Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
- How To Get to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
- Where Is the Pearl Harbor National Memorial?
- Pearl Harbor National Memorial Opening Hours and Seasons
- Nearest Airports to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
- Driving to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
- Taking the Train to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
- Taking the Bus to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
- Getting Around the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
- What To See and Do at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
- Best Times To Visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
- Best Time To Visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Winter
- Best Time To Visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial To Avoid the Crowds
- Best Time To Visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial for Ideal Weather
- Cheapest Time To Visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
- Annual Events at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
- Where To Stay Near the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
- Where To Eat Near the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
- Pearl Harbor National Memorial Facts
- Final Thoughts
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Pearl Harbor National Memorial is where tourists can explore 4 historic sites, learn about this significant event in American history, and pay their respects to the men, women, and children who lost their lives as a result of the events on December 7, 1941.
If you plan to visit the park, as more than 1.5 million guests do annually, learn how to get to Pearl Harbor National Memorial, what to see and do, and the best times to visit. We also suggest where to stay and eat in the Honolulu area.
How To Get to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
Where Is the Pearl Harbor National Memorial?
This national memorial is located in Honolulu, Hawai’i, about 10 miles northwest of downtown. It is adjacent to the active U.S. military base Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The park’s boundaries encompass over 21 acres, and it commemorates the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The park allows visitors to see the USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma, and USS Utah memorials.
Pearl Harbor National Memorial Opening Hours and Seasons
The memorial is open 7 days a week, except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. The visitor center is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. There are times when inclement weather may cause the memorial to close, so it is best to check the memorial’s website for closures before setting out to explore this park.
Nearest Airports to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) is the park’s closest airport option and is roughly a 20-minute drive away.
This airport is one of the largest, busiest airports in the world. It offers dozens of nonstop and connecting flights to many well-known cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Ontario, San Francisco, Seattle, Sydney, and Tokyo. Some airlines serviced here include Air Canada, American, Delta, Southwest, United, and WestJet.
Once you arrive at this airport, there are several rental car kiosks with agents who can help you arrange to complete the final leg of your journey to Pearl Harbor National Memorial.
Driving to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
Several routes are available when driving to this national memorial, depending on the area you are coming from. H1 West or HI 92 West can be taken for those coming from the airport.
Follow the signs to HI 99 W, which is the Kamehameha Highway. Continue on this highway until you get to the fourth traffic light, where you will take a left. This will lead you to the visitor center parking lot.
Taking the Train to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
There is no train service to Pearl Harbor National Memorial.
Taking the Bus to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
Taking a bus to this site is a great way to enjoy the trip without the stress of navigating an unfamiliar city. There are 2 lines offered by TheBus that take tourists to this national memorial.
The #20 and #42 bus routes typically visit this park daily. Be sure to check the website for this service for current routes before boarding, as there have been times when these lines take a break from bringing guests to this park.
Getting Around the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
The best way to get around this national memorial is on foot. Parking is available near the visitor center with a complimentary shuttle bus that can take you from the parking lot to the facility and other sites like the Battleship Missouri and the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum.
The sites are all accessible on foot. The park’s website offers an interactive map to help you plan your outings at this park.
What To See and Do at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
This national memorial is packed with sites and exhibits to explore. From shuttled boat tours to interpretive exhibits, there is much to see and do at this park. Check out some of the top activities at Pearl Harbor National Memorial.
Several exhibit galleries are scattered throughout this national memorial. These exhibits share a wealth of information about the different sites within the park and the different events regarding the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Some exhibits you won’t want to miss during your visit to this park include the Road to War, Attack, and the Interpretive Wayside Exhibits. Taking a moment at each display allows visitors to imagine and envision the horrific events of that tragic day.
Some galleries offer kiosks where guests can hear stories from witnesses of Pearl Harbor, see artifacts from the battle, and look at displays of personal memorabilia. These exhibits offer a unique way to experience this historical event and allow guests to stop and remember those who lost their lives on this day.
Ford Island Bus Tour
The Ford Island Bus Tour is a unique way to visit the memorial’s less visited sites, including the USS Oklahoma and the USS Utah Memorials.
This tour is led by a park ranger who works closely with the U.S. Navy. The tour is 90 minutes long and departs from the visitor center. Tours are offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 3:15 to 5 p.m. It is important to note that this tour can only accommodate a maximum of 25 guests.
A reservation must be made in advance for those who want to participate in this tour, and there is a fee of $1 per visitor. This bus tour is one of the best ways to get an up-close view of many of the sites and learn from a knowledgeable park ranger at the same time.
Pearl Harbor Memorial Theater
The Pearl Harbor Memorial Theater is located near the exhibit galleries. Many visitors will stop here as a part of the USS Arizona Memorial program, where they will watch a 23-minute documentary on the USS Arizona.
Another documentary offered in Theater 2 shows a separate 23-minute video about the attack on Pearl Harbor. These films are shown at a quarter after and a quarter to every hour, so there are plenty of opportunities to watch during your visit.
This exhibit is near the Road to War and Attack galleries. Remembrance Circle is an exhibit that honors the men, women, and children who were killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
This site is a circular memorial that lists the names of the Medal of Honor recipients, displays a 3D bronze map of Oʻahu, and depicts the attack targets of this tragic day. Many guests will visit this site and offer a moment of silence or prayers out of respect for those who lost their lives on this day.
USS Arizona Memorial Program
The USS Arizona Memorial is the site that brings most visitors to Pearl Harbor. The park offers a program that helps visitors to learn more about the attack on Pearl Harbor. This 45-minute program starts at the theater validation desk check-in.
Approximately 3,000 to 5,000 participate in this program daily to pay their respects and reflect upon those who served our country and those who lost their lives in this tragic attack. The program includes a shuttled boat ride to the USS Arizona, a time to tour the memorial, and a boat ride that takes you back to the visitor center.Hot Tip:
Reservations must be made online if you hope to participate in this event.
Best Times To Visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
You will have an incredible experience no matter what time of year you can visit this national memorial. However, if there are particular activities or events you want to participate in, there may be a better time than others to plan a visit.
Best Time To Visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Winter
Many tourists plan to travel during winter, as they have time off work for the holidays. The best winter month to visit this national memorial is in early December. This is when the park hosts various events to commemorate the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Planning to visit this month will provide many opportunities to learn about this historic event, hear from guest speakers, and take advantage of additional programming.
Best Time To Visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial To Avoid the Crowds
Experiencing this park without crowded situations is ideal. The best time to visit this national memorial without crowds is June. Visiting this month will allow you to explore the park at your own pace and fully explore every site.
Best Time To Visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial for Ideal Weather
Weather can make or break a trip, so researching typical weather trends is wise when planning any vacation. The best time to visit this park for ideal weather is in April, after the rainy winter season. The temperatures range from the upper 60s to the mid-80s. There is still a chance for rain throughout this month, but most guests find April an excellent month for touring the memorial.
Cheapest Time To Visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
Saving money while traveling may seem unheard of, but it is entirely possible with some research and planning. The cheapest time to visit Pearl Harbor is from mid to late September. Once school has returned from summer vacation and Labor Day travel subsides, flight lodging rates decrease, saving you hundreds of dollars in travel expenses.
Annual Events at the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
This national memorial regularly offers a variety of events, including tours and memorial programs. Some special events take place on an annual basis.
Pearl Harbor Commemorative Events
Each year, at the beginning of December, the Pacific Historic Parks hosts a series of events commemorating the Pearl Harbor attack. Some of the events include a USS Utah Memorial Sunset Ceremony, a Rosie the Riveter meet and greet, the USS Oklahoma Ceremony, and a ceremony to honor the survivors and veterans of Pearl Harbor.
This event is a time to learn about this historic day and honor those who fought to protect our freedom. These events occur in different areas of the park, including the bookstore and other memorials.
Where To Stay Near the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
One of the first orders of business when planning any trip is deciding where to stay. Accommodation options are abundant near this national memorial. Whether you are looking for a quiet place to relax or a lively neighborhood, you can find the perfect option nearby.
Inside the Park
There are no lodging or camping options within the boundaries of this park.
Many visitors choose to stay in nearby Honolulu when visiting this park as it has many options for dining, lodging, and recreation.
There are 5-star resorts, contemporary hotels, private rentals, and condos available. Whether you are looking for a budget-friendly option or a luxury stay, you can choose from plenty of options here.
Food enthusiasts are in for a treat; You will find food trucks, gourmet restaurants, casual spots, and cafes everywhere you look. No matter what you crave, you will find the perfect hunger solution.
There’s so much to do in Honolulu, which is why so many tourists choose to stay here. Some fantastic entertainment and recreation opportunities include spending time on the beaches, surfing, hiking, golfing, and taking tours by helicopter and boat.
Waikīkī is one of the most popular neighborhoods to stay in the city. There are countless opportunities for adventure and excitement, whether you prefer beach activities or exploring popular places like the Waikīkī Aquarium and Diamond Head State Monument. There are also superb shopping opportunities and a lively nightlife.
Where To Eat Near the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
There aren’t any dining options within the boundaries of this national memorial. However, consider some of these top-rated restaurants close to the memorial.
Anna Miller’s is located in Aiea, Hawaii, just 2 miles from Pearl Harbor National Memorial. This restaurant is open every day of the week for breakfast, lunch, and late afternoon snacks.
Pancakes, burgers, deli sandwiches, and fresh-baked pies are on the menu at this restaurant. Some of the most popular dishes on the menu include blueberry and macadamia nut pancakes, eggs Benedict, teriyaki salmon, and strawberry pie.
No matter what you crave, you can find a perfect hunger solution at Anna Miller’s. Be sure to stop by this restaurant when visiting this national memorial; you won’t regret it.
Forty Niner Restaurant
Forty Niner Restaurant is a little over a mile from the memorial and a fantastic option for those who want to enjoy local cuisine during their trip to this park. This restaurant is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The menu here includes a variety of specialties, including gourmet pancakes and waffles, pork and rice dishes, and barbecue specialties. Customers rave about the teriyaki beef, Hawaiian French toast, and the Korean barbecue.
This restaurant is a small hole-in-the-wall gem just minutes from the park. Its vintage interior, incredible menu, and outstanding customer service will leave you with a full belly and a big smile.
Pearl Harbor National Memorial Facts
1. A New National Memorial Established
President Dwight D. Eisenhower approved legislation in 1958 to establish the USS Arizona Memorial. In 1980, the National Park Service took over the operations with a special agreement to collaborate with the U.S. Navy.
2. National Historic Landmarks
The Pearl Harbor area was declared a national historic landmark in 1964. Later, the USS Arizona and the USS Utah shipwrecks were added to the national historic landmarks within the park.
3. Operation Preservation
This national memorial preserves artifacts and sites of the attack on Pearl Harbor. This is the location of one of our nation’s most important memorials, and the National Park Service and the U.S. Navy work diligently to protect and preserve this special place.
4. Live Dives
Throughout the year, regular live dives take place at the USS Arizona. Visitors can watch a live feed of these dives in the park’s theater or online. This is an excellent way for visitors to see underwater views of the wreckage of the USS Arizona in real-time. These dives typically take place in April, October, and December.
5. Research Hub
Pearl Harbor National Memorial is a major hub for science and research still to this day. There are incredible opportunities to explore underwater archaeology, artifact preservation, advanced imaging, and coral ecology near the USS Arizona.
Visiting Pearl Harbor is a wonderful way to learn about significant events during World War II and how the U.S. was impacted. It is also an excellent opportunity to remember those who lost their lives on this tragically infamous day.
Whether you are viewing documentaries in the park theater, touring the different memorials, learning at incredible exhibits, or joining in on a guided bus tour, there’s so much history to explore at this national memorial.
Featured Image Credit: Kirby Yardley via Unsplash
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to visit Pearl Harbor National Memorial?
There is no fee for entering Pearl Harbor National Memorial. There are fees that may be collected at the different sites throughout the park, as well as fees associated with some of the tours offered by the park.
How much time is recommended to spend at Pearl Harbor National Memorial?
The best way to experience Pearl Harbor is to spend an entire day exploring the 4 historic sites within the memorial’s boundaries. It is possible to see the highlights in about 6 hours, but for the best experience, it is best to plan for an entire day.
Are there places near Pearl Harbor National Memorial that I should check out during my visit?
What is the bag policy at Pearl Harbor National Memorial?
This national memorial has a no-bag policy. Any purse, backpack, fanny pack, diaper bag, etc., exceeding 1.5 x 2.25 x 5.5 inches is not permitted at this park.
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