It's the Pits

There's no need to travel to the ends of the earth to discover some of its mysteries. Just…

My Weekend Sherpa:

Want to do it Did it


There’s no need to travel to the ends of the earth to discover some of its mysteries. Just head for LA’s Miracle Mile! The La Brea Tar Pits along Wilshire Boulevard have been bubbling with gasses for tens of thousands of years—a rare occurrence only found in a few places across the globe. The tar is actually liquid asphalt rising from deep within the earth. As methane mingles with asphalt on its way to the surface, it creates the potent tar odor. Get up close to it on a quarter-mile walkway that encircles a murky pool resembling molasses. This sticky liquid trapped (and preserved!) roaming animals over the eons, creating a natural history timeline. Statues of mammoths decorate the pit, depicting this giant creature roaming the region long before motorists sped past it on Wilshire. Extend your visit at the adjacent Page Museum, which displays saber-toothed cat skeletons and other fossils found at the site. Break for lunch by walking a few blocks north to the Farmers’ Market at The Grove at 3rd and Fairfax. LA’s original farmers’ market has loads of fresh options. We like Little Spain for tapas and delicious paella.

Bus a Move: The Tar Pits can be reached by making some simple public transportation connections (see italics).

Take the Purple Metro Line (805) west from Union Station to the Wilshire/Western Station. Surface and take the 20 bus west down Wilshire Blvd. for about 15 minutes to Curson Ave. No dogs on the Metro or bus unless it is an assistance dog or in a pet carrier. Walk half a block up Curson to the park entrance on the left. Tickets for the Page Museum are $11 for adults. The Tar Pits are dog-friendly. No dogs at the Farmers’ Market. 


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