Visiting the USS Arizona Memorial
For some tourists, a trip to Oahu is not complete without a visit to the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. With 1.8 million visitors a year, the USS Arizona Memorial is clearly one of the most visited sites in Honolulu. Here are some useful information that you will want to know before you plan your visit.
A Quick History About The Memorial
The USS Arizona Memorial marks the resting place of 1,177 sailors and Marines killed on USS Arizona (BB-39) during the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on December 7, 1941 and commemorates the events of that day. The attack on Pearl Harbor and the island of O’ahu led to the United States’ direct involvement during World War II. Built in 1962 and accessible only by boat, it straddles the sunken hull of the battleship without touching it.
If you are using a GPS, the physical address is:
Pear Harbor Visitor Center
Honolulu, HI 96818
Open Daily 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year’s Day
Please make sure you use this address. A search for”Pearl Harbor” will take you to the active military base, not the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.
Honolulu public transit buses stop regularly at the Peal Harbor Visitor Center and can be boarded in Waikiki. The #20 and #42 bus will take you to the visitor center. For more information about the O’ahu transit system, visit www.thebus.org
Expect To Spend A Full Day
You really need a full day to absorb everything because the Monument includes other memorials and museums including:
We only experienced the USS Arizona Museum and we there a good 3 to 4 hours looking through the exhibit galleries after the boat trip to the memorial. You can click on the links above to gain more information should you choose to visit these sites.
Book Your Ticket in Advance
You can visit the USS Arizona for free, however a ticket is needed for entry.
The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center gives out 1,300 free tickets everyday at a first-come first-serve basis at the their ticket counter.
Tickets have pre-assigned visiting times from 7:45 am to 3 pm, so if it’s crowded or your happen to arrive late, you may have to wait 2 more hours, so make sure to arrive early!
Book your free ticket here: www.recreation.gov
There is $1.50 fee for each ticket booked online. You will not regret booking in advance to avoid waiting in line! Hey, you want to go the extra mile? You can pre-book your ticket up to 2 months in advance. You are allowed to reserve 12 tickets per day.
If you can’t pre-book you ticket, there are a limited number of next day tickets released at 7 am Hawaii time. Check out the Recreation.gov website 24 hours before your visit.
No Bags or Purses Allowed
Though this is a memorial, Pear Harbor is home to the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet, and is a military base, so security is strict!
You can not bring any type of backpack, bag, or purse. Not even a diaper bag! They are REALLY serious about this! All you can have on you is your phone, wallet, camera, and a clear water bottle.
Bag storage is available for $3 per bag maximum of 50 lbs, regardless of size.
My tip: Make you sure you are wearing something with plenty of pockets or else you will be holding everything in your hands.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
I’ve been on the island for awhile now, so I wear slippers pretty much everywhere I go however, I would recommend wearing something comfortable because you will be on your feet standing and waking a lot.
You will standing and walking outside for most of your tour, so wear plenty of sunscreen and make sure to have it on before you arrive because you will not be able to bring it in with you.
Please remember that the USS Arizona is an underwater grave. Dress appropriately and be respectful at the memorial.
No Restrooms or Strollers
Restrooms are only available at the visitor center. There are no restrooms at the USS Arizona Memorial, so make sure to do all your business before you board the shuttle boat that will take you to the memorial.
Strollers are not allowed on the shuttle boat. You will have to park them at the theater.
Wait to Take Your Pictures
I noticed that upon our arrival to the USS Arizona Memorial, that people will either flock to the memorial wall, or the railings on either side to take those memorable photos. Just be patient and wait until every-one-else has taken their photos to take yours. You’ll have the spots all to yourself and won’t have to worry about blocking any body’s view.
Make Sure To Check Out The Exhibit Galleries
If you have time before the theater film or after, make sure you check the exhibit galleries that tells a more in-depth history of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
I hope that this information helps prepare you for you visit to the Pearl Harbor Memorial. Enjoy your visit, and please feel free to comment on your experience or add any suggestions of our own.