This Extraterrestrial McDonald’s is a Road Trip Must-See
You might think that fast food places are the same wherever you go, but not the Roswell McDonald’s. Like many other businesses in this unique city in New Mexico, it has a UFO theme.
Boldly breaking ranks from its fellow franchisees, this quirky location serves up local flavor in super-sized portions.
Let’s take a closer look.
Where Is the Roswell McDonald’s?
Located in southeastern New Mexico, Roswell has notoriety worldwide because of a mysterious aircraft crash in 1947. Was it a secret military plane, a weather balloon, or a flying saucer piloted by aliens? We may never know for sure, but Roswell loves to play up its association with this historic and puzzling event.
The McDonald’s lies right downtown on Main Street, which is a section of U.S. Highway 285. Look for it on the west side of the roadway between 7th and 8th street. If you’re traveling east or west, the Roswell McDonald’s is south of Interstate 70 and north of U.S. Highway 380.
What’s So Special About the Roswell McDonald’s?
The first thing you’ll see is the golden arches. They’re just like the ones at any other McDonald’s. As you get closer, you may notice the building resembles a flying saucer. It looks like it’s ready to blast off and zip into the stratosphere — or crash land on a ranch.
During the day, it’s the same gray color you might spy on a spacecraft. After dark, red neon-style lights flash like lasers. Inside you’ll find Ronald McDonald and other familiar corporate characters suited up in space suits and helmets. The outer space theme continues in the Play Place section for kids and on a mural on the building next door.
Are There Special Menu Items at the Roswell McDonald’s?
While the extraterrestrial décor celebrates Roswell in over-the-top fashion, the menu is sadly down to earth. There’s nothing earth-shattering about the Big Macs, McGriddles, Happy Meals, and McNuggets these earthlings are serving up.
The staff at the Roswell McDonald’s does, however, have a reputation for being especially friendly and hospitable.
Where to Stay When Visiting the Roswell McDonald’s
Because of its proximity to several major highways, Roswell is a popular stop-over point while traveling the southwest. It’s not so crowded that you’ll feel lost in a tourist shuffle, however. For the most part, you can expect a friendly reception and reasonable rates. Here are four great places to land.
Spring River RV Park
Address: 950 E. College Blvd., Roswell, NM 88201
About the Park: You’ll share space with some full-timers, but it’s comfortable, tidy, and close to many attractions. There are 60 sites here with gravel pads and full hookups. It’s next to a city park with trails that lead right downtown.
Top Features: You’ll enjoy clean bathhouses with hot showers, laundry facilities, solid Wi-Fi service, and free satellite TV.
Vibes Rating: 9.2/10
Red Barn RV Park
Address: 2806 E. 2nd St., Roswell, NM 88201
About the Park: A friendly spot on the edge of town, Red Barn offers just 14 sites but with full hookups and homey extras. It’s still convenient to Roswell but gives you a taste of life on the farm. It’s well-maintained and clean with spacious sites.
Top Features: It has a small store for ice and snacks, a dog run, cable TV, and Wi-Fi. The red barn itself is a community space where you can watch TV, socialize, and exchange books and DVDs.
Vibes Rating: 9.4/10
Trailer Village RV Park
Address: 706 E. 2nd St., Roswell, NM 88201
About the Park: Another quiet spot with a friendly feel and full services, it lies just a mile and a half from the center of town but away from noisy traffic. Pull-thru sites are level and have gravel. You’ll find a mix of shade and sun.
Top Features: It has laundry facilities, clean bathrooms and showers, and excellent Wi-Fi.
Vibes Rating: 9.2/10
Bottomless Lakes Park Campground
Address: 18 Park Srv. Rd., Roswell, NM 88203
About the Park: Drive a few more miles from town and experience some wonderful scenery in a more rustic setting. The seven lakes are actually sinkholes, and they aren’t really bottomless — the deepest is 90 feet. This state park facility has 32 campsites, and six of them have full hookups. The others have water and electricity, and there’s a dump station on-site.
Top Features: Explore the lakes by fishing, non-motorized boating, or even scuba diving. There are trails for hiking, biking, and viewing wildlife, and there’s also a volleyball court and playground.
Vibes Rating: 9.6/10
Pro Tip: Want to camp for free while exploring New Mexico? Try one of these 7 Best Sites for Free Camping in New Mexico.
Other Things to Do When Visiting Roswell
The unconventional McDonald’s pays a lighthearted tribute to Roswell’s UFO legacy. For a more in-depth exploration, we recommend a few more destinations. Check out these other places in Roswell.
International UFO Museum & Research Center
This is ground zero for saucer enthusiasts — and more than a few conspiracy theorists, too. Just a few blocks from the Roswell McDonald’s, this place is the go-to UFO museum. You can get your alien trinkets here while expanding your knowledge of the Roswell incident and other UFO sightings. You can do some real research here, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Pro Tip: Keep hunting for aliens by adventuring on The Extraterrestrial Highway Road Trip.
All you need to take flight here is a virtual reality headset. You can travel back in time to July 7, 1947, on the Foster Ranch to find out first-hand what happened. Or you can choose another 20-minute mind-blowing experience. Options include the Apollo 11 flight to the moon, a colony on Mars, and the nativity setting in Bethlehem.
Roswell Space Center
This is the home of the unforgettable blacklight “spacewalk” activity that adults and kids love. This out-of-the-box “immersive art installation” is the brainchild of artist Larry Welz. He’s the same guy who produced the murals next to the McDonald’s. He runs the place, too, so you can probably meet him and chat about aliens, art, and outer space.
Robert H. Goddard Planetarium
This is a full-dome digital theater where you can do some for-real deep dives into the scientific realm. Maybe you’d like to finally understand exactly how light works or take a 360-degree tour of the Aurora Borealis.
On the lighter side of things, you might time it right for a Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin laser show. An adjacent museum and art center houses a diverse collection of southwestern art and artifacts.
Plan Your Trip to the Roswell McDonald’s
If you’re expecting the food to be out of this world, you might be let down. But a stop-in at the Roswell McDonald’s should lift your spirits and create a fun, lasting memory. It’s unlike the other fast food joints you’ll encounter.
It also shows how what happened — or didn’t — in 1947 is deeply embedded in the everyday culture of Roswell. Have you ever visited Roswell?
Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA
To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).
You should give it a try!
As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.
Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site!
We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below: