What to Expect at Travel Centers of America #197

This full-service travel center/truck stop, located along I-95 in Vero Beach, Florida (exit 147), is a good choice for drivers hauling through this region who need a place to stop. This is truly a full-service location, with dining choices, showers, laundry services, and complete mechanical and tire services, as well.

Travel Centers of America #197

Parking Spots: 162
Reserved Parking Spots: 27
Paid Parking Spots: 27
Fuel Lanes: 8
Showers: 9
Truck Service Bays: 6
Highway: I-95
Exit: 147
Street Address: 8909 20TH ST
State: FL
Postal Code: 32966
Phone: 772-562-1791

TA, which is the common name for Travel Centers of America, is well known for being the place to go for mechanical and tire issues while on the road. Many trucking companies will direct drivers to a TA when having problems, and this location here has virtually everything required. The location is large and convenient, with it being directly off I-95 and then right there. At the time of this writing, there’s a lot of road construction going on in this area, so getting in and out of the truck stop is a wee bit slower but hardly an issue.

While waiting for repairs or turning over a 10-hour break, the dining choices are decent compared to some truck stops that offer primarily cheap and unhealthy fast food. TA’s usual Country Pride full-service restaurant is here, with a specialty buffet for the day’s three meals. There’s also a Subway and a Popeye’s Chicken for those who don’t desire to sit down or for those on a stricter budget. Then, the store has plenty to choose from in terms of fast food on the go, such as drinks and snacks, hot dogs and sausages, and preheated and pre-wrapped sandwiches.

The store also has plenty of things for those on the go, from professional drivers to the RV community, and even those on the go in their car. There’s plenty to choose from for those who are traveling, with tools and other business accessories for the trucker, and plenty of electronic choices, such as CB radios and other electronic diversions.

The truck lot is quite large and easy to work with. There’s ample space between the rows for drivers to negotiate a big truck in and out without having to fight with tight spaces and concerns for the other trucks around. There are a few rows to choose from, with plenty of parking spaces in each. Whether this truck stop fills up to capacity on a regular basis is not known by this particular driver at the time, but I can say that I’ve been to this truck stop numerous times over the years and never noticed an absence of parking availability. The only thing that is a bit annoying is that there’s a landscaping partition between the truck lot and the main buildings, so one must cut through the flowers and shrubbery to get to the building unless you walk all the way around.

This truck stop is also a good choice because there are few other choices around. Approximately fifteen miles south is Fort Pierce, Florida, where there are three other truck stops. Directly off the Turnpike entrance, which is just down Highway 70 about a mile and change from I-95 exit 129, there is a Pilot and a Love’s truck stop directly across from one another. The Loves used to be a Pilot before the Pilot and Flying J merger, and according to reports, that merger held an agreement that a certain amount of Pilot be sold to Love. Anyway, these two truck stops are nice, but they fill up quickly and don’t have much in terms of parking. A driver trying to pull into either of these after four in the afternoon might end up looking elsewhere because they’re full. Off of exit 131, there is a Flying J. However, at the time of this writing, this Flying J is undergoing some serious renovations and, at the moment, is a total mess. It has plenty of parking but is otherwise a waste of time until they get it together with their renovations. It might be a diamond in the rough, but presently, it is really rough.

But that is about it in terms of truck stops along this stretch of I-95. About fifty miles north, there’s a small Pilot off of exit 201 near Cocoa, but this Pilot is quite small and fills up so fast. So, this TA seems to be the region’s oasis for those driving long distances in a semi. Because of this, it is a good thing that this truck stop is a good choice and well-maintained. The truck entrance is quite wide, so there are no challenges there.

This location also has a Cat Scale, just in case you need one. I haven’t used the showers at this time, but I’ve been in them before, and they’re quite fine.

Overall, this truck stop is a positive stop and is recommended.

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About the author
After a few years of writing for small local newspapers and freelancing for numerous national publications, Shaun took his skills to the Internet. Shaun's work has appeared on various sites and he is ready to tackle new topics and learn new things in the world of journalism.