If you travel any amount of distance, you have probably stopped at a rest stop for a break. Whether it’s a bathroom break, a chance to stretch your legs, grab a snack, let the dog out, or stop for the night, a nice rest stop can make a big difference in your drive. We stopped at so many rest stops during our RV trip, and even stayed overnight at some when the drive was too long. I never paid too much attention before the trip, but there can be a huge difference in the quality of rest stops! We’ve gone to ones that are simply toilets, nothing else there, nothing special. Then of course, you can find really nice ones where everything is new, super clean and bright. Florida’s Welcome Center/rest stop gave out masks and orange juice. Wyoming’s (near Cheyenne) had so many people stopping there, that Uber Eats delivered! (It was a nice stop too, not just due to food delivery.) New York’s Western NY Visitor Center had a little shop and a playground on the campus. Virginia’s Eastern Shore had a wildlife refuge and great walking trails.
Ohio’s have been a mix. On our way back home from Michigan, we stopped at one that was nice enough, but small and older. There were plenty of parking spots though. Between Wilmington and Lebanon, Ohio, on highway I-71, there are a pair of newer rest stops/welcome centers. They are located around mile marker 33.5 and are on either side of the highway, so there is both a northbound and south rest stop. There are bathrooms, vending machines, local tourist information. The southbound rest stop/welcome center has a fun Ohio sculpture that makes for a great photo op. It also has shaded picnic tables along the right side of the building. Along the backside there is a walking path; it isn’t very long, but it gives you a nice spot to stretch your legs and has a few benches along the path. There a is a dog poopbag station as well.
The southbound rest stop has 20 RV/truck spots. The lanes seemed large enough for easy maneuverability. There were only a few lights in the parking lot, so it may be pretty dark at night if you are here for an overnight stop.
Normally we only use rest stops when we travel; however, we have occasionally grabbed things for a picnic lunch and headed to a nearby rest stop. They can be great places to have a change in scenery, especially if it has a large open space to throw a ball, picnic tables, and even the hard-to-find playground.
Ohio.gov has a list of Ohio rest stops (including the type of rest stop, amount of parking spaces)
Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge