How to Visit Pearl HarborAugust 12, 2021
A Sacred Pilgrimage to Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor is home to four incredible museums, monuments, and memorials that together tell the story of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that launched America into World War II. Known as the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites, these four experiences work together to transport guests back in time to understand the attack, the battles that followed, and the values of the Greatest Generation we embody today. Visiting Pearl Harbor can be overwhelming. Our guide below will ensure you have everything planned out in order to make the most of your day on this hallowed ground.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO...
#1: Boat Tickets to the USS Arizona must be reserved in advance
The USS Arizona memorial entrance is located within the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Entrance to the Visitor Center is free and open to the public, but tickets must be reserved for the boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial. Reservations can be made at Recreation.gov. Timed tickets are available in 45-minute increments from 8am to 3:30pm and are $1.00 to reserve.
The tickets are very limited and are released for reservation in two waves. The first wave of tickets are released 8 weeks (56 days) in advance at 3pm HST. The second wave of tickets is released 1 day in advance at 3pm HST.
It is strongly recommended to reserve your ticket several weeks in advance to ensure tickets are available for the desired day and time.
Make sure to arrive at the Visitor Center at least 1 hour before your scheduled ticket and check in at the memorial entrance 10 minutes before the ticket time. The time on the ticket designates when the boat will be leaving, not your check in. If you miss your reservation, there are a very limited number of standby tickets available each day. The wait time for stand-by tickets can range from 1-3 hours. It is recommended to arrive before 7am if a standby ticket is needed.
#2: Passports to Pearl Harbor grant access to all pearl harbor historic sites
Passport to Pearl Harbor allows you access to three of the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites, including the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, Battleship Missouri, and the Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum, with one ticket. You can purchase a Passport to Pearl Harbor and individual site tickets at all locations or online. This ticket does not include boat tickets to the USS Arizona Memorial, which must be reserved separately at Recreation.gov.
#3: Free Transportation is available onto Ford Island
The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is the starting point for all Pearl Harbor Historic Sites. The USS Arizona Memorial is accessed via a boat that leaves from the Visitor Center. The Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum is located within the Visitor Center. Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum and the Battleship Missouri are located on Ford Island, an active Navy instillation, right off the coast of the Visitor Center.
Non-military individuals cannot drive onto Ford Island, but a free shuttle bus runs each day from 8am to 5pm, departing approximately every 15 minutes from the Visitor Center. The bus makes its first stop at the Battleship Missouri and its second stop at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum. The bus drops off and picks up passengers at each location before returning to the Visitor Center. The last bus heading back to the Visitor Center leaves the Aviation Museum at 5pm.
#4: Dedicate the day to exploring history
Each site is rich with history, exhibits, and unique attractions. From hopping into a flight simulator to exploring battleship crew quarters, you won’t want to miss anything as you navigate through the sites and museums. Plan to spend about 1 to 1.5 hours at each site.
#5: There is a no bag policy for all Pearl Harbor Historic sites
For security reasons, there is a no bag policy at all of the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites. Small wallets, with or without a strap, are permitted. The Visitor Center offers a bag check. A regular bag costs $6.00 and a large bag costs $10.
#5: GET READY TO LEARN
All of the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites are located on national historic sites and feature historic exhibits. The sites allow you to step back in time to the air-raid on December 7, 1941 and follow history into the modern fight in the Pacific theater.