikToks (like this one) are clearly meant as a prank, but with others, it's not so obvious whether the mistake is intended on purpose. Many viewers failed to notice that the person who started this trend was joking all along. Shortly after posting the viral video, the user posted another TikTok saying Buc-ee's correctly. "Yes, Texas, I know it's called Buc-ee's, I was kidding," they admitted. Joking or not, this trend is annoying. Please do everyone a favor and pronounce Buc-ee's right while shopping.

Don't mistake the mascot for a squirrel

Understanding the identity of Buc-ee's mascot is harder than it looks. The logo usually depicts only the animal's face, leaving you to imagine the rest. When you see stuffed versions, the coloring looks very similar to a squirrel. Even when customers take pictures with the Buc-ee's statue, it's hard to see the beaver's tail. But make no mistake — the Buc-ee's mascot is a beaver.

The mascot and name come from three different origins. According to Austonia, founder Arch Aplin III was nicknamed "beaver" as a kid. He also had a pet dog named "Buck." To top it all off, Aplin had an affinity for the Ipana toothpaste mascot, which was also a beaver named "Bucky." All of those elements combined to create the Buc-ee's beaver mascot we know today. 

The image of this animal has become so popular that towns are trying to name streets after it. In early October 2022, a petition was launched to name a street in Springfield, Missouri, "North Beaver Road." Petitioners think this street — which houses the local Buc-ee's — would be more noticeable if named after Buc-ee's beloved mascot, per the Springfield News-Leader. It just goes to show how famous the Buc-ee's mascot has become.