*once a week, every week, I embark on a new adventure to check off one of my many LA bucket list items. Follow along my journey being a tourist in my own town and get in on the action!*
Tangible history of Los Angeles literally begins with what is housed inside of the La Brea Tar Pits Museum. Not art history, not settlers history, I’m talking natural history from hundreds of thousands of years ago – no big deal – and yet for a lot of us who also call Los Angeles home we pass by the museum on Wilshire regularly without much thought. Little do we know just what incredibly fascinating information awaits beyond those silly fiberglass mammoths by the Lake Pit.
I’m a history buff I suppose, sure, I love learning and have a tendency to nerd out over things I can’t quite comprehend, like say the universe? And how the pyramids were created? Or more importantly, why elephants that looked like giant shag carpets once existed? Sure glad they did though. But as with any museum experience, the reality of what you see at the Tar Pits with your own two eyes has a much more critical impact than just thinking about whatever it may be in theory. You’ve always known mammoths were “mammoth”, but until you stand in front of one you won’t fully appreciate the creature itself and the work that has gone in to putting it on display. Even if only by way of reconfigured bone structures and goofy animatronics, the facts and artifacts at the La Brea Tar Pits Museum are real, and real important at that.
For just 30-40 minutes of your time you’ll walk away with a whole new appreciation and understanding for our local and global history, and the Tar Pits and museum are things that LA gets to claim as a piece of our cultural identity. We literally walk on the same ground as Colombian Mammoths, and Saber Tooth Tigers, and camels – Yes. Ancient camels. – and the museum at the La Brea Tar Pits is waiting to show and tell you more.
Where: 5801 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Hours: Daily from 9:30 am – 5 pm / closed on major holidays
Tip: Read all the plaques, the museum is small enough that you can see and experience (and read) everything in under an hour. PLUS what information they’re offering on those little plaques is actually incredibly interesting!!! This ain’t your typical Natural History Museum.
See Museums Suggested Itineraries
Bonus Tip: If you’re going with kids (and even if you’re not) consider the 25 minute 3D “Titans of the Ice Age” show. Purchasing tickets ahead of time to visit the museum is not necessary, but you can do so here!