How to Plan a Historic Trip Around Pearl Harbor in Hawaii

Pearl Harbor was a turning point during World War II, and this Hawaiian destination remains as important as ever.

The mesmerizing beaches and scenic sights of Waikiki, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Koko Crater Rail Trail and many more unique attractions make Honolulu Hawaii so special and unique. However, more than 1.8 million visitors come to visit Pearl Harbor in Hawaii each year, making it the most visited attraction on the islands. All of these people travel to Pearl Harbor to pay their respects to fallen heroes and learn about the historical significance of this place in Hawaii. They want to know the details of what happened on December 7, 1941. When visiting Pearl Harbor, one will enjoy a mix of free and paid activities, including ship tours, museums and the access to historical sites.

All of these attractions will provide visitors with insight into World War II and its impact on the Hawaiian Islands and the United States of America.

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Here are the top attractions to visit in Pearl Harbor

The Arizona Memorial, which honors the 1,177 people who lost their souls when the ship was bombed and sank, is Pearl Harbor’s top attraction. Here people will learn about what happened through various presentations.

  • What to see: At the Arizona Memorial, visitors will view a 25-minute film detailing the heightened tensions between the United States and Japan and America’s deepening involvement in World War II. After the movie is over, people will take a boat to the Arizona Memorial. The latter consists of a fixed platform built on the sunken remains of the USS Arizona. People will spend 15-20 minutes at this location.
  • Cost: People visiting the Arizona Memorial can get free tickets for the movie and the boat ride. However, they must make reservations before visiting. These can be done online.
  • Operating hours: Movie tours and a boat ride at the Arizona Memorial are offered every 15 minutes from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Those who have made an online reservation should report to the National Park Service counter at the Visitor Center one hour prior to their tour time to pick up their tickets.

The USS Missouri is another must-see attraction in Pearl Harbor. The Battleship Missouri is on nearby Ford Island. This is where World War II ended in September 1945, when Japan visited the deck of this historic ship. Navy admirers and history buffs will be amazed as they tour the USS Missouri and explore the remains of the 900-foot vessel.

  • Cost: Those wishing to visit the USS Missouri will need to purchase tickets to explore this attraction. Prices start at $29.99. Those wishing a guided tour will have to pay an additional $25. These tickets can be purchased at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center or online.
  • Information: People visiting Battleship Missouri at Ford Island should be aware that this is an active military base where private vehicles are not permitted. Accordingly, a bus provides transportation for visitors from the Visitor Center to Ford Island and Missouri. People won’t have to pay for the bus ride as the price is included in the ticket.

Some of the other attractions that people love to visit in Pearl Harbor include the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, and the USS Oklahoma Memorial.

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Here’s how to plan a visit to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii

People who want to visit Pearl Harbor should plan their trip in advance and know some information about the most visited place in the Hawaiian Islands.

  • How to get there: People can reach Pearl Harbor by several means of transportation. Those coming by car can park for free at the Visitor Center. Additionally, they should double-check that the destination is set correctly on their driving app, because entering “Pearl Harbor” only might take them to the active military base instead of taking them to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. On the other hand, people visiting by bus from Waikiki should take the #20 or #42 bus to reach the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.

This recommended route to Pearl Harbor is one of the best

People visiting Pearl Harbor will find that there is a lot to see and do there. This is why it is recommended that they plan their day in advance while taking into account their visiting hours. Also, people should come early in the morning to avoid the midday heat. Pearl Harbor visitors can start their day by scheduling the Arizona Memorial tour, as well as the Road to War Museum and the Attack Museum, in the morning. As for the afternoon, they can explore the USS Missouri.

  • What to eat: At the visitor center, people can sample the delicious hot dogs and nachos at a small food vendor. There is also another small kiosk selling prepackaged sandwiches and drinks. For lunch, Restaurant 604 is a good option. The latter offers stunning views of the historic waters and overlooks the harbour. People must try the local Kalua fresh fish and pork plates offered by this restaurant.

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