If you are taking a road trip over the next few days or the start of 2022, there are some great places to stop and stretch your legs around Western New York. But on a trip back from New York City to Buffalo, my wife and I found what I think is the cleanest and most picturesque rest stop in New York State.

The rest stop in Kirkwood on Route I-81 (The Southern Tier) is, in short, stunning!

The Best Rest Stop In New York State

We were on the road at the perfect time on a crisp, clear Sunday afternoon in December. The sun was at the perfect angle over the rolling hills of the Southern Tier that afternoon. It looked like a postcard for the I LOVE NY campaign as we pulled our car in to the clean and spacious lot. When we walked in to the bright atrium, it was clear that we were stopped at the gem of the New York State travel corridor.

What makes it so great? These days we are all concerned about germs and the rest stop in Kirkwood has the nicest rest rooms I may have ever seen on a road trip. I have to admit, I was impressed with the toilets! very sanitary and very environmentally friendly.

In the food area we found a modern, cashless pay system with multiple pay options. We noticed there were products for sale that were produced or made in New York State. The walls, floors and walkways were plastered with historical references and figures that made New York the giant it is.

I have lived in New York State my entire life and this rest stop in Kirkwood made me appreciate the beauty and vastness that stretches from Albany to Lake Erie and Niagara Falls. If you plan a road trip, make it a point to swing in to the Kirkwood rest stop on I-81.

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