On December 7, 1941 Japan attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. This devastating attack pulled the United States into World War II, which ultimately changed the entire face of the globe.
- Best Things to do in Pearl Harbor (What's free & what isn't)
- Best Way to See Pearl Harbor
- Best Pearl Harbor Tours
- Salute to Pearl Harbor
- Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Memorial
- USS Arizona Memorial & USS Missouri Battleship Tour from Waikiki
- Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, and City Tour
Best Things to do in Pearl Harbor (What’s free & what isn’t)
There are four main things to do in Pearl Harbor.
1. Visit the USS Arizona Memorial
2. Take a tour of the Battleship Missouri
3. Tour the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park
4. Visit the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum
The only free thing to do at Pearl Harbor is visit the USS Arizona Memorial. Even though it’s free to visit you still will need to have a reservation before going and you will be charged a $1 processing fee. More on that process below.
If you are planning to see any of the other three sites at Pearl Harbor you will have to pay an entrance fee. These include the tour the Battleship Missouri, tour the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, and visit the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum.
Best Way to See Pearl Harbor
The best way to tour Pearl Harbor is (in my opinion) by a guided tour.
While it is possible to explore on your own but you will need to reserve your tickets in advance for everything, including the USS Arizona Memorial.
Not only does it make visiting Pearl Harbor a lot more interesting when you have a guide telling you the stories and historic details of the tragedy you would otherwise miss, but it also takes the hassle of waiting in line to try and get tickets the day of.
There is nothing worse than walking around a historic site bot really knowing exactly what you are looking at and the significance it holds in the USA.
Check out the guided tours I recommend below!
Best Pearl Harbor Tours
Salute to Pearl Harbor
The Salute to Pearl Harbor Tour is one of the highest rated tours. Book here.
Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Memorial
In order to visit the USS Arizona you will need to have a reservation. Reservations are included in this tour so you won’t have to worry about.
Book your Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Memorial tour here.
USS Arizona Memorial & USS Missouri Battleship Tour from Waikiki
Pearl Harbor, USS Arizona, and City Tour
Best Things to see at Pearl Harbor
Here are the best things to see at Pearl Harbor.
The USS Arizona Memorial
On December 7, 1941 the USS Arizona Battleship was bombed and sunk taking 1,177 lives with it. The USS Arizona Memorial floats above the watery site where the battleship sunk.
The USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor is a sobering reminder of what we have come through. Though this changes the tone from the rest of Hawaiian vacation, it needs to be included.
All reservations are made online, in advance, through recreation.gov. There are two reservation releases for each date.
Hours: Daily 7am–5pm
How to Get Tickets for the USS Arizona Memorial
In order to visit the USS Arizona Memorial, you need to have a reservation.
All reservations are made online, in advance, through recreation.gov.
There are two reservation releases for each date.
It is free to visit the USS Arizona, but recreation.gov charges a $1 processing fee. Click here to learn more about the reservation process on the National Park Service website. Here is the link to make your reservation on recreation.gov.
Currently, tours are offered from 8 am to 3:30 pm. For the best experience and an opportunity to beat the crowds I recommend booking one of the first tours of the day. This will also give you plenty of time to see all the sites.