Millions of people visit Oahu every year to experience world class water sports, beautiful beaches, exotic culture, and dramatic landscapes. When you visit Oahu, don’t forget about the island’s history as well! Hawaii was the scene of one of the most devastating surprise attacks in military history: the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
Visitors to Oahu have a unique opportunity to honor the men and women who affected by the tragedy, as well as learn about the attack right where it happened.
The Passport to Pearl Harbor does not include tickets for the timed program at the USS Arizona Memorial. These tickets can picked up for free at the ticketing booth of the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, the same place you redeem your Passport tickets. As tickets for the Arizona Memorial program are distributed on a first come, first served basis, it’s a good idea to arrive bright and early. Seeing all the sites in Pearl Harbor can easily take a whole day, which is another reason to start your visit as early as possible.
Transportation to and from Pearl Harbor is not included in the Passport. To get there, you can take public transportation or a taxi from Waikiki, or drive there yourself. Pearl Harbor is a short drive from Waikiki and downtown Honolulu.
There is free parking available near the Visitor Center. Pearl Harbor is open every day from 7am to 5pm except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Please remember to bring a government-issued photo ID such as a driver license or passport. The tropical weather can be hot, so drink plenty of water, wear a hat, and use sunscreen. Depending on the weather, you may also want to bring a light jacket. Please note the Pearl Harbor security regulations don’t allow any type of bags. There is a bag storage near the entrance to the Visitor Center. Don’t leave any belongings in your car.
After learning about the attack in the museums and exhibits of the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, you see a 23-minute documentary film in the Memorial Theater. Next, board a Navy shuttle to the USS Arizona Memorial. This consists of a structure located directly above the sunken battleship. From the memorial, you can gaze into the depths and pay your respects to the sailors and Marines who gave their lives when the mighty battleship exploded and sank.
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park
At the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, you can experience the cramped conditions in which the crew of a submarine lived and worked. Please be aware that children younger than four years of age may not enter the submarine for safety reasons. They are welcome to visit the museum and park at no charge.
Transportation to Ford Island
The Battleship Missouri, the Pacific Aviation Museum and the USS Oklahoma Memorial are all located on Ford Island. Your Passport ticket includes round-trip shuttle service to the island.
The Battleship Missouri
The USS Missouri was the last battleship commissioned by the US Navy, and was the site of the Japanese surrender ending World War II. Today, she is a museum ship at Pearl Harbor open for exploration. There are three options for visiting the Mighty Mo: a self-paced tour, or a 35-minute guided tour.
The USS Oklahoma Memorial
The USS Oklahoma Memorial, an installation of 429 stone uprights, one for each man who lost his life aboard the battleship, is located near the entrance to the Missouri.
The Pacific Aviation Museum
When visiting all the naval exhibits in and around Pearl Harbor, one can easily forget that some crucial parts of the fighting didn’t happen on the water, but in the air. The Pacific Aviation Museum is a military aviation enthusiast’s dream. With two hangars full of aircraft from almost a century of aviation, the museum invites you to take a closer look at the history of the military applications of flight. The museum is also a great place for a lunch break, with the Laniakea Café offering light meals and drinks.
Remember to start your tour early in the day to ensure you get tickets for the USS Arizona Memorial program and to give you plenty of time to visit all of the sites at Pearl Harbor. Wear comfortable shoes, a hat, and sun block. Don’t forget your photo ID and leave all bags behind, as you are not allowed to bring them into Pearl Harbor.