La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
4.5
Natural History MuseumsScience Museums
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Explore the world's only active, urban Ice Age excavation site. Inside the Page Museum is where we showcase the best fossils, animals, and plants that have been discovered here - mammoths, saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, and more. Experience the Ice Age come to life with our Ice Age Encounters show. Outside check out the La Brea Tar Pits where tar is still bubbling and our active fossil excavation sites to see what our excavators have uncovered today. Get the behind-the-scenes story and see scientists working on recently excavated fossils, walk around our famous Lake Pit, and visit our live dig site where scientists discover new Ice Age specimens every day. Free with museum admission.
Duration: 1-2 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Admission tickets
from ₱890.80
All you need to step foot in the door.
Top ways to experience La Brea Tar Pits and Museum
See what travelers are saying
  • TravelerWithOpinions
    Boston, Massachusetts536 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fascinating!!
    It's wonderful that the La Brea Tar Pits are considered a city park and are therefore free and open to the public. The signage is informative and fascinating, as is seeing places where tar is bubbling up. It's also so interesting to see the crates of fossils and more waiting to be studied!
    Visited June 2023
    Written June 7, 2023
  • Bunty8
    United Kingdom617 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting
    This was an interesting site, I hadn’t been aware of the tar pits. Museum was closed but had wander around the park, where you can see the tar pits bubbling away and explanation of how the animals had been trapped. If passing worth a look, would liked to have seen museum.
    Visited May 2023
    Written July 3, 2023
  • Paul W
    Sheffield, United Kingdom149 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth a visit if you are in the area
    We are from the UK and were travelling around the US, when this location was recommended to us. To be honest, we weren't too sure about a visit, however we were very pleasantly surprised and glad that we did visit La Brea. The place is very interesting and informative and the walking tour that we went on (included in the admission price) with a young (to us 60 somethings) lady was really enjoyable. Thank you! You can also get re-admission on the same day with the wrist band.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written July 19, 2023
  • spiwakj
    Jacksonville, Florida240 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent place to visit while in LA.
    This was a terrific experience. You can actually view the tar pits in the outdoor area for no cost. It is very interesting. The fossil/fact tour by Reuben was wonderful and he answered many questions. The indoor museum has a few, and it is well laid out and worth the price. Park in the public lot if their lot is full. Lots of good places to eat within walking distance. It was an enjoyable experience.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written October 30, 2023
  • Jim F
    Greensburg, Pennsylvania210 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Ice Age revisited
    The Ice Age revisited! Visiting the actual tar pits dating back centuries gave a whole new perspective of the development of our planet. The pits continue to not only bubble but also to provide fossils of mammoths, saber toothed cats and so many other animals and insects. After touring the tar pits, a visit to the museum is a must. The various discoveries from the pits are put together like an intricate puzzle forming completed skeletons of the centuries old mammals and insects. It is an exciting and eye opening experience. Both children and adults will be impressed with a visit here.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 2, 2023
  • Brandon K
    Flagstaff, Arizona1,962 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great museum but very good overall experience
    I am not sure what I had in mind coming into this, but the experience was very good even if different than expected. We waited a day to come because it says online you need tickets on limited availability to go to the "museum". What we did not know is that 75 percent of what you see is outside in the free public park area with the last 25% being inside the museum that has limited access. The tar pits themselves are interesting areas. They are spots where oil comes up from faults and interacts with surface water. They sound far more visual than they are, but there is nothing wrong with that if you manage expectations. There are multiple fenced off "pits" that show where the oil and tar have come up through the ground, but only a couple of them really look interesting - the lake pit being one as you can see big bubbles coming up through the water. The funny and interesting part is that the tar pits pop up wherever they please. There are clearly smaller areas that were fenced as something bubbled up wherever it broke through the grass or dirt, which is really interesting to realize how "live" these pits still are in the middle of developed LA. The museum itself was worth the wait an the time as it has all sorts of fossils and great exhibits that the kids really got into, so I recommend that you make sure you have time for the actual museum if this is your first visit. I don't know if this place has much repeat value unless you come for a specific event.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written November 12, 2023
  • Kevin B
    Mount Juliet, Tennessee2,327 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    So very interesting!
    The tar pits are a fascinating site and one that you would never imagine would be in the the center of LA. The tar pits are still active and there's still excavation going on and it was very interesting to see how they preserved so many animals. It's frankly easy to see how an animal can get trapped in here when you're walking around outside. The museum is very nice as well and they have numerous skeletons of animals that were excavated from the tar pits, including American mastodon, dire wolves, and saber-toothed cats amongst others. We really enjoyed these exhibits and it's always a pleasure to tour a museum that houses local specimens. It's definitely a worthwhile place to visit and it was one of our favorite things we saw in LA.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written December 12, 2023
  • Bobby31225
    Bullhead City, Arizona1,747 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth seeing!
    My friend took me here while visiting him in the Loa Angels area. It's a place I have always wanted to see. It was very interesting to look and walk around then we went into the Museum. That was really good! Only thing I didn't like was you had to pay $18.00 just to park and then it was $15.00 to get into the Museum! I got in for $12.00 for senior rate. My friend being a Veteran got in for free. Having to pay to park just didn't sit well with me. In my book, that also should have covered the entrance fee to the Museum! Totally overpriced! Overall, it was worth seeing.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written March 3, 2024
  • Michellescottrn
    Phoenix, Arizona119 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great educational museum and tons of local fossils
    Wonderful, educational museum about the LaBrea Tar Pits. Great exhibits/fossils all about the local area. The museum can be completed in about an hour, great for families. Then head outside to see the actual Tar Pits. Amazing to see these in the middle of LA.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written March 3, 2024
  • Heather Johnson
    Sterling, Illinois28 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    La Brea is a MUST for history and geology lovers!
    This is a MUST-SEE experience in L.A. As sturdy midwesterners, our geology is familiar to us in a way that being at the tar pits was an absolutely WILD experience. We parked next to seeping tar, and none of us could get over its ability to just...exist...everywhere! The grounds are lovely for walking and stretching your legs, the parking is easy, and the museum is top notch. The kids loved the interactive portions of the exhibits, and the restroom facilities and gift shop were great too! If you are in L.A. at all, this feels like a no brainer! The history here is well-preserved, and watching geologists work behind the fences was fascinating. One had found a bone, and she was so excited, she came over to show my kids! This is fantastic experience for couples, adults, and multi-generational families as well.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written March 6, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles3,269 reviews
Excellent
1,704
Very good
1,187
Average
325
Poor
34
Terrible
21

