Diamond Head and Passport to Pearl Harbor
Oahu is the most populated of the Hawaiian Islands and home to the famous beaches of Waikiki, the bustling capital Honolulu and the world renowned surf spots of the North Shore. When visiting Oahu, there are two must-see places, even for guests on a short schedule. One is the iconic dormant crater of Diamond Head, the other is Pearl Harbor with its memorials, museums and history. The Pearl Harbor Visitors Bureau now offers a package deal that includes both of these unique places.
The ancient crater of Diamond Head is so iconic; Honolulu locals regularly refer to it when giving directions. It is visible from all the beaches in town and that means that when you climb to the top, you will see all of this side of the island in one sweeping, wonderful panorama.
The hike goes up more than 760 feet above sea level and is mostly paved, so you can bring your whole family on this adventure. Diamond Head State Park is situated inside the city of Honolulu, but still you can expect to see some wildlife along the 1.6-mile trail. If you visit during the winter season and on your lucky day, you may even see humpback whales as they play with their newborn calves just past the reefs of Diamond Head Beach.
Once you reach the peak, take a moment to fully appreciate the view all around you. Right behind you, you’ll find the inside of the crater you just hiked. Behind it, deep valleys cut into the steep mountains that make up the center of Oahu. On one side of you, is Kahala, the neighborhood where Hawaii’s rich and beautiful have their estates, while on the other side Waikiki, with its turquoise waters and rich green parks, stretches into the distance. Right below you is Diamond Head Beach, a popular surfing spot and beautiful coral reef.
Your ticket includes an audio guide explaining the natural environment, the culture, geological history, and legends of this famous volcanic rise. This 60-minute audio tour includes all the information you could ask about Diamond Head. If you still have questions after that, feel free to ask the friendly staff at the Diamond Head Visitor Center.
Once you’ve conquered the ancient volcano, take a short drive out of Honolulu to Pearl Harbor – one of the most historically significant places in the Pacific and the United States. Pearl Harbor has been the site of many important developments in the history of Hawaii, but one event stands out for its far-reaching consequences – the surprise Japanese attack on December 7, 1941 that led to the active involvement of the US in World War II.
Today, Pearl Harbor is still an active naval base, but it’s also home to the World War !! Valor in the Pacific National Monument, memorializing the destruction that happened there more than 75 years ago. Remember and honor the sacrifices that were made here with a number of memorials, exhibits, and museums that teach younger generations about their country’s past.
The Passport to Pearl Harbor includes admission to all the major sites, but please note that tickets for the timed program for the Arizona Memorial are not included. These tickets are given out for free every morning on a first come first served basis. There is a daily limit on the number of tickets, so make sure you don’t show up too late in the day.
When visiting Pearl Harbor, remember:
- Bring your government-issued ID.
- Dress appropriately for the dignity of the places you’re visiting. Please, no bathing suits or inappropriate t-shirts.
- No bags are allowed at Pearl Harbor. Leave bags in your car or check them at the Visitor Center.
- Bring sunscreen, as most of the sites are open air.
- Don’t forget your camera!