If you told me as a child that one day, I'd use a faux gasoline pump that shoots out bags of Cheez-It crackers, I would've said, "Psh, yeah, right. That's only possible in my dreams." But at last, that dream came to fruition at the Cheez-It Stop, the snack brand's new pop-up destination in Joshua Tree, CA. I was lucky enough to get an exclusive first look at the roadside attraction on behalf of POPSUGAR, and let me tell ya, it was quite the memorable experience.
Located in the middle of the California desert, the reimagined fill station is paradise for dedicated Cheez-It snackers. It's packed to the brim with fun merch for purchase, from graphic T-shirts, coffee mugs, and shot glasses to slides, bandanas, and Hawaiian shirts. Of course, the shelves are also stocked with plenty of Cheez-It boxes, including hard-to-find flavors like Buffalo Wing and Jalapeño & Cheddar Jack Duoz.
To no one's surprise, the Cheez-It pump is the main event. Instead of gasoline, the nozzle releases small bags of the cheesy crackers into a duffel bag or cooler — or directly into your car window, if you so please. And yes, the bags are totally free for all visitors. A friendly heads up: the packages fly out pretty quickly, so be prepared to catch 'em in your container of choice.
In addition to the snack-dispensing pump, there are photo ops aplenty at the outpost. Old-school cars are parked out front, a photo booth is situated inside a retro van out back, and Big Josh, a 20-foot-tall cowboy statue, is ready to pose with his own supersize Cheez-It pump in hand. Every inch of the space is decorated to cheesy perfection, straight down to the tiny Cheez-It crackers stuck on the cacti outside and more sneaky Easter eggs hidden throughout.
Whether you're en route to Palm Springs, Los Angeles, or San Diego, the Cheez-It Stop is the perfect detour for cheese-loving road-trippers. It's open to the public for one week only — starting June 5 through June 11, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily — at 61943 Twentynine Palms Highway in Joshua Tree. Read ahead to check out IRL photos from my visit to the one-of-a-kind attraction, and swing by this week if you're in the area.