La Brea Tar Pits & Museum

#17 in Best Things To Do in Los Angeles
La Brea Tar Pits & Museum picture
La Brea Tar Pits & Museum
1 of 2
Ed-Ni-Photo/Getty Images

Key Info

5801 Wilshire Blvd.

Price & Hours

$12 for adults; $5 for kids 3-12
9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

Details

Museums, Natural Wonders Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
3.9scorecard
  • 3.5Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

If your kids go crazy for dinosaurs – and really, what kid doesn't? – then a visit to La Brea Tar Pits & Museum is sure to be the highlight of their trip. Although the pits look like the set of a cheesy PG movie, hot tar has been bubbling from the earth at this spot along Museum Row in the Miracle Mile for about 40,000 years. And from the gooiest part of LA, more than 1 million bones from 600-plus species have been discovered. The adjoining museum houses many of the artifacts found at the tar pits; consequently, it is home to one of the largest collections of Ice Age fossils in the world.

You can check out the tar pits completely free of charge, but museum ticket start at $12 for adults; reduced entry fees are available for children, students, members of the military and seniors. All tickets include tours of property facilities like the fossil lab, lake pit and observation pit. Complimentary admission is offered on the first Tuesday of every month (excluding July and August) and on every Tuesday in September, but ticket lines on these days are long, so consider reserving your pass online before you arrive. Even if you have to pay to visit, most visitors agree that the exhibits are well worth perusing.

La Brea Tar Pits & Museum sits next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day except Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. In addition to the museum's exhibits, all ticketholders have access to restrooms and a gift shop, plus on-site parking for $12 per vehicle. The No. 20 bus also stops by the property. Check out the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum website to learn more.

See all Hotels in Los Angeles »

More Best Things To Do in Los Angeles

Griffith Observatory and Griffith Park
The Getty Center
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 21
#1 Griffith Observatory and Griffith Park

Griffith Observatory sits on the south face of Mount Hollywood and overlooks the Los Angeles basin. Its location gives visitors impressive views of the surrounding area. But there's more than just a pretty photo-op here. The observatory hosts fascinating exhibitions and features a top-notch planetarium.

Read more
dszc/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Los Angeles »

Explore More of Los Angeles

Recommended

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019