The First McDonald's Restaurant Is An Unofficial Museum You Can Visit

If you're a fan of the Golden Arches, you might want to visit the First Original McDonald's Museum, an unofficial museum devoted to the chain. Located not far from Route 66 in San Bernardino, California, it sits on the site of the first McDonald's restaurant, opened by brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald in 1940. Though the original building was torn down in 1972, parts of its original floor are still on display.

While McDonald's has no affiliation with this gallery of sorts, it seems that the fast food giant is at least aware of its presence. We don't think Ronald will be offended if you visit to check out the memorabilia. There's also a California road sign designating it as the official site of the first McDonald's.

It's open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and, best of all, admission is free, so you can save the cash for a Big Mac or perhaps a returning McRib at an operating McDonald's just a few minutes down the street. If you're wondering who went through the effort of establishing a place like this, that would be Albert Okura, founder and CEO of chicken restuarant Juan Pollo. Besides establishing the museum on the site, Okura ran Juan Pollo from the same spot.

Visiting the First Original McDonald's Museum

When you approach the First Original McDonald's Museum, you'll see an old-school McDonald's sign along with a faded statue of Officer Big Mac, a character who appeared in advertisements for the chain through the 1970s and 1980s. Inside, you'll find a plethora of Happy Meal toys, McDonald's collectables, historic photos, old uniforms, and vintage menus and signage from restaurants past.

Don't forget to check out the rest of the exterior, too, which sports elaborate murals featuring Ray and Maurice McDonald, the chain's characters, and vintage cars in homage to the restaurant and the San Bernardino area. You'll also find statues and slightly outdated playground equipment that presumably came from other McDonald's locations.

The First Original McDonald's Museum currently has a 4.5-star rating from nearly 1,900 reviews on Google with users reserving special mentions for its nostalgia factor and an informative guide who often is there to answer questions.