GREAT REASONS TO STOP AT BUC-EE'S SEVIERVILLE, TENNESSEE
Rest stops and gas stations are essentials on any road trip. Rarely, though, are they the destination. The new Buc-ee’s in Sevierville, Tennessee aims to change that. Opened June 2023 at Exit 407 off I-40, it’s a place you’ll want to plan to stop on your way to and from the Smoky Mountains. Here’s why:
World’s Largest! The Sevierville Buc-ee’s currently ranks as the world’s largest convenience store. Sprawling 74,000 square feet—bigger than a football field!—it will hold that title for one year; in June 2024, a larger Buc-ee’s will open in Luling, Texas. “Luling is our flagship, home of our first Buc-ee’s,” says Stan Beard, Buc-ee’s director of real estate. “We’re replacing the original travel center that has been there for 20 years with one that will be 75,000 square feet.” The Sevierville location will continue to have plenty to brag about, including its 250-foot-long car wash.
Being bigger than the usual Buc-ee’s means you’ll have more elbow room. Beard says, “You’ll find it easier to move around, place your food orders, find an available restroom stall, grab your goodies, and check out.” The 30-acre site also allows for ample RV parking—this is the first Buc-ee’s to incorporate pull-through RV parking into its design.
Oodles of clean bathrooms! Buc-ee’s has earned the title of the cleanest gas station restrooms several times from Cintas, GasBuddy, TripAdvisor, and others. Sevierville’s Buc-ee’s offers 71 toilets (36 men’s and 35 women’s). There’s also an abundance of everything needed to wash your hands.
Cheeky billboards dot the route to Bu-cee’s and its bathrooms are a common topic with slogans such as: “Potty like a rock star,” “Our aim is to have clean restrooms. Your aim will help,” “Top two reasons to stop at Buc-ee’s: #1 and #2,” and “Restrooms so clean you can see yourself. (Psst, look in mirror.)”
Fuel up! The new Sevierville Buc-ee’s boasts 120 fueling positions (60 double-sided pumps) plus 20 EV charging stations. With so many pumps, you’ll rarely if ever need to wait for gas.
Texas-style BBQ! Buc-ee’s has a director of barbecue: Eight-time world BBQ champion Randy Pauly. Both Texas-style beef and pork are on the menu, but Buc-ee’s barbecue brisket sandwiches are the chain’s biggest-selling item at all locations. To ensure consistency across the brand, Pauly conducts extensive training. “He makes sure everyone cuts, pulls, yanks, and tears all the beef and pork the same way in every store,” says Beard. True to Texas-style barbecue, the sauce is red and spicy.
Sevierville’s barbecue area is extra huge. “The Texas round-up station where the barbecue is getting chopped is twice as big,” says Beard. “It will be like going to a show. It’s a big deal.”
So much food! In addition to barbecue, Buc-ee’s offers branded packaged snacks, fresh deli foods, and bakery items. Most beloved among the branded chips, jerky, candies, popcorn, trail mix, cotton candy, pecan logs, dried fruit, cheese cubes, and other snacks are the trademark Beaver Nuggets—crunchy corn puffs coated in brown sugar, cinnamon, cheddar and habañero, white fudge, and other flavorings. All of the fresh deli foods are made at the store, with options like breakfast burritos, tacos, chicken sandwiches, salads, and more. Baked goodies include cookies, pies, cakes, homemade fudge, and kolaches—a Czech pastry roll filled with meat, cheese, or fruit. There’s also a coffee bar where you can make yourself a cold or hot drink with your choice of a wide range of fixings.
Unique souvenirs! Merchandise abounds, much of it bearing the Buc-ee’s beaver logo. You’ll find T-shirts, magnets, swimsuits, hoodies, backpacks, stuffed animals, toothbrushes, keychains, dog collars, travel cups, sunglasses, coolers, car fresheners, soaps, and so much more. Household goods range from practical to decorative, including grills, folding chairs, dishes, wooden signs, knickknacks, tchotchkes, and so on. Buc-ee’s Sevierville will also carry an eclectic mix of goods by local artisans, including framed paintings—some showcasing the Smoky Mountains.
Dog-walking area! A large grassy area is available for you to walk your dog around to relieve itself. Bag dispensers and disposal units are available so you can readily clean up any messes. While your dog sniffs around, you can admire mountain views.
Just the beginning! Buc-ee’s is anchoring a new 200-acre development named “The 407: Gateway to Adventure” that’s being built in partnership with Kituwah, LLC and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. There’s more to come! “The ‘407’ is the name of the exit that leads into the Sevier County tourism corridor,” says Matthew Cross, Founding Partner & CEO of OE Experiences, development partner for the project. In the future, the development will house a Marriott Courtyard, various entertainment venues with an overarching narrative story, retail and dining options, and more reasons to stop. “Smoky Gap,” a shopping and entertainment destination, is set to open in 2025.