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La Brea Tar Pits

Historic Site and Museum
Mid-City West, Los Angeles
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8.9/10
618
ratings
  • Daniel L.
    "Surely doesn't look like the tar pits from the movies"(13 Tips)
    Eric S.
    "Best viewing pit: #91, north side of the Japanese pavilion of LACMA."(7 Tips)
    James C.
    "Totally worth a trip really cool and working sites for excavation."(7 Tips)
    Marc S.
    "Notice the methane gas bubbling up."(3 Tips)
89 Tips and reviews
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  • HISTORY
    HISTORYNovember 7, 2012
    These tar pits hold the fossils of Ice Age animals that became trapped in the asphalt deposits here. The fossils were first described by Wellesley College professor William Denton in 1875.
  • Chris C.
    Chris CooksonApril 20, 2015
    This is a relatively small place. When buying your ticket, be sure to say "yes" when they ask if you want to go on the excavator tour. It's included with admission and the best part of the whole time.
  • Chris R.
    Chris RoseDecember 30, 2012
    A lot of guidebooks make it seem like you have to go to the museum to see the tar pits; you do not. You can walk around, smell the tar and see excavations for free. Plus, the big rock at LACMA, too!
  • Solutions i.
    Solutions in LAOctober 10, 2012
    The tar pits show what life was like during the time of the cave man. If you visit on the second Tuesday of the month you can also visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) next door.
  • Jason 6.
    Jason 64128June 20, 2012
    See a unique natural history museum for fossils excavated from the La Brea Tar Pits, which trapped animals here for the past 50,000 years (the period before the Ice Age), right in the middle of LA!
  • Jason B.
    Jason BFebruary 19, 2015
    Getting into the underground parking structure is an absolute pain to get into, at least when I was there. While they'll tell you it's strictly for LACMA, you can park there, anyway.
  • The Sanatoga P.
    The Sanatoga PostApril 7, 2014
    An awesome experience; worth the visit. Enjoy FREE admission on the first Tuesday of every month. Parking costs $10, but earn a $2 rebate by having your ticket validated once inside the Page Museum.
    Upvoted 3 weeks ago
  • Derek J.
    Derek JonesSeptember 4, 2014
    There is a tiny pit closer to the Japanese Pavillion at LACMA where you can actually reach through the fence and play with the tar. Try it out...but don't fall in!
  • Chris C.
    Chris CooksonApril 20, 2015
    When you visit, be sure to check out either the food trucks outside LACMA or walk over to the Fairfax Farmer's Market! there are tons of great eats within a fifteen minute walk of here
  • Los Angeles
    Los AngelesAugust 1, 2013
    Site of the richest discovery of Ice Age fossils in the world, 100 tons of bones representing 200+ species of mammals, birds & reptiles have been unearthed from asphalt dating back to prehistoric time
  • Jason B.
    Jason BFebruary 19, 2015
    If you do miss the parking garage, there are 2 other options: further up, on the left-hand side is a parking lot where you do have to pay, and then, there is an underground parking garage further up.
  • Charles T S.
    This is a great place to visit. Interesting to learn what this area was like during pre-historic times. Everyone will enjoy! I recommend!
  • Eric S.
    Eric StreeperNovember 6, 2012
    Best viewing pit: #91, north side of the Japanese pavilion of LACMA. Go inside to see an actual excavation with big bones sticking up from the tar.
  • lomography
    lomographySeptember 29, 2011
    Discover one of the world’s most famous Ice Age fossil collections, right in the heart of LA! And, of course, make sure to snap a photo or two of the huge Wooly Mammoth replicas!
  • Candice H.
    Candice HardingJuly 22, 2014
    Become a member and have free access to the Natural History Museum downtown as well. Great places to take out of town guests and children.
  • Michelle G.
    Michelle GilstrapApril 7, 2013
    This is indeed one of the most historical places in Los Angeles. Over 100 tones of dinosaur bones have been dug up from the tar pits. They are still very active.
  • Mike O.
    Mike OlsenNovember 27, 2012
    Museum not worth the price, just enjoy the tar pits outside, go down the sidewalk path toward the art museum, they have an active dig site you can visit.
  • Juston P.
    Juston PayneJanuary 8, 2012
    This is more of a curiosity than a phenomenal destination, but it's worth stopping by to witness the tragic scene of a baby wooly mammoth watch its mother sink into a pit of tar.
  • Cole C.
