Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to visit Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial:

Preparation:

  • Reservations: Visiting the USS Arizona Memorial is a must-do for many, but reservations are mandatory. You can make reservations online https://www.nps.gov/valr/planyourvisit/permits.htm up to 8 weeks in advance. Be sure to plan ahead, as reservations can fill up quickly.
  • Entrance Fee: There’s a small entrance fee associated with your reservation. Payment is typically done at the time of booking online.
  • Museum Admission: While the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is free to enter, separate admission fees apply for the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum and Battleship Missouri Memorial.

Transportation:

  • Car: If you’re driving, Pearl Harbor is located approximately 45 minutes west of Waikiki. Follow signs for “USS Arizona Memorial” or “Pearl Harbor Historic Sites.” Parking is available at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Here’s a link to [invalid URL removed] for driving directions.
  • TheBus: For a budget-friendly option, Honolulu’s public transportation system, TheBus, offers routes that stop near Pearl Harbor. You can check routes and schedules on http://www.thebus.org/.
  • Taxi/Ridesharing: Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft are also available for transportation to Pearl Harbor.

What to Bring:

  • Comfortable Clothing and Shoes: Hawaii’s weather is generally warm and sunny. Dress comfortably, and wear shoes suitable for walking.
  • Hat and Sunglasses: Protect yourself from the sun.
  • Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is important, especially outdoors.
  • Camera: Capture the historic sites and memorials at Pearl Harbor.
  • Identification: Bring a valid photo ID for security purposes.

The Visit:

  • Arrival: Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before your reservation time.
  • Visitor Center: Start your visit at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Here, you’ll find exhibits and information about the history of Pearl Harbor.
  • Documentary Film: Watch a short documentary film about the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • Boat Ride: Board a Navy launch for the short ride to the USS Arizona Memorial. The boat ride offers a somber view of the battleship wreckage.
  • Memorial Ceremony: Upon arrival at the memorial, participate in a brief memorial ceremony honoring those lost in the attack.

Additional Activities (Optional):

  • Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum: Explore exhibits showcasing Pearl Harbor’s role in World War II aviation history.
  • Battleship Missouri Memorial: Tour the mighty Battleship Missouri, the site where the Japanese formally surrendered, ending World War II.
  • Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor: Discover the history of Pacific aviation at this museum located at Pearl Harbor’s Ford Island.

Tips:

  • Arrive Early: Parking can be limited, especially during peak season. Consider arriving early to secure a spot.
  • Limited Food Options: Food options are limited at Pearl Harbor. Bringing your water bottle and snacks is recommended.
  • Respectful Attire: Pearl Harbor is a memorial site. Dress respectfully and avoid loud or disruptive behavior.

By planning ahead, obtaining reservations, and following these tips, you can ensure a respectful and informative visit to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial.