During our recent visit to LA, Christina, Janie (Christina's sister) and I went to the La Brea Tar Pits. They're located in a park right in the middle of LA, which seems a little odd. Anyway, there they are, bubbling pits of tar.
Here's a closeup of some bubbles from a picture Christina took:
It's a nice enough 15 to 30 minutes walking around the pits -- you can see where they're still excavating. Unfortunately, you can't see the excavation itself, but maybe we were there during the wrong time of year. We were warned off the museum, but we ignored that advice. I'm glad we did. It's pretty neat. You learn a lot about what North American mammals were like before man came over and wiped out most of the bigger ones (they even had horses). You get to see some the phenomenal number of skeletons they pulled out of the tar. We got to see a chunk of tar they hadn't processed, and it looked absolutely full of bones and petrified wood.
OK, so they're celebrating their 25th anniversary, and there was a note that they were updating their displays. So this is more of a 1977 museum than a 2002 one. But given that, it was a pretty cool visit.