What To See At Pearl Harbor

Featuring a number of museums, memorials, and exhibits, Pearl Harbor is the number one destination for Hawaii vacationers. Now officially called the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, it is a place for solemn reflection and learning. Here is some information on the highlights of what to see at Pearl  Harbor.

Pearl Harbor Visitor Center

The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is where any Pearl Harbor experience should start. What to see at Pearl Harbor Visitor Center are two free museums dedicated to the tragic events of December 7, 1941. The grounds offer panoramic views of pearl harbor and Ford Island. The Pearl Harbor Visitor center is also where you will watch a documentary featuring real footage of the attack before being transported to the Arizona Memorial. From here you will access the Arizona Memorial and the USS Bowfin Submarine.

  • USS Arizona Memorial hosts over one million people every year. Witness the “Black Tears of the Arizona”, oil that seeps from the sunken battleship below. Accessible only by boat, the USS Arizona Memorial crosses over the sunken hull of the battleship without ever touching it. Every US President since Franklin D. Roosevelt has gone to the site, so don’t think twice about seeing this famous memorial. It tops the list of what to see at Pearl Harbor.
  • The USS Bowfin Submarine played a key role in Japan’s defeat during World War II. Now it is a waterfront memorial that pays tribute to the 52 American submarines and more than 3,500 submariners lost during the war. The Bowfin sank 44 enemy ships during her nine war patrols.

Ford Island

In the mid-20th century over 40,000 military personnel lived and worked here. The island holds the other half of what to see at Pearl Harbor. Today it is home to the USS Missouri Battleship, the USS Utah Memorial, and the USS Oklahoma Memorial, and the Pacific Aviation Museum.

  • The USS Oklahoma Memorial features black granite walls to symbolize the Oklahoma’s hulls, and white marble pillars represent individuals standing at attention. 429 brave men lost their lives aboard the USS Oklahoma on December 7, 1941.
  • Also known as The Mighty Mo., The Missouri holds a special place in US military history as the place where the Japanese officially surrendered. The Missouri was also the final US battleship to ever be constructed.
  • Pacific Aviation Museum features aircraft that actually flew during the war. With a focus on the Pearl Harbor attacks, the museum also offers exhibits of international aviation history aimed for people of all ages. You will see bullet holes still there from the Japanese attack!

Get The Most For Your $$$ On A Guided Tour

Some of the attractions are free, but some cost money. No need to pull out your wallet at every stop! An all-inclusive guided tour offers you the most; especially with the in-depth knowledge added by your guide. Ford Island is still an active military base that requires special permission, but Discover Hawaii Tours offers no hassle instant access to everything on Ford Island!

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