Great rest stops and welcome centers are gifts to visitors and invoke sighs of relief from people returning home. They are destinations in themselves. The best examples are not interchangeable - they capture some aspect of the spirit of the place.
One great example is the Vermont Welcome Center on Interstate 91 North. Rather than a numbing food court, the building is spacious, bright, even inspirational. It appropriately showcases Vermont goods and destinations and each time we visit, we do not want to leave.
The most striking feature is the building itself. According to its designer, Vermont Timber Works, the frame is hand hewn native white pine and oak, joined with traditional wooden pegs.
A New Hampshire person will say he or she is "from New England." A Vermont resident will say "from Vermont."