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It’s not easy finding time for everything you want to do during your Oahu vacation. With so much to do on the island in the limited time available—from adventures through dense forestry to the beauty of miles of golden beaches—you may have to pass on one or two experiences. A visit to Pearl Harbor, however, shouldn’t be one of them. With everything you already have on your must-do list, what are some suggestions for fitting a Pearl Harbor Tour in?

Book Early

The best way of fitting a Pearl Harbor tour in is to get it booked early. Many Pearl Harbor tours sell out well in advance, while other activities can often be booked more last-minute. Not only will booking early assure you a spot on the tour of your choice, it also lets you plan your other activities around it. Most Pearl Harbor tours start earlier in the morning—sometimes as early as 6:00 AM. Depending on the tour you select, this gives you time later in the day to do something else on your list.

Combine Experiences

Dole Plantation is one of the stops on the Pearl Harbor and Circle Island Combo tour

Dole Plantation is one of the stops on the Pearl Harbor and Circle Island Combo tour

Another way of fitting a Pearl Harbor tour into your schedule is to combine it with something else you want to do during your Oahu vacation. For instance, you may want to spend a day traveling around the island to see some of the spectacular scenery. Great news! There’s a tour that combines a visit to Pearl Harbor with a tour of the scenic highlights of Oahu.

The Pearl Harbor & Circle Island tour is a full day of history and sightseeing, starting with a visit to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. The tour includes tickets for the USS Arizona Memorial program and time to explore the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center’s exhibits and museums.

After paying your respects to the 1,177 men who lost their lives when the USS Arizona exploded and sank during the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, the tour sets out on a scenic drive around Oahu. Along the way, you’ll make stops at numerous beautiful locations including:

  • Dole Pineapple Plantation
  • Oahu’s North Shore with its world-famous surfing beaches
  • Chinaman’s Hat
  • Pali Lookout
  • Hanauma Bay

 

Consider a Shorter Tour

Even from afar, the USS Arizona Memorial is hauntingly beautiful

Even from afar, the USS Arizona Memorial is hauntingly beautiful

If you only have a few hours to devote to a tour of Pearl Harbor, you might want to consider booking a shorter tour. While there are tours that visit everything there is to see at Pearl Harbor, they do eat up an entire day. If you’re mainly interested in experiencing the USS Arizona Memorial program and seeing the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, there are a couple of options that make fitting a Pearl Harbor tour in possible.

The Pearl Harbor Excursion is a very quick tour that gives you access to two of Pearl Harbor’s most important elements: the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and a ticket for the USS Arizona Memorial program are included with this brief tour.

As with all Pearl Harbor tours, this excursion includes round-trip transportation from the Waikiki hotels and a full narration and lots of other information from a professional guide.

If you’re looking for a bit more local history, the Pearl Harbor & Honolulu City tour also includes a drive through historic downtown Honolulu. After your time at Pearl Harbor, this tour drives through the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl Crater, and passes the Hawaii State Capitol and Iolani Palace. Time and traffic permitting, the tour also makes a photo-op stop at the iconic King Kamehameha statue.

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