La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, Los Angeles

At the only active Ice Age excavation site in the world, La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, you can see ancient fossils that have been discovered below the museum itself, right in the heart of Los Angeles. Plants and animals, like dire wolves, mammoths, and saber-tooth cats, are on display. You can also witness paleontologists at work in the Fossil Lab. While the height of excavation at Rancho La Brea occurred in the early 20th century, scientists are still uncovering more fossils at this site, and the museum continues to grow and educate the public on its discoveries and methods. A visit to La Brea Tar Pits and Museum represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Los Angeles route planner to plot your vacation.
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La Brea Tar Pits and Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
2,842 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • It was an interesting tour with a knowledgeable and personable tour guide. I heard about it early in life, and now I got to see it. It has a nice, comfortable walking tour, and it takes your mind back...  more »
  • As a Los Angeles native, I am embarrassed that it took me decades to finally visit this place. The museum is excellent, and the guided tours with museum educators are truly worthwhile. You’ll learn a ...  more »
  • I normally don't like museums but this one is special. The tar (asphalt) pits and the museum are super interesting and everything is pretty nicely organized. The staff members were really helpful and ...  more »
Google
  • I loved this so much! Everyone was friendly and involved. I learned so much about not only the animals from the ice age but also history and just about the tar in general (it’s not even tar!?!?!?!). My mind was blown. Also obviously a great contribution to science. Amazing seeing people work and that they have people who volunteer. What an amazing place.
  • The museum isn't as large as you would think, but a lot of great stuff. Watch the paleontologists & volunteers clean bones, take time to watch a movie ($5 extra) , enjoy the atrium, or better yet, take a FREE guided walking tour! We had a great time on the free excavation tour, it's about 45minutes, but didn't seem that long, and had a great guide to take us along the pits and explaining the pits, bubbles & methane gases, etc. TIP: The LACMA is next door. Go and ask for a FREE NEXT GENERATION PASS application (for babies to 17). Each pass allows 1 adult in free. Can put up to 3 kids on an application. We added our 3 and were all able to get in FREE that same day! **TIP Save on food and pack up a nice picnic lunch. There are benches in front of Last Brea Tar Pits, but we took our picnic blanket and found a nice shady green spot.
  • An impromptu stop here turned into a delightful afternoon. Make sure to buy your tickets online (it saves a few dollars) and splurge for the show. This small museum packs an incredible amount of content and knowledge in it's space. I highly recommend the tour, as this certainly answered many of my son's questions. We left wanting more and with my son vowing to return again!
  • This museum is excellent at what it does: displaying remains from the nearby tar pits. However, the exhibits are pretty limited compared to other museums...because the subject matter is so limited. I had a good time but I was able to see all the exhibits in less than an hour. The highlights are the amazing "evolution of life" mural (which they don't sell posters of...) and the tar pits, which are outside and don't require an admission fee. It's worth going just to say you went, but I probably won't go back.
  • I love coming here. The fact that it's a real location where they dig up dinosaur bones is amazing. Also there is still some actual tar coming up from the ground which is awesome. The smell of tar can be a little overwhelming but I got used to it pretty quick. The museum it self is ok, not that great, but a pretty cheap price. Love that the Urban lights are just around the corner as well as the Levitated mass rock. Great place for awesome pictures.
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15 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular sights PREFERENCES: April, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 6 days in California BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 23 days in Los Angeles & Chicago BY A USER FROM SWEDEN April, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 11 days in California BY A USER FROM POLAND April, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular sights PREFERENCES: April, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 11 days in United States BY A USER FROM JAPAN March, culture, historic sites, shopping, popular sights PREFERENCES: March, culture, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 11 days in United States BY A USER FROM JAPAN March, culture, historic sites, popular sights PREFERENCES: March, culture, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 6 days in Sedona & Los Angeles BY A USER FROM JAPAN February, culture, popular sights PREFERENCES: February, culture ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Los Angeles BY A USER FROM CHINA February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Los Angeles BY A USER FROM MEXICO August, teens, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular sights PREFERENCES: August, teens, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 18 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, popular sights PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 10 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, outdoors, romantic, beaches, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: March, outdoors, romantic, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 18 days in United States BY A USER FROM CANADA October, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping, popular sights PREFERENCES: October, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
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