The Pearl Harbor National Memorial, featuring the infamous USS Arizona Memorial is "ground zero" where World War II began for the United States, and today serves as a destination where families can explore this historic and moving site, and learn all about the history of events that took place on December 7, 1941, and stories of the brave men and women who fought.
The USS Arizona also serves as the final resting place for many of the battleship's 1,177 crew members who lost their lives
The monument also interprets the stories of the Pacific War, from the battle in the Aleutians to the internment of Japanese Americans
Located on the southern end of Oahu, the complex features a Visitor Center, which is a great place to start your journey, as well as a museum, and of course the USS Arizona memorial, which can only be accessed by boat from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.
The USS Arizona memorial program is 75-minutes long, and begins with a 23 minute documentary. After this, you take the boat to the memorial itself.
The Pearl Harbor National Memorial is consistently one of the top three most visited destinations in Hawai'i, and it's certainly a truly significant historical attraction for any family to visit.
The youngest of children might not understand the significance, but it's an invaluable learning opportunity for the older children. To read about history in books is one thing, but to visit the actual place it happened, and to learn of the human stories involved is another.
A true must-do with any visit to Oahu with the family.
The USS Arizona Memorial is approximately a 45-minute drive from Waikiki. Take Ala Moana Blvd. / Nimitz Highway or (H-1) West to begin. While on H-1; look for the USS Arizona/Stadium exit, #15A. Do not take the Pearl Harbor exit.Get directions
Even though the memorial, visitor center and museum are free, you will need to get a timed (free) ticket to see the memorial as there are two boats that take visitors out to the USS Arizona Memorial. These boats are operated by US Navy sailors and have a limited capacity of 145 people per boat.
The Visitor Center has a bookstore where you can pick up a number of gifts, souvenirs and educational items such as books, to complete your visit!
It's a great learning experience, and field trips are run by their partner program Pacific Historic Parks, so email [email protected] to arrange a class visit
The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center has reserved accessible parking in the front lot. The restrooms, movie theater, exhibit galleries, bookstore, information desk and drinking fountains, Navy shuttle boats, and USS Arizona Memorial are all fully-accessible to people in wheelchairs.
The Passport to Pearl Harbor is a great way to see all the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites with one ticket. It includes a free USS Arizona Memorial program timed ticket, the USS Arizona Memorial narrated tour, and admission to all three of their partner sites: the Battleship Missouri (on Ford Island), the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, and the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum (on Ford Island). There is a cost to this.