Three Top Things To See Near Pearl Harbor
While there is an abundance of tours to Pearl Harbor, and many things to see and do there, spending hours visiting the site is not for everyone. While some in your group might want to spend the entire day walking around the memorials, a couple of hours might be enough for you and you might be wondering what else is available to do in the area while you wait for them. Or you might be looking for other activities to busy yourself while staying in the area. Here are three of our favorite things to see near Pearl Harbor.
- Aloha Stadium, Central Oahu
Aloha Stadium is just a 15-minute walk from Pearl Harbor so it's ideal if you don’t have your own transportation. It's Hawaii’s largest outdoor arena, home to the NFL Pro Bowl and the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football team. Throughout the year, there are sporting events, concerts, car shows, and the very popular Swap Meet.
The Swap Meet operates on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday and is well worth visiting. It has been operating since 1979 and is a shopper’s heaven with more than 400 sellers offering the best imported and hand-made products, local produce and cuisine (be sure to try some sweet Hawaiian fruits!), and other specialty products you can only buy in Hawaii. If you want to buy gifts for your friends back home, this is the ideal place to go!
- Freedom Tower, Hickam Air Force Base
Freedom Tower is around 13 minutes by car from Pearl Harbor. If you’re up for a scenic walk, it will take just over an hour. The tower is located within Hickam Air Force Base and was built in 1938 as a water tower. It has the capacity to hold 500,000 gallons of water, stored for emergency situations and still in use today. The tower was given the name Freedom Tower in 1985 to honor those who served—and those who continue to serve—in the Hawaiian defense forces. The tower is made from reinforced concrete, and there are eight concrete eagles located at the points of the octagon atop the tower. At the top is a room that can be accessed from a steep spiral staircase. Before the war it was used as a radio transmitter facility; these days it’s used to store Christmas lights for when the tower lights up to become one of Hawaii’s biggest Christmas trees!
- Hickam itself covers around 2,850 acres of land and shares its runways with the Honolulu International Airport. It's also home to the Pacific Command, PACAF.
- Keaiwa Heiau State Park
Just a 15-minute drive—or a 1.5-hour walk—from Pearl Harbor is the 384-acre Keaiwa Heiau State Park. It’s a recreational area that has something for everyone in the family, from walking trails and picnic areas to camping spots if you’re planning to stay longer. The recreational area houses the ruins of the Keaiwa Heiau temple, where native Hawaiians would go to receive healing through prayers and herbs. Though the rituals have long been out of practice (the herbs were gathered from nearby land that was replanted in the 1920s), many still believe the temple holds healing powers and go there in the hopes of a cure for all kinds of sickness.
- The park is also home to some great walking trails, including the 4.8-mile Aiea Loop, which takes you through a forest of eucalyptus trees and Norfolk pines. Visitors can also see remnants of a plane that crashed in 1944 and experience amazing views of Pearl Harbor and Aiea town.