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La Brea Tar Pits & Museum, Los Angeles

(4.4/5 based on 2,000+ reviews on the web)
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. Put La Brea Tar Pits & Museum at the forefront of your travel plans using our Los Angeles vacation generator.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • So interesting to see this part of the history of LA. Mammoth, saber-tooth tiger, sloth, bison, wolves and so many more fossils to marvel at. And then the bizar sight of oil seeping up through the gra...  more »
  • The story behind the tar pits is a good one, and looking at the tar lake lets your mind imagine the situation long ago. The museum is interesting as well. The only reason I gave it four stars is I wan...  more »
  • This is a very different thing to do while in LA. Not on ever ones tour of LA to see but it is Worth seeig. It is a well done reminder of the long ago past of what LA was like. Displays are well done,...  more »
Google
  • Awesome place even you if can't go into the museum. The grounds are well maintained and clean. Lots of walking room and a great place to take pictures.
  • Museum was fascinating, and the tar pits were crazy! The pits were everywhere, and watching them bubble was super cool (and stinky). It is a reciprocal Carnegie museum, so my family got in for free under our Pittsburgh membership.
  • A must-see for visitors to LA with an interest in natural history. The grounds are very nice and you can see real tar seeping up in a few places and a human-made pond which bubbles from natural gas. It's a little smelly but very cool. The museum is well worth the price of admission and it displays and interprets all sorts of finds. Plus it has a beautiful little garden in the center and a scenic roof. The whole place is literally right next door to LACMA so you can park once and have a full day of touring museums.
  • Very cool look back in time at old LA; the tar pits were used for supplying road building, but were then bought up by one family and left to the city on the understanding they would not be built on. Lots of fossils and bones in the pits too, so an active archaeological site as well which was fascinating. All free too! Well worth a trip, probably allow 2 hours to look around the park, and the small, inside (and paid for) attraction too.
  • It's free to walk around outside and look at the exhibits. The museum costs $12 for adults but it's worth it to pay once to go inside. The gift shop is nice and there is a smash-penny machine inside (costs $1 + a penny). Lots of cool facts about this place and displays! Plus lots of Pokemon to catch ;-)