Arizona Memorial Pearl Harbor
Stand Atop History

The Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor Oahu is the #1 attraction on the island. It is the site where the Japanese bombed the United States in 1941 thus setting off World War II. You can visit on your own or take a tour. I recommend taking a tour even though admission is free because they can run out of tickets frequently or the wait to enter can be long.

Even though the visitors center opens up at 7am people sometimes start lining up at 6:00 with no guarantee of getting in. They only give out a certain amount of tickets per day. If you on a Pearl Harbor tour then you are guaranteed admission without the wait.

pearl harbor oahu

FAQs

Tour Information & Prices

Admission Rules

Arizona Memorial Pearl Harbor-Map

 

Arizona Memorial Pearl Harbor-Visitors Center

pearl harbor oahu visitors center

Once you are inside the visitors' center you will receive a ticket with a time on it that will tell you what time you are scheduled to watch the short movie summarizing the historical events of the time. If you go early or with one of the tours that I recommend then this won't be more than an hour later.

pearl harbor oahu entrance

Meanwhile you can browse and walk through the museum and exhibition areas detailing the historical events of the time leading up to the attack of Pearl Harbor Oahu. There's also a concession stand, souvenir shop, snack stand and bathrooms for your use.


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Arizona Memorial Pearl Harbor-The Movie & Boat Ride

For those who have a ticket:

After arriving at the visitors center you will notice that the ticket you have in hand has a time written on it. This is the time that you are to watch the movie at the theater. The movie is about 23 minutes long and sums up the events of history at that time during World War II and the attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor.

pearl harbor oahu theater

You will go in one door, watch the movie and then exit another door where the boat will take you out to the Memorial. I can't remember if they asked us to be quiet during the boat ride over. Regardless, the movie definitely puts you in a somber mood and frame of mind and it's doubtful that you'll want to chat about frivolous matters anyway.

pearl harbor oahu boat shuttle entrance

Arizona Memorial Pearl Harbor-The Memorial Itself

Once inside the Memorial they ask that if you do speak that you speak in a hushed, almost whisper-like voice. There is a docent or guide type of person inside to answer questions if you have them.

There are 3 rooms-one with the names of everyone who lost their lives that day written on the wall, another with a model/replica of the of the Arizona and another with a hole in the floor so that you can see the boat below. It is still oozing oil after all these years.

arizona memorial interior

Inside you really feel the impact of the time and can only imagine what it must have been like for the servicemen. Beneath your feet and out the windows you can see the sunken ship. It is extremely powerful and moving.


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Arizona Memorial Pearl Harbor-Admission Rules

NOTE: You are allowed to take pictures inside the memorial but PURSES AND BAGS are NOT ALLOWED. In summary you can take a camera but not a camera case; no purses, backpacks or fannypacks are allowed. A phone, videocamera and a small men's wallet is ok.

If you want to take a bag you will have to check everything else for a $2 fee. You can pick up your things when you leave the visitors center. I suggest having your money in your pocket for souvenirs or food.

It is also asked that you dress respectfully-no bikini tops or short shorts and men please wear a shirt. Also please take your government issued ID such as a driver's license or a passport if you are an international traveler. This is for security reasons.

 

Arizona Memorial Pearl Harbor-FAQs

What is Pearl Harbor vs The Arizona Memorial?
I thought it was free..
Do I Have to Take a tour?
Can't I just meet the tour there? I have my own car.
I've heard about online tickets from Pearl Harbor itself.
Why do I have to go so early?
Can I leave my purse or bag on the tour bus?
Can I just go into the visitors center without going to the Memorial itself?
I don't want to go all day.
How long does Pearl Harbor take to do?
I have a baby and need a bag, etc.
How much is parking?
Is it handicap accessible?
Can I just go to the Battleship Missouri or the Pacific Aviation Museum by myself?
How long does it take to get to Pearl Harbor?
What is the address? I'm using a GPS
I want to go to the flea market at the Arizona Stadium afterwards
I want to take the city bus there


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What is Pearl Harbor vs The Arizona Memorial?

Pearl Harbor is the military base on which the Arizona Memorial is located. Most people who say they want to go to Pearl Harbor are actually referring to the Arizona Memorial. The Arizona is the boat that sank during the attack on Pearl Harbor. A white building sits atop it right now that the white building commonly seen in pictures today.

Other attractions located at Pearl Harbor include the Battleship Missouri where the peace treaty ending World War II was signed. There is also the Pacific Aviation museum, the USS Oklahoma (another battleship) and the USS Bowfin submarine.

I thought it was free

Technically it is free. However with it being the #1 attraction on Oahu and limited space to view it each day it is hard to get in. It is very likely that if you show up hoping to get in that you won't be able to especially if you are visiting during peak times of the year such as summer or Christmas.

You can wing it but understand that you may not get in, be ok with it and have something else you can do that day as a back up.

People get in on a first come first serve basis and there are a limited number of tickets per day. Most people do a tour that includes roundtrip transportation and a guarantee to get in. The good tour companies get their tickets ahead of time.

