La Brea Tar Pits & Museum, Los Angeles

At the only active Ice Age excavation site in the world, La Brea Tar Pits & 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 & Museum represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Los Angeles route planner to plot your vacation.
Create an itinerary including La Brea Tar Pits & Museum
map
La Brea Tar Pits & Museum Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
2,480 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • Very interesting place to visit. I had no idea before coming here that there were active tar pits in the middle of LA. I love finding unexpected things like this when travelling. Allow at least two ho...  more »
  • Outdoors was free to visit, but the actual centre housing the fossils cost, but it was only minimal. This place is amazing. There are naturally occurring pits of tar, of all different sizes, coming up...  more »
  • I have wanted to go here since I was a boy and it was worth it. The ongoing excavations, demonstrations, exhibits, and shows all made it a magnificent journey through the real Jurassic Park.  more »
Google
  • I love museums. This one was cool but disappointed that it was small. I'm glad I didn't have to pay the whole fee (entrance and parking) seems like a waste. But It was a good time to go for me. Was practically empty inside while the school group and some other groups were outside with the first awesome site. I loved the inside however with what they do.
  • I found this experience very unique. At least for me, it was the first time I laid my eyes on a tar pit. I only knew them from National Geographic channel. I imagined sabre tooth tigers and woolly mammoths finding their untimely death at the bottom. And indeed, if you visit the museum, you will find this to be the case. The tar pit is free, but the museum requires a fee. It is very informative, you will find information on tar pits themselves, all the fossils found in them, as well as the tiring task of the scientists categorising them. I loved learning about the tar pits and the animals of the time, but the museum could have been a bit more entertaining. After a while all the reading became a bit boring.
  • It is a very cool place to visit. The amount of information on all the animals that get trapped in the tar is very fun to read about. Something that is super cool is that there is tar still seeping up from the ground. The animal bones are very cool to look at and read about and the different kinds of animal bones are extensive. Definitely recommend going here. Bring a camera! :)
  • Such a cool place! A prehistoric landmark in the middle of LA. Plenty has already been said, and better, but I had to chip in my $0.02 There are a few attractions at the museum that are a little dated, and the "Ice Age" film they show is less Pixar, more Wild Kingdom, but overall it was a really fun and educational way to spend a few hours downtown. Lots of interactive exhibits, really pretty walking trails, and a friendly and helpful staff. Kids of all ages will LOVE this place.
  • It's an awesome family friendly park. I haven't been inside the museum itself. The park around it is a joy to walk around. Many families with kids. I enjoyed my walk. Will definitely come here again with friends.

Plan your trip to Los Angeles

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Los Angeles

Los Angeles may be synonymous with luxury, but its accommodations include not only some of the most opulent and expensive hotels in the world, but also budget-priced hostels and inexpensive inns. In Los Angeles, a car opens up a world of lodging options, allowing you to stay outside the city proper and still have easy access to most major tourist attractions. If you don't mind splurging, consider Hollywood or Beverly Hills. To save money, stay near the airport or in the eastern suburbs of the city.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Los Angeles by other users

15 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, culture, outdoors, beaches, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in West Coast BY A USER FROM SOUTH AFRICA February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 24 days in New York City, New Haven & California BY A USER FROM SAUDI ARABIA August, kids, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Los Angeles BY A USER FROM ITALY March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 21 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 55 days in United States BY A USER FROM SOUTH AFRICA December, teens, kids, popular PREFERENCES: December, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 52 days in Canada, United States & Auckland BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Los Angeles SEE PLAN April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 18 days in West Coast BY A USER FROM ISRAEL August, kids, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 8 days in Los Angeles BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Los Angeles BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 25 days in United States & Toronto BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans