How to Make the Most of Your Visit to Los Angeles’ La Brea Tar Pits

Los Angeles, California is a city known for its glitz and glamour, but it also has a rich history that’s waiting to be explored. One hidden gem of history is the La Brea Tar Pits, an extraordinary place where prehistoric fossils are still being unearthed to this day. If you’re planning a trip to the City of Angels and want to dive into its ancient past, you’ll want to make a stop at the La Brea Tar Pits. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide you with five essential tips to ensure you have an unforgettable experience.

Tip 1: Plan Your Visit Wisely

Before embarking on your journey to the La Brea Tar Pits, it’s crucial to plan your visit wisely. Here are some key factors to consider:

A. Weather and Season

Los Angeles typically enjoys pleasant weather year-round, but it’s still important to check the weather forecast. The summer months can get quite hot, so you might prefer visiting during the cooler fall or spring seasons. This will make your outdoor exploration more comfortable.

B. Hours of Operation

The La Brea Tar Pits and the adjacent George C. Page Museum have specific hours of operation. Be sure to check their official website or contact them to confirm their current hours. Keep in mind that some exhibits or areas might close early, so it’s best to arrive earlier in the day to make the most of your visit.

C. Guided Tours

Consider joining a guided tour, especially if it’s your first time visiting. These tours are often led by knowledgeable guides who can provide you with fascinating insights into the history of the tar pits and the creatures that once roamed the area.

Tip 2: Exploring the Tar Pits

Once you’ve arrived at the La Brea Tar Pits, you’ll want to make the most of your time exploring this unique natural wonder.

A. The Main Pits

The main attraction here is, of course, the tar pits themselves. These natural asphalt seeps have trapped countless animals over thousands of years. You can witness ongoing excavations and even see paleontologists at work. Don’t forget to take a moment to admire the massive mammoth sculptures amid the tar pits – they’re iconic symbols of this site.

B. Observation Pit

The Observation Pit is a must-visit spot, providing a close-up view of excavated fossils. Here, you can see the bones of saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, and other ancient creatures in their natural resting places. It’s like stepping back in time!

C. Fossil Lab

The Fossil Lab is where all the magic happens. You can watch scientists and volunteers meticulously clean, prepare, and study the fossils unearthed from the tar pits. If you’re lucky, you might even get a chance to chat with them and learn about their latest discoveries.

Tip 3: Visit the George C. Page Museum

Adjacent to the tar pits, the George C. Page Museum is a treasure trove of prehistoric wonders. Here’s how to make the most of your visit:

A. Exhibits

The museum houses an impressive collection of fossils, including an extensive array of Ice Age mammals. Take your time to explore the exhibits, which provide a wealth of information about the history of the La Brea Tar Pits and the creatures that lived there.

B. The Fishbowl

One unique feature of the museum is the “Fishbowl.” This glass-enclosed laboratory allows you to watch scientists at work as they continue to study and preserve the fossils. It’s a rare opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes action.

Tip 4: Learn and Engage

To truly appreciate the La Brea Tar Pits, take the opportunity to learn and engage with the history and science behind this extraordinary site.

A. Educational Programs

The tar pits offer various educational programs, including workshops and lectures. These programs are often tailored to different age groups and interests, making it a great experience for both kids and adults. Check the schedule in advance to see if any programs align with your visit.

B. Ask Questions

Don’t hesitate to ask questions. The staff and guides at the La Brea Tar Pits are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about their work. If you’re curious about anything you see, just ask – you might discover some amazing facts and stories.

Tip 5: Prepare for Your Visit

To make the most of your trip, a little preparation can go a long way.

A. Wear Comfortable Clothing

The La Brea Tar Pits involve a fair amount of walking, so comfortable shoes are a must. Dress in layers, as the weather can change throughout the day, and don’t forget to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.

B. Admission and Parking

Before you go, check the current admission fees and parking options. Consider purchasing tickets online to save time and avoid lines at the entrance. Parking can be limited, so arriving early or using public transportation is advisable.

C. Photography

Bring your camera or smartphone to capture the incredible sights. The La Brea Tar Pits provide numerous photo opportunities, from the tar pits themselves to the remarkable fossils on display.

How to Make the Most of Your Visit to Los Angeles’ La Brea Tar Pits
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