How to get the most out of your Pearl Harbor Visit
The attack on Pearl Harbor is one of the most tragic events our nation has ever faced in history. Visitors from all over the world come to this must-see attraction in Hawaii to commemorate and reflect on the events that took place on December 7th, 1941. Today it is the most popular attraction in Hawaii with over 1,500,00 visitors a year. The final resting place of the 1,177 soldiers at the Arizona Memorial is the main attraction of Pearl Harbor, along with other great sites like the Pacific Aviation Museum, Battleship Missouri, and the Bowfin Submarine.
Arizona Memorial/Visitors Center
Constructed in 1958, the Arizona Memorial is a National Monument dedicated to the heroes of World War II. It is built over the remains of the fallen USS Arizona, where the American battleship was once docked before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Standing on the memorial, you can see the sunken USS Arizona right before your eyes. Seeing the final resting place of the WWII soldiers aboard the ship is quite a moving experience.
This massive US naval ship nicknamed “Mighty Mo” permanently docked in Pearl Harbor in 1998 after being part of the US naval fleet for 5 decades. It is the last Battleship constructed by the United States and participated in both WWII and the Gulf War. On September 2, 1945, a formal surrender was made on the decks of the Mighty Mo by Japan bringing an end to WWII. Today you can walk her decks, visit the sailors quarters, and see the exact spot where the Japanese signed the instrument of surrender.
Pacific Aviation Museum
One of the new attractions of Pearl Harbor, the Pacific aviation opened in 2006 on the historic Ford Island. The museum is built in one of the only hangars that survived the Pearl Harbor attacks, and showcases historical US and Japanese air crafts. Inside you can get a feel of what it was like to see the Japanese Airplanes on attack.
USS Bowfin is a fleet attack submarine launched on 7 December 1942, exactly one year to the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Holding the nickname, the “Pearl Harbor Avenger,” it played a key role in defeating the Japanese in WWII. The 312 ft submarine is open for visitors to go down inside and see what it was like to be in a 59 year old submarine.
Pearl Harbor Tips
If you’d like to visit Pearl Harbor on your own, the Arizona Memorial and Nation Visitors Center is free. Time-stamped tickets are distributed at the Pearl Harbor Visitors Center to board the Navy shuttle for the memorial. However, as the most popular attraction in Hawaii, visitors can wait up to 3-4 hours to get onto the ferry. Taking a guided tour is the best way to avoid this because Pearl Harbor issues tickets to the memorial for tour groups first. That way you’ll smoothly get onto the Arizona Memorial without any headaches. Discover Hawaii Tours also has authorization to get into Pearl Harbor with you, so we can smoothly guide you to all the Pearl Harbor attractions. We offer several different tours with our fun expert tour guides whether you just want to see the Arizona Memorial or spend a full day of sightseeing all the attractions Pearl Harbor has to offer.
Content provided by Discover Hawaii Tours