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Available languages — Tag:highway=rest_area
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Public-images-osm logo.svg highway = rest_area
Wentworth terrain.jpg
Place where drivers can leave the road to rest, but not refuel.
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areasuse on relations unspecified
Useful combination
Status: De facto

A [W] rest area is place along a road, usually a motorway or dual-carriageway, where a driver can stop to have a rest.

Unlike highway=services, rest areas don't have places to buy fuel, they may have picnic tables, garbage bins and toilets.

How to Map

See highway=services.

International Equivalence

These areas are also commonly referred to as rest stops, turnouts, or lay-bys. They may be combined with tourist information (tourism=information) in a welcome center.

In the UK, lay-bys are marked with a blue-background "P" symbol, identical to that used for parking areas. The most common variety is a simple, rather short, extra lane next to the highway with a concrete surface and a couple of litter bins. Some are set further back in the form of short loops of service road, and may feature mobile fast food outlets, toilets etc. (In the UK, it is legal to leave HGV trailers parked on these, but not on those not separated from the road, so some road users (truckers) may be concerned with the difference.) Lay-bys are not found on UK motorways: by law rest stops on motorways must be full-fledged service areas.

In the U.S., the vast majority of Interstates have only rest areas, not service areas. One must exit the highway to find fuel or food. The main exception is on a tolled Interstate, where service areas are the norm.


  • Make sure you add the area=yes tag in case you tag a way, because it is not considered the default for closed ways (bug #137)

See also

  • drinking_water=yes/no - Indication whether a feature provides drinking water