Pearl Harbor tours are a must-do for anyone visiting the Hawaiian Islands. Although the memorial is a somewhat somber place, don’t miss your opportunity to connect with history and honor the fallen.
A visit to the Pearl Harbor Memorial can last a few hours to a full day. There are many museums, exhibits, and memorials within the Pearl Harbor Naval complex that are worthy of a visit. Listed below are the four main areas to consider visiting.
The Four Main Areas to See at Pearl Harbor
1. USS Arizona Memorial: Firstly, be aware that the memorial is only accessible by boat. Visitors are transported to the memorial from the visitor center by a Navy-operated ferry. As a result, there is a reservation system in place. Although tickets are free, they can be hard to come by. However, a tour will take care of this for you. Visitors have 10-15 minutes at the memorial before returning to the visitor center.
2. USS Bowfin Submarine: Also known as the “Pearl Harbor Avenger”, this WWII-era submarine is now a piece of history that you can walk through. Additionally, access to the adjacent Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum is also included with admission.
3. Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum: After you’ve paid your respects at the Arizona and explored the Bowfin, head over to Ford Island for more interesting exhibits. Once you arrive, walk through a large collection of military aircraft, housed in two pre-WWII hangers. In one of the hangers, you can still see the remaining bullet holes from the Dec. 7, 1941 attack.
4. Battleship Missouri Memorial: Finally, take the opportunity to stand on the very spot where the Instruments of Surrender were signed. The “Mighty Mo” fought in many battles, but today it is best known for being the site where the war in the Pacific officially ended.
Note: Not all Pearl Harbor tours include all four areas.