Best Reason to Visit the Natural History Museum - 2012
Before their relocation last year, the dinosaurs of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles dwelt in a chorus line–like arrangement in a narrow, windowless room. The lighting was grim, and the dusty placards were written in a Merv Griffin–era typeface that screamed neglect. Today the dinos finally have digs more suitable for their star status: Dinosaur Hall, a bright, sunny, polished headquarters with tall windows and a modern feel, with a two-level layout that invites lingering. The traditional action poses and spiky jaws abound, but don't miss other fascinating details such as the delicate, lacelike fossilized ferns, or the eerie Edmontosaurus fossil with a painfully twisted neck. With its impressive collection of shiv-toothed skeletal remains, the dinosaur hall manages to be a delightful balance of the educational and the creepy. To top it all off, the exhibit exits into the museum's splendid rotunda, home to a stunning sculpture of the muses of history, art and science. First dedicated in 1913, this transcendent space feels less like a museum than a secular hall of worship, where the awe-inspiring power of science is not merely exhibited but revered. 900 Exposition Blvd., Exposition Park. (213) 763-DINO (3466), nhm.org.