Located 12 miles northwest of Waikiki, Pearl Harbor Navy base and National Historic Landmark is a must visit attraction. It is the most visited destination in Hawaii and is a pretty big place with lots to see and do. With its many museums and historic sites, Pearl Harbor is the place where you can see more Naval and history than almost anywhere else in the country. But one of the main things is to take a boat out to the USS Arizona Memorial. There you can reflect and remember those who lost their lives.
You will love how beautiful they made the surrounding space. They have incorporated nature to make the place peaceful, calming and very reflective. Between the museums and the memorials, you will really learn a lot about what happened here in Pearl Harbor and you will be glad that, you’ve made this a part of your visit to Oahu.
Museums and Historic Sites
The National Memorial includes the USS Arizona Memorial, USS Oklahoma and USS Utah. The Historic Sites include the Aviation Museum, which was formerly know as the Pacific Aviation Museum, USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park and USS Battleship Missouri Memorial.
Know before you go
More than 1.5 million people visit Pearl Harbor each year. Therefore, visiting this popular attraction may require advance planning. The following tips may be helpful and keep them in mind.
Hours of operation
The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is open daily from 7am to 5pm, except on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. The memorials keep separate hours but are generally open from morning until early evening. Pearl Harbor is popular all year. However, the busiest seasons are during spring break and summer and winter holidays. Go early in the morning to avoid crowds and leave plenty of time to see the various sites.
Book your tour in advance
Pearl Harbor is one of Honolulu’s most popular attractions and tickets are required. They are limited and are on a first-come, first-served basis. Book a tour in advance to avoid disappointment. The other thing you can do is come early in the morning before the visitor center opens.
Don’t miss the USSBowfin, USSMissouri and Pacific Aviation Museum
When most visitors think of Pearl Harbor, in most cases they only mean the USS Arizona Memorial. Yes, this may be the most popular site in Pearl Harbor area, but there are a few that help complete the picture. These are the USS Bowfin submarine, the USS Missouri liner and the Pacific Aviation Museum. Take a whole day to visit them.
More than 3,500 Americans lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Be respectful when choosing what to wear. There is no official dress code, but please keep the swimsuits for the beaches.
Protect yourself from the sun.
The weather in Hawaii is changing fast and the sun can easily burn you. And you don’t want that, because you can ruin your vacation. Since many of the Pearl Harbor’s attractions are outdoors, it’s a good idea to apply sunscreen before leaving your hotel. Don’t forget to bring also a pair of sunglasses and a hat.
Leave your bags and backpacks behind.
No bags of any kind are allowed at the entrance to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. All you can bring inside is a wallet, a camera and a bottle of water. And you will have to carry them.
Tours that include Pearl Harbor
Are you ready to visit this attraction? Most tours include just a selection of the many sites. Others combine some Pearl Harbor sites with stops at other attractions on Oahu.
Arizona Memorial and Honolulu City tour by Polynesian Adventure Tours
This tour, by Polynesian Adventure Tours, includes skip-the-line entrance to Pearl Harbor! And you will also see Honolulu’s top attractions.
Travel by air-conditioned coach as a guide narrates the history behind all of the important sites that you pass, such as the USS Arizona Memorial and the Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery. Afterward, explore downtown Honolulu.
Your tour will begin with pickup from your hotel. You’ll then head to Pearl Harbor to skip the line and re-live the historical moment that brought the United States into World War II. You’ll see original footage from the fateful day in the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center along with other artifacts.
Then you will hop aboard your vehicle once more to head to downtown Honolulu. You’ll drive through the Punchbowl National Cemetery of the Pacific and see the Iolani Palace – the only royal residence existing in America.
Once your excursion concludes, you will be driven back to your hotel.
Salute to Pearl Harbor by E Noa Tours and the Waikiki Trolley
While visiting Honolulu, take a half-day tour of Pearl Harbor that details the history of World War II in Hawaii. Visit the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument and Battleship Row with a guide who shares informative commentary about Oahu during the war in the Pacific.
Visitors will receive a tour of Battleship Row, near the USS Arizona Memorial, by boat until further notice. All other amenities within Pearl Harbor remain open. We will keep you updated on the situation as it develops. Mahalo for your patience and understanding.
Start your half-day tour in the early morning or mid-morning with pickup at your Waikiki hotel.
Ride in an air-conditioned vehicle to Pearl Harbor while your guide provides commentary about Hawaii and Oahu during WWII. Browse displays about the Pacific War at the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument.
Afterward, ride the boat shuttle out to the USS Arizona Memorial. There, you can gaze into the water where the ruins of the sunken battleship rest, and hear stories about the events that lead the United States into the war. You might also spot sea turtles and colorful fish in the clear tropical waters.
As you return to Waikiki, you can see parts of historic downtown Honolulu. Your tour ends with hotel drop-off.