Welcome to the Pearl Harbor Memorials
We’re the experts on everything you need to know about this historic location, from pointing you to the best Pearl Harbor tours to providing a huge trove of information about the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that launched the United States into World War II.
Keep reading to learn about all of the historic Pearl Harbor sites, and which tours visit them. This information can help you decide between booking a Pearl Harbor tour and purchasing Pearl Harbor tickets without taking a tour.
Pearl Harbor Tickets?
Advance Reserved Arizona Memorial
Movie/Boat Tickets Guaranteed
No waiting in line for tickets
Arizona Memorial movie/boat tickets are not included with Passport
Round trip transportation included
on all tours
NO transportation provided
The driver/guide will provide a
professional historical narration
No guide (audio program included)
Local guide handles logistics & orientation
You decide your schedule and
navigate on your own.
|Luxury: Tours to Pearl Harbor||Deluxe: Passport, Lunch, Virt. Reality & Gift Bag|
Passport to Pearl Harbor Tickets
Arizona Memorial movie/boat tickets
not included with Passport.
NO transportation provided
No guide (audio program included)
You decide your schedule and
navigate on your own
|Deluxe: Passport, Lunch, Virt. Reality & Gift Bag
Visit Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor is the most visited place in Hawaii, and for good reason. The exhibits, memorials, aircraft, documentaries, and museums make Pearl Harbor a must-see for everyone who visits Hawaii.
A visit to Pearl Harbor can last anywhere from a few hours to a full day—or even more than one day. There’s much to see and do, and many tours to choose from. There’s sure to be one that’s just right for you!
Anyone even a little interested in history will have much to look forward to when planning a visit to Pearl Harbor. The museums and other sites all around the historic naval base are simply unforgettable. Don’t forget that for all its rich history, this place is also located in a unique tropical setting, surrounded by beautiful views in all directions.
If you decide to visit on your own, you can take a taxi, ride share, or rental car to Pearl Harbor. It’s about a 30-minute drive from Waikiki. Parking at Pearl Harbor is limited, so be sure to arrive early in the morning. Another reason to arrive early is that the limited number of tickets for the USS Arizona Memorial program are handed out on a first come, first served basis and often run out early in the day. Visitors typically begin lining up well before the 7:00 AM opening time. Even if you purchase a Passport to Pearl Harbor that gets you into all of the major sites, you still need to line up for tickets for the USS Arizona Memorial program, which aren’t included in the Passport.
Most visitors prefer to avoid the hassle of making sure you get to Pearl Harbor early, lining up for tickets, and finding their way around by booking a Pearl Harbor tour. All official Pearl Harbor tours include tickets for the USS Arizona Memorial program, as well as round-trip transportation and an expert guide who can answer all of your questions and provide a wealth of background information about Oahu, Pearl Harbor, and Hawaiian history.
Visitors staying on the Big Island, Kauai, or Maui can even book a tour to Pearl Harbor that includes round-trip airfare!
Click here to find out more about Pearl Harbor Tours.
Things to See at Pearl Harbor
The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center
The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is generally the first stop of any visit to Pearl Harbor. It’s open from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily and closes only on three days per year: New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday in November) and Christmas Day.
If you’re exploring Pearl Harbor on your own without booking a tour, the Visitor Center is where you buy tickets to the various attractions, as well as where you line up for USS Arizona Memorial program tickets.
At the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, multiple exhibits and museums offer first-hand memories from survivors of the December 7, 1941 attack and its aftermath.
After watching a 23-minute documentary film, guests take a US Navy shuttle boat to the USS Arizona Memorial, the centerpiece of a visit to Pearl Harbor. As the attack began, the USS Arizona (BB-39) was hit by multiple bombs. When one of them ignited her forward powder magazine, the battleship exploded and sank, taking 1,177 of her men with her. Standing over the wreckage today, you can see the “Black tears of the Arizona,” droplets of oil that still seep from the doomed ship, creating rainbow patterns on the surface of the water.
USS Arizona Memorial
The USS Arizona Memorial is a serene white structure anchored directly above the sunken battleship. Built in 1962, the memorial is visited by more than two million people each year.
Tickets for the USS Arizona Memorial program are free of charge. However, only 1,300 walk-up tickets are given out each day, so be sure to arrive early or you may not get a ticket. Of course, if you book a Pearl Harbor tour, this isn’t a concern since all authorized tours include tickets for the program.
Bowfin Submarine and Park
The submarine USS Bowfin (SS-287), nicknamed the “Pearl Harbor Avenger,” was launched on December 7, 1942, exactly one year after the attack. She was retired after nine war patrols and is now berthed at Pearl Harbor, where she’s open to the public for tours. Inside, you can get a sense of life as a submariner, living and working in a very cramped space below the sea.
Please note that children under the age of 4 are not allowed inside the submarine.
This mighty giant is best known for being the location where representatives of the Empire of Japan signed the surrender documents ending World War II.
Decommissioned for the last time in 1992, the “Mighty Mo” was brought to Pearl Harbor to become a museum. Visitors can explore her decks and learn about life aboard a battleship.
Be sure to look for the dent in the battleship’s side where she was hit by a kamikaze plane.
USS Oklahoma Memorial
The USS Oklahoma (BB-37) was one of the battleships sunk during the attack on Pearl Harbor. She was hit and critically damaged by several torpedoes, causing her to capsize and sink. 429 Oklahoma crewmen died in the attack.
In 2007, the USS Oklahoma Memorial was built, honoring the men who lost their lives that day.
Located just a short walk away from the Battleship Missouri, this memorial consists of 429 black granite and white marble columns that call to mind men in their dress whites standing at attention.
Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum
The Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum is a relatively new addition to Pearl Harbor. The museum’s many aircraft are displayed in Hangars 37 and 79 of Naval Air Ford Island.
The location itself is historic. While much of the air base was destroyed in the attack, these two buildings remained intact. You can still spot bullet holes high up in the windows.
Inside the hangars you will find a collection of aircraft from across a century of military aviation.
The museum also offers a flight simulator, which allows you to experience the thrill and adrenaline of being in the cockpit of a World War II-era plane.
Tips for Your Visit to Pearl Harbor
Eating and Drinking
There are several places where you can purchase snacks and drinks while exploring Pearl Harbor. Look for concession stands near the Visitor Center and the Bowfin Submarine. Meals are also available at a food truck located near the entrance to the Battleship Missouri, and there’s a restaurant inside the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum.
A visit to Pearl Harbor involves a fair amount of walking outside, so wear comfortable shoes and a hat, and be sure to apply sunscreen.
Pearl Harbor is a place where tragic events unfolded, so please dress respectfully. Avoid swim suits, revealing outfits and any other potentially offensive clothing. If park rangers consider clothing inappropriate, they may deny entry.
Visitors with disabilities are welcome at Pearl Harbor, and most of the sites are wheelchair accessible.
The documentary film has full captions, and signs are available in Braille for those with impaired vision.
Brochures, films, and audio tours are available in several languages.
Bags and Purses are not allowed anywhere at Pearl Harbor. This includes purses, diaper bags, and any other bags that offer concealment. A bag check is available for a fee near the entrance to the Visitor Center, but we recommend only bringing what you can carry in your pockets.
There is a well-stocked bookstore and gift shop at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Gift shops are also located at the Bowfin Submarine, near the Battleship Missouri, and inside the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum.
Pearl Harbor History
On December 7th, 1941, the world was radically changed when an aerial force of the Imperial Japanese Navy launched a surprise attack on the US Pacific Fleet based at Pearl Harbor. The attack also targeted other military bases on the island of Oahu.
The Japanese arrived undetected, so the attack came as a complete surprise. The destruction was devastating. All eight battleships that were present were damaged to some extent, four of them so badly that they sank to the bottom of the harbor. More than 180 aircraft were destroyed on the ground, and another nearly 160 were damaged. Over 2,400 Americans lost their lives in the attack that lasted barely two hours.
The Japanese launched their attack with the aim of neutralizing the US Pacific Fleet, which they saw as an unwelcome interference in their plans for expansion in East Asia. Ultimately, the attack failed to achieve its goal, as six of the eight battleships—and most of the other ships damaged in the attack—were returned to service.
As a result of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States declared war on Japan the following day, and was soon involved in fighting across the Pacific as well as in Europe.
DONATE to the Bowfin Restoration Fund
Read more about the Restoration Fund here or make an online donation today.
The Battleship Missouri and Bowfin submarine are each more than 75 years old. The War in the Pacific put plenty of wear on each vessel, yet when visitors gaze up at these historic beauties, they don’t see aging warships. Bowfin and Missouri may not look like they were...read more
There are many reasons to visit Pearl Harbor. At the top on the list is to pay respects to the more than 2,400 brave Americans who died in the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack. Also high on the list is to become better educated about the events of that tragic morning....read more
On December 28, 2019, the Battleship Missouri marked a major milestone as she welcomed her nine-millionth visitor, a number that shows just how popular Pearl Harbor Historic Sites are. The history of USS Missouri (BB-63) begins not with the attack on Pearl Harbor, but...read more
Welcome to the
Pearl Harbor Memorial
USS Battleship Missouri
The Battleship Missouri (BB-63) was the last battleship that was ever commissioned by the United States and was affectionately known the “Mighty Mo.” She may be best known as the site where World War II ended, with the surrender of Japan. The Missouri was decommissioned in 1992, and in 1998, she was brought to Pearl Harbor and transformed into a museum ship, allowing visitors to step into naval history as they board and explore the 900-foot-long battleship. You can explore on your own, or take a guided tour.
View USS Missouri Tours
USS Arizona Memorial
On December 7, 1941, 1,177 crewmen were killed when the USS Arizona (BB-39) was hit by Japanese bombs and exploded. The memorial is dedicated to those who lost their lives that day and is located directly above the remains of the sunken ship that is the final resting place for more than 1,000 men. The USS Arizona Memorial was built in 1962, and is Hawaii’s most–visited tourism site, with more than two million people coming to pay their respects every year.
View USS Arizona Tours
Pacific Aviation Museum
Located on Ford Island, the Pacific Aviation Museum is the newest attraction at Pearl Harbor and is definitely worth a visit. The museum houses a huge collection of aircraft from throughout the history of military aviation in Hangars 37 and 79, both of which survived the Japanese attack in 1941. Visiting the museum, you can watch a historical video, explore the various exhibits, and even take flight yourself in one of the adrenaline-pumping flight simulators. Your ticket includes an audio tour, which is available in English, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, and Cantonese.
View Pacific Aviation Museum Tours
USS Bowfin Submarine
Experience the life of a submariner by visiting the Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park. Dedicated to the USS Bowfin (SS-287), the museum and surrounding park provide insight into the history of the “Pearl Harbor Avenger.” The Bowfin was launched exactly one year after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and completed a total of nine patrols before retiring. The museum is filled with over 4,000 submarine artifacts, including everything from recruitment posters to ship’s flags. If you have children under 4 years old, please note that you can’t take them into the submarine itself, but they are welcome in the museum and park.
View USS Bowfin Tours
Top Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I get just Arizona Tickets? (without having to stand in line?)
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Map of Pearl Harbor