Best—and Worst—Days to Visit Pearl Harbor
November 1, 2019
If you’re among the thousands of people planning a trip to Hawaii over the holiday season, you’re also probably starting to think about tours and activities while you’re here, including a visit to Pearl Harbor. Looking at the days you have available and matching them with the activities you want to book, it’s helpful to know the best—and worst—days to visit Pearl Harbor.
Below is a breakdown of the days you need to keep in mind when it comes to booking your Pearl Harbor tour. The memorials and museums are actually closed on some days, while others are so busy that it can actually detract from the experience.
Days When Pearl Harbor is Closed
Every year, the Pearl Harbor National Memorial and the other Pearl Harbor Historic Sites are closed on Thanksgiving Day (the fourth Thursday in November), Christmas Day (December 25), and New Year’s Day (January 1). These sites are open until 5:00 PM on all the remaining days of the year—including other holidays.
Though Pearl Harbor is operational the other 362 days of the year, individual exhibits and memorials may close due to maintenance or inclement weather. This is especially true of the USS Arizona Memorial, which is occasionally closed due to high winds or other extreme weather. Even if the memorial is closed, official Pearl Harbor tours still run as scheduled but will omit the closed location.
Pearl Harbor’s Busiest Days
Though Pearl Harbor isn’t often closed throughout the year, there are times when it’s at its busiest. These are times that you may want to consider avoiding, and planning your trip to Pearl Harbor for another day.
Due to the nature of the holidays, Pearl Harbor sees a major increase in traffic on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Other major holidays and annual events like the United States Independence Day (July 4), Labor Day (the first Monday in September), and spring break also draw bigger crowds to Oahu, with a corresponding increase in visitors to Pearl Harbor.
Pearl Harbor’s busiest day of the year comes on December 7, the anniversary of the attack. Along with the public Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremonies held on that day, travelers come from all over to pay their respects to the fallen men and women of the 1941 attack. Due to this huge influx of visitors, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is the busiest day of the year for the national memorial. It’s so crowded on the anniversary that no Pearl Harbor tours operate on December 7. It’s highly recommended that guests—especially those who have never been to Pearl Harbor—visit on a different day.
So, What Are the Best—and Worst—Days To Visit Pearl Harbor?
Other than the days mentioned above, there really aren’t any bad days to visit. Wednesdays often see several school groups visiting at once, and Monday and Friday traffic can be a bit worse than the other weekdays. In any case, be sure to book your Pearl Harbor tour well in advance, to ensure you can experience this enormously significant site in American history.