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Unpopular Opinion: Texas’ Famous Buc-ee’s Pit Stop Really Sucks

Yes, I said it, I hate Buc-ee’s.

I was recently on a women’s hiking trip in Utah, and one of my travel companions appeared at breakfast wearing a sweatshirt adorned with the toothy logo of Buc-ee the Beaver in all his trademark red baseball-capped glory.

“You know Buc-ee’s, Jill,” she grinned, pointing to her shirt.

I’ve lived in Texas most of my life and have been on more in-state road trips than I can count, so I do know Buc-ee’s. If you’ve driven through Texas, you probably know Buc-ee’s, too.

Buc-ee’s is a popular convenience store and gas station in Texas that’s spread beyond the borders into seven other states, mainly in the Southeast. There are 48 Buc-ee’s locations, with about a third in Texas. Buc-ee’s is generally accepted as the Texas road trip stop.

“I hate Buc-ee’s,” I replied. It was out of my mouth before I could censor myself, and I couldn’t take it back. A look of utter horror crossed my new friend’s face. “I don’t know if I can still like you,” she responded, half kidding.

Texas stereotypes are strong, but we don’t all adore the oh-so-trite phrase, “Everything’s bigger in Texas,” or root for the Dallas Cowboys. But, most of my fellow Texans at least like Buc-ee’s. I, on the other hand, detest it.

Disliking Buc-ee’s Is a Wildly Unpopular Opinion Among Travelers

My friend’s reaction was typical of what I get when I tell someone I’m not on the Buc-ee’s bandwagon. Telling someone I hate Buc-ee’s is akin to saying I hate cute, cuddly puppies or that I advocate putting the toilet paper on the roll backward. I’ve been told I should consider relocating and asked if I were a “real Texan.”

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I have a generally positive outlook on life. I try to look for the good, and if something’s not for me, I’m usually happy to move past it rather than dwell on the negatives. But I hate Buc-ee’s with the fire of a thousand suns. I hate Buc-ee’s more than I hate beets, and that’s really making a statement because beets are gross.

My kids will occasionally convince me to stop at Buc-ee’s, but I’ve regretted that decision 100% of the time. I’ve come away from all my Buc-ee’s experiences anxious, irritated, and behind my desired timeline. My opinion on this popular road trip stop plants me firmly in the minority, but travelers flock to Buc-ee’s for a variety of reasons, like plentiful gas pumps, pristine restrooms, and the variety and quality of snacks.

Popular Buc-ee’s food items include brisket sandwiches, beef jerky, and beaver nuggets (puffed corn with a sweet coating). If you love sugary breakfast cereal, beaver nuggets will be your jam. While I’ll grudgingly admit that a Buc-ee’s brisket sandwich can hit the spot, it’s not enough to make me change my “I hate Buc-ee’s” tune.

Ray Shrewsberry/Shutterstock

Why I Dislike Buc-ee’s

If crowds and chaos stress you out, Buc-ee’s probably isn’t for you. While there are a lot of gas pumps, there aren’t many parking spaces. Your mileage will vary based on location, but there aren’t many places to park your car other than at the pumps.

Buc-ee’s popularity makes navigating their parking lots unpleasant at best, especially during busy periods. Cars are jockeying for the few coveted spaces near the entrance, and there are no signs or designated right-of-way for pedestrians flocking to the door. If you remember the old-school video game Frogger, it’s kind of like that.

The chaotic atmosphere continues inside the store as excited patrons bounce from displays of seemingly endless varieties of beef jerky to aisles upon aisles of snacks, housewares, and beaver-branded merchandise. You might not think of a roadside convenience store as the best place to buy a bird feeder, buckets of bacon grease (yes, really), or farmhouse décor, but Buc-ee’s has all that and a bag of chips.

You’ll find everything from boogie boards to bottles of hot sauce emblazoned with the Buc-ee the Beaver logo. I’ve even seen a leopard print one-piece bathing suit adorned with a decal of a smiling, baseball cap-wearing beaver.

Charles Mcclintock Wilson/Dreamstime

I set loose time or distance goals when I’m driving. While I try not to be rigid to the point of missing opportunities to experience road trip gems like “Snake Farm Zoo” or “World’s Largest Ketchup Bottle,” I usually have some target in mind when I climb behind the wheel. While I appreciate cheap gas and restrooms that don’t gross me out, I want to roll in, gas up, take a pee break, pay for snacks, and move it on down the line. If we need a longer break from the road, I prefer to find a green space where I can stretch and let my kids burn off some energy.

Breaks from driving are healthy and necessary, but I can think of many better places to get respite from the road besides Buc-ee’s. An hour lost inside a superstore is not enjoyable for me and not what I want from a road trip.

Despite my distaste for Buc-ee’s, their expansion and Tik-Tok videos have only amplified their popularity. I hate Buc-ee’s and I’m okay with that. Everything isn’t for everyone, and I don’t have this level of venom for anything else except beets. I’ll happily hold my pee and drive a few more miles down the road until I find a nice QuikTrip or Love’s.

10 Comments
C
cindyrittmer0076 February 16, 2024

I so agree!!!  I hated Buc-ee's.  First time visit was Texas City on way to Galveston for a cruise.  Crowded, loud... was glad to stop there on return because I so wanted a Diet Pepsi, sister wanted a Mountain Dew and some Bugles.   Crowded, loud and NO Pepsi products, no Bugles.  We hit the restrooms and found the next convenience store.  Never again.

S
SenoraTraveler February 4, 2024

If you are a parent with children and in no rush to be on the road, Buc-ee's is your place.  I have been to Bucees 2 times and only went there because the owner/driver picked it.  My impression was the place was a tourist trap.  I looked at the bakery counter and the prices were much higher than my local bakeries.   Yes, the place was clean and the service fast.  But I prefer places where the people don't mind giving directions, make recommendations on routes, places to eat and places to stay the night. 

J
jospa February 3, 2024

Couldn't agree more.  It's a roadside attraction, see it once and never return unless it's the only option.  Other than clean bathrooms, it has nothing going for it. Typical american excess, patronized by the same.

S
Scates February 3, 2024

I've visited a couple of Bucee locations in Georgia and South Carolina and have never had an issue with parking and always get gas at a good price if not lowest price in the area.  The food is a good quality at a good price and the fountain drinks and bottled drinks are a great value (I bought an Arizona tea for $1 on my last stop).  I highly recommend the brisket burritos and the popcorn.Yes, there are a lot of people there and yes there is a lot of merchandise that I personally would never buy, but I've never waited more than 1 minute checking out.  Most importantly, the bathrooms are pristine.For the adventurous, who enjoy the local flavor, feel free to avoid Buc-ee's and go to the off the interstate mini-market gas station where the bathrooms may or may not be operational and may or may not be clean.  You'll also support the local economy by getting that same Arizona Ice Tea for 2 to 3 times more... 

J
jayzaslower8720 February 3, 2024

Love Buc-ee's and now remember why i stopped reading Fodor's travel.