Grover R
Pensacola, FL18,120 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
One of the places I had to see on my first visit to trip LA was one of the places I had to take my friends on this trip, the La Brea Tar Pits. While the stories of the pits fascinated me as a child, the visit is for any age. Rarely do you find places where oil makes it to the surface. However, it is even more amazing with that place is such a repository of fossil remains from thousands of years.

The museum is very interesting with a wall of Saber-tooth Tiger skulls and prehistoric animals. However, the park and grounds are equally interesting with displays to teach the formation of the ponds and the history for prehistoric to 20th century. The first thing you see is pond with decoy mammoths showing the struggle that so many animals faced. As you walk the grounds you will see smaller tar areas fenced and while they don't have creatures, they will have storyboards discussing how for 200 years Los Angeles residents have used the tar pits as a free source of asphalt and tar for roofs and road uses. For me it is both fun and educational. Everyone in our group enjoyed.
Written April 20, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rachel S
Las Vegas, NV476 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
If you come to Los Angeles, you have to stop by the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum at least once.

This was my second time visiting the tar pits and the entire outdoor area is under renovation to have more viewing areas of the naturally occuring pools of pitch / tar / asphalt (or "brea" in Spanish.)

While it is free to walk around the grounds, be aware that a not insignificant amount of people bring their bloodsport dogs to the grounds. I've seen these dogs pull on their leash and lunge at small children. The city or whomever runs the outside area needs a strict service-dogs only policy for the safety of visitors.

The entire grounds sit atop naturally occuring tar pits, so there are cones in the parking lot and grounds where some of this tar is starting to come up in places outside of the fenced off pits. I saw people putting sticks in this tar and messing around with it. I'd avoid doing that for health and safety reasons. Watch where you're stepping!

The museum does cost money for a nominal fee. The world's largest collection of bird fossils and late pleistocene era fossils are in the museum. On Fridays there are people in the laboratory cleaning up the fossils pulled from the pits, as excavations are still ongoing.

While the museum isn't huge, it is popular with families and school groups. Be warned if you don't want to run into field trips of loud kids - stick to early morning week days.

If you're the type of person who doesn't read, sure, you could be in and out quickly. If you read placards and want to watch the film, budget at least 2 hours.

Overall, I think it's definitely worth coming to visit at least once, even if you don't have kids.

