Pearl Harbor and the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial
- Type: Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing, Tours
- Time to Spend: Half Day to Full Day
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The U.S.S. Arizona Memorial is the final resting place of 1,102 sailors killed during the Pearl Harbor attack. Located northwest of downtown Honolulu, the site is one of the most visited World War II memorials in the United States. You can expect a long wait time and plenty of people, but visitors almost unanimously agree the experience is more than worth it.
The complex includes a visitor's center and the offshore monument, which was built directly overtop the midsection of the sunken U.S.S. Arizona. At your appointed tour time, the U.S. Navy will shuttle you from the center to the sloping white memorial. There, you can pay your respects (some throw flowers out to the ship), see the oil that still slowly seeps up to the water's surface from the wreckage, and behold the names of the honored dead that are now etched into the shrine's marble walls.
Tours of the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial start at 8:00 a.m.; the last one for the day begins at 3:00 p.m. You can reserve free, timed tickets online here—just remember to pick them up one hour before your tour. Tickets are also distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, though some travelers have waited as long as two hours from the time they picked up their ticket to the start of their tour. For $7.50, you can also opt for a one-hour audio-tour that debriefs on WWII history and further explains the significance of the memorial. Visit the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial's website for further details.
If you have time, you should take the Ford Island shuttle to the U.S.S. Missouri, another battleship that was pivotal in the events of WWII. Also on the island is the Pacific Aviation Museum, a 42,000 square foot former seaplace hangar filled with historic military and civilian aircrafts. Admission to the museum is $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 4 to 12. For more information, go to the website. Also worth a visit is the U.S.S. Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, which is $10 for adults. Check out its website for hours and military discounts.