A key turning point of World War II, the attack on Pearl Harbor remains one of the most significant events in US history. Most Pearl Harbor Tours that include an Arizona ticket only allow you a couple of hours on-site, which isn’t really enough time if you want to see everything, and often include a city tour of Honolulu, which it doesn’t sound like you’re interested in. If your flight is set to arrive early in the morning, you shouldn’t have any problem finding a shuttle or taxi to Pearl Harbor and then getting a ticket out to Arizona. You can book one of a number of guided tours from Honolulu, which will pick you up from your hotel and drop you off at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. A video about the attacks that play in the second museum easily rivals the 23-minute film you’ll watch before the boat ride out to the USS Arizona Memorial.
Pearl Harbor makes for a great day trip out of Honolulu, but there are certain things you should know and be aware of before you go, especially if you’re traveling there independent of a tour. On December 7, the Museum will commemorate the attack on Pearl Harbor—a time that revealed our country’s resilience, resolve and ability to unite in defense of uncompromisable freedoms.
An admission fee is charged to visit the USS Missouri, but a number of passes cover multi-sites at Pearl Harbor and are a good option if you plan on seeing more than just the Missouri and the Arizona Memorial. Tours, which are free, apart from a nominal convenience fee, include a documentary film, a boat trip to the USS Arizona Memorial, and time to wander around.
Also located on Ford Island is the Pacific Aviation Museum, which is a must-visit for any aviation buff. Pacific Aviation Museum Audio tour includes languages in English, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Cantonese, and Mandarin. Narrated Audio Tour at USS Arizona – Features the voices of Pearl Harbor survivors and noted National Park Service Pearl Harbor historian Daniel Martinez. USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park – Enjoy a narrated audio tour of the submarine (designated a national historic landmark) and learn about her wartime service.
Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a Smithsonian Affiliate and ranked one of the nation’s top 10 aviation attractions in the nation by TripAdvisor®.
The exhibit shows relics directly from the attack including pieces of downed Japanese planes and the binoculars that had been used on the bridge of the battleship the USS Arizona, which was sunk in the attack. A telegram telling of the attack on Pearl Harbor and a West Point cadet’s letter afterward seeking advice from his father, General Dwight Eisenhower, are among exhibits at a U.S. museum illustrating the shock and horror that catapulted the United States into World War Two.