Visited: March 2024
Written April 10, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lwa3
Mansfield, UK246 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Very poor, not much to see really. It doesn't take longer than 15mins to go round the museum. Definitely isn't worth the price tag of $15 each. It is not a very exciting museum and some of it was not open (like the atrium because of the rain). The outdoor tar pit is free to visit but not much to see. It is interesting to know what was found in the pits but I've been to much better museums and would not recommend this one! My son who is 4 was bored!
Written April 1, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andrew Q
Sydney334 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Solo
The tar pits themselves are not much to see but they are free. They behind fenced off areas in the public park. You should go into the museum first to see what has been found in the tar pits and to put everything into context. There is a laboratory in the museum where you can watch workers chipping away at material found in the pits to reveal the fossils inside.
Written March 31, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lynn P
Chanhassen, MN31 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Fossils and tar pits in the heart of the city! Such an amazing learning experience! Definitely recommend spending a few hours in the tar pits and the museum.

The tar pits are outside and a free park. The museum has an entrance fee. The combined experience helps paint a picture of life at the end of the ice age in LA.

There are windows to the scientists working on cleaning and preservation. The museum exhibits are well done to be fun, engaging, and educational.
Written March 31, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Peggy j
Waterlooville, UK574 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
We had to stay in LA for a night on way back from Baja California in Mexico. Our AirBnB host tried to persuade us to do excursions for that day to the Hollywood sign etc but that is NOT our thing. So, looked up and as observatory only opens at noon- our first choice for the day, and it is far from airport where we had to book in at 3pm for our flight home, decided to try La Brea Tar pits and we are really glad that we did.
There is lots to do here. We started outside which is free and so much to see and read and learn. I had no idea about so much. We then went inside and great watching volunteers working on fossils and the displays were great. The time line of the planet and the short amount of time man has been here really made an impression.
I thoroughly recommend it here.
Written March 31, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robin Ray Writer
Stanton, CA60 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
Wow! What a thrill! We went through the whole experience. Just knowing that the animals of the past entered thinking it was just water and they got stuck was sad. But the amount of animals that they pulled out of the tar pit is astounding! This is a great museum and worth the drive. If you like historic information this is the place for you.
Written March 8, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Heather Johnson
Sterling, IL28 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
This is a MUST-SEE experience in L.A. As sturdy midwesterners, our geology is familiar to us in a way that being at the tar pits was an absolutely WILD experience. We parked next to seeping tar, and none of us could get over its ability to just...exist...everywhere!

The grounds are lovely for walking and stretching your legs, the parking is easy, and the museum is top notch. The kids loved the interactive portions of the exhibits, and the restroom facilities and gift shop were great too!

If you are in L.A. at all, this feels like a no brainer! The history here is well-preserved, and watching geologists work behind the fences was fascinating. One had found a bone, and she was so excited, she came over to show my kids! This is fantastic experience for couples, adults, and multi-generational families as well.
Written March 6, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michellescottrn
Phoenix, AZ119 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Wonderful, educational museum about the LaBrea Tar Pits. Great exhibits/fossils all about the local area. The museum can be completed in about an hour, great for families. Then head outside to see the actual Tar Pits. Amazing to see these in the middle of LA.
Written March 3, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bobby31225
Bullhead City, AZ1,747 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
My friend took me here while visiting him in the Loa Angels area. It's a place I have always wanted to see. It was very interesting to look and walk around then we went into the Museum. That was really good! Only thing I didn't like was you had to pay $18.00 just to park and then it was $15.00 to get into the Museum! I got in for $12.00 for senior rate. My friend being a Veteran got in for free. Having to pay to park just didn't sit well with me. In my book, that also should have covered the entrance fee to the Museum! Totally overpriced! Overall, it was worth seeing.
Written March 3, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 3,042
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

LA BREA TAR PITS AND MUSEUM: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

La Brea Tar Pits and Museum admission prices can vary. Entrance tickets currently cost ₱858.22, while a popular guided tour starts around ₱1,715.87 per person.

According to Tripadvisor travelers, these are the best ways to experience La Brea Tar Pits and Museum:


Restaurants near La Brea Tar Pits and Museum: View all restaurants near La Brea Tar Pits and Museum on Tripadvisor


All Los Angeles HotelsLos Angeles Hotel DealsLast Minute Hotels in Los Angeles
All things to do in Los Angeles
Day Trips in Los Angeles
RestaurantsFlightsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars