Buc-ee’s has stores in Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky, and yes, Tennessee.
The Texas-based convenience store chain/cult built its reputation on three prongs.
These prongs include a wide variety of food and snacks, lots of gas pumps and perhaps the most well-known, unusually spacious and famously clean restrooms.
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Why are Buc-ee’s bathrooms famous?
So why are spacious, clean restrooms such a big deal? Well, in my worst road trip bathroom experiences, I’ve seen deceased lizards, live snakes, broken toilets and broken locks, along with many other mishaps.
So when you’re on the road, it’s nice to have a chain that you can rely on to have an abundance of clean, safe stalls to do your business.
And how is it so clean? At most locations I’ve visited, they usually have dedicated cleaning staff member who practically follows guests around with a broom.
Also, Buc-ee’s has a bathroom trophy case to back up their claims of famously clean toilets.
You see, Buc-ee’s not only has clean bathrooms. They have award-winning clean bathrooms. They officially won the title of cleanest restrooms in America in 2012 with Cintas, who ran a nationwide restroom contest.
How do you win a contest for having the cleanest restrooms?
I’m glad you asked.
If you want to achieve fame by having the cleanest restrooms, you’re in luck. The official rules of the contest state that anyone can nominate a restroom for the contest.
Entries must include an original photo of the bathroom. Then, a panel of judges chooses finalists based on cleanliness, visual appeal, innovation, functionality and unique design elements.
Next, the finalists go to a public vote, and ultimately, a grand prize winner is chosen based on the votes.
It would have been more exciting if they sent a panel of judges across the U.S., consuming lots of coffee and beverages along the way so they can adequately judge for themselves. However, I suppose this way is still impressive.
What are the bathrooms like at Buc-ee’s?
I imagine it’s a lot like the bathrooms at the Vatican or maybe Versailles but for mass audiences.
They’re usually very clean. And also, they’re spacious. They have lots of stalls, sinks and urinals. There are also a lot of tiles.
In fact, if you have to go badly enough, I suppose it’s Shangri-La.
There are almost never any lines on the men’s side. The women’s side? I confirm there are frequent lines, but otherwise, the reports I’ve received from people in the field are good.
The entrances to both bathrooms are filled with art for sale. Most of which is pretty cool-looking stuff. Of course, it’s not Van Gogh or Monet. It’s pretty pictures of horses or landscapes or other artsy things.
I wouldn’t be ashamed to hang it on my walls at home. However, if someone asked where I got it, I don’t know that I’d be comfortable telling them from the walls of a Buc-ee’s bathroom in Adairsville, Georgia.
Is it possible to have a bad Buc-ee’s bathroom experience?
Most of my Buc-ee’s experiences have been positive, but I did have a negative encounter once.
We were traveling up I-75 back to Tennessee following a brief trip when we stopped at the first – and slightly inferior – of the two Georgia Buc-ee’s on I-75, Ft. Valley.
There was no line to the men’s room, but I saw only one stall with a green (open) signal.
I pulled the door open and was (at least Buc-ee’s) aghast.
Honestly, had this been some rando Sunoco on some godforsaken exit in the middle of the open road to nowhere, I might have powered through.
But in a Buc-ee’s? Never!
There was a liquid pooled at the base of the toilet. A few pieces of toilet paper dangled precariously off the seat and into the bowl.
This was the Buc-ee’s equivalent of a crime scene.
Sadly, at this location, I could not “Potty Like a Rock Star.” Finally, another stall opened right next to the offending stall. I took it.
I listened as another patron opened the stall door only to close it again in confusion.
Can you hear the confusion in the closing of a bathroom stall door? I could.
How many bathroom stalls does Buc-ee’s have?
It depends on the size of the Buc-ee’s. According to the Washington Post, the current world’s largest convenience store in New Braunfels has:
- 120 fueling positions
- 80 fountain dispensers
- 27 cash registers
- four Icee machines
- 33 urinals
- 50 toilet stalls
The Sevierville location – which will be the world’s largest convenience store for a while until a bigger one opens in Texas – is set to open soon.
It will be 74,000 square feet of the 200-acre development.
It will provide a mind-blowing total of 120 fueling positions, EV charging stations and a car wash that’s nearly the length of a football field.
I haven’t seen the breakdown on urinals and stalls but suffice it to say, it’s going to be a lot.
Does Buc-ee’s have a family restroom?
I had assumed so, but apparently not.
There’s a Trip Adviser post about the Buc-ee’s in Bastrop, Texas that outlined the issue of no family restroom. Obviously, that’s just one store out of dozens, but it appears others have faced a similar issue.
Also, I could find no reference to family restrooms on the Buc-ee’s site. But I suppose the corporate feeling is the special needs stalls are big enough to serve families whose members need assistance.
I don’t want to say definitively no, because maybe one Buc-ee’s out there somewhere does have a family restroom. But I’m pretty sure the answer is no.
Can you shower at Buc-ee’s?
Can you? I suppose anything is possible. But realistically, no.
Buc-ee’s isn’t a truck stop and doesn’t have shower facilities for over-the-road drivers. In fact, Buc-ee’s does not accommodate 18-wheelers at all.
They are not even allowed in the parking lot.
Which Buc-ee’s is the largest?
New Braunfels, Texas is the record holder for a couple more months before the title passes to Sevierville, which will hold it for only a short time.
There’s an even larger Buc-ee’s that is being built in Luling, Texas, set to open in 2024.
The world’s longest car wash is located at the Buc-ee’s in Katy, Texas.
Which Buc-ee’s is the smallest?
Not all Buc-ee’s are massive. Some are just regular-sized convenience stores. The one in Jackson, Texas appears to be the smallest functioning Buc-ee’s.
Can I purchase a Buc-ee’s souvenir online?
Not directly from the Buc-ee’s website, no.
But a cottage industry of “Buc-ee’s shoppers” has cropped up online. These people live near Buc-ee’s and will make Buc-ee’s runs, buy various items and – after a slight markup – send them to you in the comfort of your own home.
Fans who do not live nearby can get beaver nuggets, candy, T-shirts, Buc-ee’s blankets, cheese, sausage and more, all with the Buc-ee’s logo sent anywhere in the United States or even the world if you pay for the shipping.
But be warned. Getting Buc-ee’s in the mail is no substitute for the full experience, and you’ll have to use your own bathroom.
Have you used a Buc-ee’s restroom? Was it worth the hype? Let us know in the comments.