    Cole CotesSeptember 22, 2013
    It was kool saw art alot of bands kool beautiful women free cookies and soda got me some sunglasses free:-)B-)
  • Joseph K.
    Joseph KJuly 20, 2013
    Teachers: In this digital age of ours w/ hipsters raising children, it would be nice to see more fieldtrips for young children here, thanks!
  • Roxana V.
    Roxana VJune 17, 2012
    Overheard a dad explain to his young son that the methane burps in the tar are just the same as his farts...sans poop.
  • DC L.
    DC LIN3 weeks ago
    At 16:20 and after the admissions drops by 50% closing time is 17:00 that's plenty time to see the exhibits.
  • Kathy J.
    Kathy JacobsJune 30, 2014
    Go in the summer and you can see the digs being worked. Well worth it
  • Jeb B.
    Jeb BrooksAugust 17, 2013
    Enjoy the pleasant smell of tar as you gaze into the trash-filled pits. It's truly a lovely pocket of LA!
  • Jason B.
    Jason BFebruary 19, 2015
    The first place you'll want to park is the parking structure on Museum Way. Stay in the slow lane so you don't miss it.
  • Moe D.
    Moe DexlerDecember 19, 2015
    This place stinks. Other than that, it is a good place to walk around and see some cool fossils.
  • Erika R.
    Erika RobbinsDecember 24, 2014
    On-site excavators are still discovering new fossils from these deposits DAILY. Pretty impressive.
  • The Most Interesting Man in the World
    I donated some skeletons in my closet to this museum.
  • Shelley
    ShelleyJanuary 18, 2012
    Take pictures the first time your child realizes what they're looking at! The wonder in their eyes is amazing!
  • Will S.
    Will StowellFebruary 22, 2014
    This place is awesome! Wish we had gotten there in time to check out the site excavation
  • Xeng Z.
    Xeng ZuluetaApril 21, 2013
    Japanese art collection nearby is impressive. Cool elephants in the tar pits too!
  • Hannah M.
    Hannah MueryMay 18, 2015
    If you can handle the strong smell, the pits are really enjoyable!
  • Daniel L.
    Daniel L.November 15, 2012
    Surely doesn't look like the tar pits from the movies .... BUT it's a nice park by LACMA to take a quick rest at.
    Upvoted 1 week ago
  • Adam C.
    Adam ChavezFebruary 18, 2014
    It was really cool seeing the tar pits for the first time, but it looked like mostly water and moss
    Upvoted 1 week ago
  • James C.
    James CAugust 3, 2013
    Totally worth a trip really cool and working sites for excavation.
  • Meghan P.
    Meghan PinckardOctober 15, 2012
    Beware the smell of tar doesn't give you a headache. Better not spend too long by the Pitts. Check out the awesome museum inside too!
  • Melinda J.
    Melinda JacksonAugust 24, 2014
    A must for anyone visiting LA
  • Los Angeles
    Los AngelesAugust 1, 2013
    Marvel at the La Brea Tar Pits, then grab a bite from one of the food trucks on Wilshire Blvd.
  • William M T.
    William M Tammick IIIFebruary 13, 2015
    Amazing to see the tar sit on the lake like oil to water.
  • Harry M.
    Harry MyhreSeptember 2, 2011
    way way back when everybody in los angeles lived downtown, people used to go out there and light the tar pits on fire (for excitement)
  • Katrina Z.
    Katrina ZaiNovember 17, 2014
    Tourist attraction that's just a few steps down from Chris Burden's Urban Lights.
  • Kio
    KioMarch 26, 2014
    Bring your lunch and laid on the grass.
  • Kelly B.
    Fun! Really interesting history of the area.
  • Tattoos A.
    Tattoos And BonesMarch 24, 2011
    Use the viewing station! The colored flags in Pit 91 show specific bones still in place...
  • Anna B.
    Anna BauerMarch 31
    I thought this sounded so cool but really a drive by is sufficient
  • Nikki C.
    Nikki CozzolaDecember 3, 2015
    Great education center for all ages.
  • Dylan P.
    Dylan PereraAugust 31, 2015
    Great museum and active tar (asphalt) sites
  • Carla J.
    Carla JeanFebruary 6, 2012
    A Neat Land Mark To See!! Now Check It Off Your DONE List!!
  • Anissa
    AnissaMay 12, 2015
    You'll know you're here by the fumes! Watch the methane bubble up!
  • Al B.
    Al BurritoApril 3, 2012
    Free on the first Tuesday of every month except July and August...
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