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“An old-fashioned "roadside attraction" that's actually good.”

May Natural History Museum of the Tropics
Attraction details
Allen, Texas
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“An old-fashioned "roadside attraction" that's actually good.”
Reviewed August 23, 2012

This is one of those museums which offers signs for the museum and an attached RV park, as if this were a mildly kitschy roadside attraction. The turn-in from the highway features a metal sculpture of a giant beetle. The museum is located in an older building. It is comprised of
an earlier generation of May's extensive insect collection.The focus is on tropical butterflies and beatles, with a few other insects through in for good measure. Dozens of cases of thousands of insects are on display. The rows upon rows of insects, and in particular the butterflies, are fascinating.

Admission here was 6 dollars for an adult in August 2012. The enterprise is a family affair, now managed by the grandchildrens' generation of the original collector. The bugs date from the 1930s. The collection is worth a stop, not only because of its own virtues but because it is the kind of well-done roadside attraction which is all too rare these days. It's less a science museum or an amusement than a simple insect collection; fortunately, that's more than enough.

We also enjoyed seeing the many hummingbirds just outside the museum. This is a good stop

Visited August 2012
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2 Thank Robert N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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42 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Golden, Colorado
Level Contributor
22 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A Route 66 Experience”
Reviewed July 24, 2012

This is a real roadside America experience! which is tough to find these days.
It is kitchy and dusty. Campy and educational. So many exotic insects, including some rare ones.
If the kids like bugs you want to come here. You see it just West of highway I-25. It's the place with the humongous black bug by the side of the road. Teens going through their Goth phase will love it. Boys. Little kids. Just keep an eye on the really little ones because there are glass cases and dioramas all over the place to bump into.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank TheBetsy03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
83 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Kids will find this place interesting...”
Reviewed July 10, 2012

This is my second time at this museum. Located at a camp site this museum is nothing fancy. A collection of weird bugs, spiders, butterflies and gift shop. My 6 year old loved the collection. They have a movie you can watch as well. I think the cost of the museum is a little high. The only reason I went a second time is so my daughter can see all these interesting bugs under one roof. We won't go again. It was a destination that we can check off our "done" list.
Cost as of July 2012: Adults $6.00, Kids $3.00, Seniors $5.00
Hours spend at location: 1 hour

The John May also has a Space Museum available which consist of three trailers and a lot of newpaper clippings. I thought the collection was pretty lame. It is included in the price of the main museum. I wouldn't waste your time walking across the parking lot.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
Thank crzymallard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
Level Contributor
59 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“For Serious Insect Fans Only”
Reviewed June 7, 2012

If you're really interested in tropical insects, then a visit to this museum might be worthwhile. But for me it was a sad, depressing experience. The owners are clearly trying to extend someone's passionate exploring and collecting beyond its shelf life. The museum itself is dimly lit with exposed light bulbs and a dingy, dusty pall hangs over the place. I remember nothing at all about the hundreds of insects on display, only a depressing feeling of sadness about the inexorable passage of time. A museum shouldn't make you feel that way.

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank PerfectTommy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
32 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“At the sign of the giant beetle!”
Reviewed February 22, 2012

A humble little museum and campground with a wide collection of bugs, spiders, etc. Funky place but really fun if you like seeing insects and arachnids. The sign is a huge beetle out on highway 115.

Helpful?
Thank ThosHobbes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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