One of the top tourist attractions in Oahu, and possibly all of Hawaii, is Pearl Harbor. It is definitely something that history buffs heading to Hawaii want to see and it attracts visitors from all over the world.
We have visited a couple of times and on our last visit, we noticed the huge improvements made to the visitors center and the entire experience.
Just 3 points of interest that you might not have known about Pearl Harbor:
1. It is named for the pearl oysters that were once harvested there
2. It is the largest natural harbor in all of Hawaii
3. It’s the only naval base in the US to be designated a National Historical Landmark.
What are so do’s and don’ts when visiting Pearl Harbor?
- Do not bring in backpacks, purses, fanny packs, diaper bags, camera bags or luggage of any time that offer an type of concealment.
- You can store bags at the entrance to the Visitor’s Center for $3 per bag.
- DO bring your wallets, cameras, cell phones and water bottles.
- Wheel chairs and baby strollers are permitted
What are some tips to help enhance your visit to Pearl Harbor?
- We usually recommend taking a tour of Pearl Harbor since they obtain tickets at set time slots for you in advance so you don’t have to wait. When we visited last, our tour guide offered us 2 options to us— explore on your own or listen to his story of what we were going to see. We opted to stay with the guide to get a bit of the local flavor in addition to the history.
- Admission to the Arizona Memorial is FREE and the entire program lasts about 75 minutes (including a 25 minute documentary on the history of Pearl Harbor) before you are allowed onto the ferry to the memorial. How long you spend on the memorial is up to you. The ferries go back and forth frequently so you can catch any of them going back to the visitor’s center. The program starts at 7:45am and runs through 3pm.
- The National Park Service gives out tickets 2 months in advance, in addition to both next day and same day tickets. You can get these tickets in advance at www.recreation.gov .
- The USS Arizona Narrated Tour is like having your own private park ranger guide you through the memorial, visitor’s centers 2 museums and the waterfront interpretive displays. It’s $7.50 for the headsets and if you aren’t taking a guided tour– this is a definite must.
- Remember that there are 4 historic sites within the Pearl Harbor- so you can plan to spend the entire day if you want.
- Only the Arizona and the Visitor’s Center is Free but you can buy advance tickets fro the Bowfin, Missouri and the Pacific Aviation Museum.
- If you are going with kids, visit the official site of the Pacific Aviation Museum at www.pacificaviationmuseum.org to get free coupon fro a flight simulator. It’s also fun for adults too :).
- Ask for a “traveling P-40” magnet from the Pacific Aviation Museum. It’s free if you give them your mailing address
- Check out the National Park Service’s Junior Ranger Program for the kids, too.
- For an all – inclusive experience, consider the Passport to Pearl Harbor which includes all 4 sites for one price (currently $65 for adults and $35 for kids 4-12)
Passport to Pearl Harbor Tours Include:
- USS Arizona Memorial Narrated Tour
- Battleship Missouri Memorial- Mighty Mo Pass
- USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park- Admission
- Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor – Admission
- Don’t forget about the USS Oklahoma Memorial which is right next to the Missouri.
Pearl Harbor is one of the must do- must see attractions in Hawaii and is truly a moving experience.
My Vacation Lady is a Hawaii Destination Specialist and we can help plan your Hawaii vacation or honeymoon experience. We offer our clients tips on how to help enhance your Hawaii travel experience so that this vacation is one you’ll remember for a lifetime.