USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park

#13 in Best Things To Do in Honolulu - Oahu
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park picture
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Key Info

11 Arizona Memorial Drive


Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
  • 4.5Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Like the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park sits in Pearl Harbor within view of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. This historic vessel, which went on nine patrols during World War II, is one of only 15 U.S. World War II-era submarines that still exists. It now serves as a walk-through exhibit alongside a museum with various war artifacts, including battle flags, submarine bells and a Poseidon missile. Additional items, such as a cruise missile, a torpedo and a submarine rescue chamber, are on display in the surrounding park.

Some former travelers lamented the limited elbow room offered inside, but overall, many appreciated getting a firsthand look at the tight quarters sailors had to live in while stationed on this submarine. Others enjoyed the self-guided audio tours covered by museum and submarine admissions.

The USS Bowfin welcomes visitors every day (excluding select holidays) from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Keep in mind, though, that the submarine only permits entry until 4:30 p.m., and bags cannot be brought inside either facility. A $5 per bag charge applies for items stored on-site. The museum costs $6 for adults and $3 for children to visit, while tickets for the museum and the submarine are $15 for adults and $7 for kids. Tickets that include access to the Battleship Missouri Memorial are also available. Reduced rates are offered for seniors and members of the military. Children younger than 4 cannot tour the submarine.

To get to the attraction, travelers can drive and park in one of several free lots, ride Waikiki Trolley's Purple Line or take bus No. 20 or 42 to the Arizona Memorial stop. Property amenities include a gift shop, a snack bar, vending machines and restrooms. Visit the USS Bowfin website to find out more.

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Waikiki Beach
World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument
Time to Spend
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#1 Waikiki Beach

Nineteenth-century Hawaiian royalty used to come to the Honolulu neighborhood of Waikiki to relax and surf, just as scores of tourists do today. That's because this area's famous beach (which is a string of several beaches dotting the island's southwest coastline) is the go-to spot for its soft, honey-colored sand and the high waves that lap the shores during the winter months. But you don't have to be a surfer to appreciate Waikiki Beach; just lie back on a beach towel, relax and gaze up at the majestic Diamond Head State Monument in the distance.

When you need a break from the beach itself, there are scores of shops and restaurants lining the adjacent Kalakaua Avenue. The street is home to some of the world's most exclusive (read: expensive) designer boutiques, including Cartier, Coach, Hermès and Louis Vuitton. Many of the best Oahu hotels also overlook Waikiki Beach.

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