You can purchase a ticket online for $1.50 from their website but you'll still have to provide your own way down there and arrive an hour early. http://www.recreation.gov/tourParkDetail.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=72369

If you prefer to show up on your own arrive early before they open and be prepared to wait. You may get in just fine, you may wait awhile (1-2 hours) or not get in. Go with the attitude that if you don't get in that's ok and you will try another day.


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Do I Have to Take a Tour?

No, but I recommend it. You're guaranteed to get in and you get roundtrip transportation. You don't have to hang out with the driver/tour guide as if on a school field trip.

They will show you where the bus will be parked and tell you what time to be back there. If you want to hang out and talk history with him/her feel free to but it's not required. Once inside the gates they'll give you your tickets.

Can't I just meet the tour there? I have my own car.

Probably not. Tour companies don't like to do that because there have been problems in the past. Logistically it's just not practical.

With the number of people visiting the memorial trying to meet up with a guide in the crowds who are busy coordinating things it's not really possible. It's been tried in the past unsuccessfully so it's likely that a tour company will say yes.

I've Heard About Online Tickets from Pearl Harbor itself

This is true. They exist. Just visit this link and follow the directions. It costs $1.50 per ticket. Enter the date and the number of people in your party and it will show if there is any availability for the time you have selected.

You will be required to show up 1 hour prior to your reservation time and to secure your own transportation. http://www.recreation.gov/tourSearchResult.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=72369

Why Do I Have to Go So Early?

The Arizona Memorial closes at 1pm. It's first come first serve for everybody. It's the #1 attraction on Oahu. There is limited space and availability per day. Only so many people can fit on the boat at a time to go over to the Memorial in the middle of the harbor. Only so many people can fit inside the Memorial at a time.

You'll probably be waking up super-early the first and second days of your vacation due to the time difference from wherever you just flew in from. Take advantage of this and do Pearl Harbor early on in your trip.


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Can I leave my purse or bag on the tour bus?

Probably not. Most tour bus drivers (who are also the guides) don't want to be held liable should something happen or go missing. There is a baggage claim for $2 cash. There are also storage lockers available on a limited basis.

Can I just go into the visitors center without going to the Memorial itself?

I'm not sure. I've never tried that. It probably depends on the capacity of the visitors center at the moment and the time of year you are trying to do this. The Arizona Memorial is in the middle of the harbor and accessible via a boat only. It's not like it's right there.

With that said there is a walk-through gallery in the visitors center with pictures and storyboards explaining historical events, a souvenir shop and a snack shop. There is also a submarine that can be visited but you must pay a fee to enter inside.

Tours to other attractions such as the Battleship Missouri and the Pacific Aviation museum can be arranged here but there is a cost and is based on availability.

I don't want to go all day

You don't have to. There is a tour that suits everybody's interest level, budget and schedule. See here...

How long does Pearl Harbor take to do?

If you are referring to JUST the Arizona Memorial I would say about 75 minutes, maybe 90. This is kind of subjective. The movie that everyone watches before boarding the boat to go over to the Memorial is about 23 minutes. This movie sums up the events of history at that time that led to the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II.

I have a baby and I need a bag, etc.

Place the diapers in a clear ziplock freezer bag so that they can see that you are not concealing something inside. Take your diaper bag and check it at the baggage claim.

If you are taking a baby stroller choose one that is collapsable for easy transportation on the tour bus. They may want to search your stroller. Security is so tight now because of the events of 9/11 in New York City.


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How much is parking?

As of the time of this writing $5. It is limited meaning not enough to really go around.

Is it handicap accessible?

Yes. If you are taking a tour be sure to let the company transporting you know that you have a wheelchair. If the chair is collapsable it is usually not a problem accomodating this on most vehicles. However if you need a wheelchair lift most companies need 3 days notice in order to make sure that this type of vehicle is available.

Can I just go to the Battleship Missouri or Pacific Aviation museum by myself?

No. These are located on nearby Ford Island which is restricted to military access only. In order to view these attractions you must go as part of a tour. If going on a tour not run by the visitors center at Pearl Harbor they will not just do these tours by themselves. They are offered in conjunction with visiting the Arizona Memorial or part of a full day touring all of the attractions at Pearl Harbor.

If you really just want to see one of these and only one of these this can be arranged at the visitors center at Pearl Harbor.


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How long does it take to get to Pearl Harbor?

About 25-30 minutes if commuting early in the morning before 7 or 7:30am.

What is the address? I'm using a GPS?

1 Arizona Memorial Place, Honolulu, Hawaii 96818

I want to go to the flea market at the Arizona Stadium afterwards

There's tours that will go to the Arizona Memorial first and then afterwards go to the swap meet nearby. They usually allow about 2.5 hours at the swap meet to shop. This option is only available on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday when the swap meet is open.

I want to take the city bus there

The #20 or #42 will take you there. Unless you are getting an express bus in the morning expect it to take about 1.5 hours one way. It costs $2.50 exact change, $1.25 for students. Visit www.thebus.org for more details. Personally I'd rather take a shuttle. See your bellman or concierge at your hotel. It'll probably cost $18 roundtrip and take 30 minutes depending.


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