Golden Arches Go Turquoise: The Unique McDonald’s of Sedona


A McDonald’s unlike any other may be found in Sedona, Arizona, tucked away among the stunning red rock formations. Although the restaurant offers the same well-known fare as its innumerable siblings—burgers, fries, and Happy Meals—it stands out from the crowd thanks to its recognizable arches. Here, the arches proudly sparkle a vivid blue, fitting in perfectly with the surrounding scenery in place of the more common golden yellow.

A Clash of Colors: The Birth of the Blue Arches

The story behind the turquoise arches dates back to 1993 when the McDonald’s franchise was first established in Sedona. City officials, known for their strict aesthetic guidelines, were concerned that the traditional bright yellow arches would clash with the natural beauty of the red rock landscape.

Sedona enforces a strict development code that emphasizes preserving the natural environment. Building designs must be compatible with the surrounding colors and textures, ensuring a cohesive aesthetic that complements the red rock formations.

A Compromise is Reached: Turquoise Takes Center Stage

McDonald’s, recognizing the importance of respecting local regulations, opted for a unique solution. Instead of the standard yellow, they decided to paint the arches and the large M above the entrance a soft turquoise hue. This ingenious compromise allowed the restaurant to maintain its brand identity while adhering to Sedona’s architectural guidelines.

A Tourist Attraction: The Turquoise Arches Gain Fame

The turquoise McDonald’s quickly became a local landmark and a popular tourist attraction. Visitors flock to this unique location not just for a familiar meal but also to capture a photo with the atypical blue arches. Social media has further propelled its fame, making the Sedona McDonald’s an internet sensation.

More Than Just Color: A Testament to Cooperation

The story of the Sedona McDonald’s goes beyond a simple color change. It highlights the importance of cooperation between businesses and local authorities. By working together, McDonald’s was able to establish a successful franchise while respecting the unique aesthetic values of Sedona.

A Legacy of Turquoise: A Reminder of Local Pride

Today, the turquoise McDonald’s stands as a testament to Sedona’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty. It serves as a reminder that even large corporations can adapt and integrate seamlessly into unique environments. So, next time you find yourself exploring the red rocks of Sedona, be sure to stop by and grab a burger beneath the iconic turquoise arches – a symbol of delicious food, local pride, and a touch of architectural whimsy.