Pearl Harbor Tours

Pearl Harbor Tours: Tips, Photos & Insider Info

Pearl Harbor Tours a must for visitors to Oahu

An average of 4,000 visitors per day make Pearl Harbor one of the most popular Hawaii activities on any visit to Oahu. Pearl Harbor tours can include just a visit to the Arizona Memorial or can include all four fascinating museums. Be sure to view our tips for what you need to know before you visit Pearl Harbor. (If you don’t dress properly you will be turned away.)

Pearl Harbor Tours

Arizona Memorial is a short boat ride from the museum.

Pearl Harbor is home to some of the most important World War II historic sites. A shuttle-boat takes visitors to the USS Arizona Memorial built over the sunken remains of the USS Arizona battleship. A short walk away from the Arizona visitor center is the USS Bowfin submarine museum, another interesting destination for those visiting Pearl Harbor.

The Battleship USS Missouri Museum and the Pacific Aviation Museum are located a short shuttle-bus away on nearby Ford Island. Visits to these two fascinating museums are recommended as part of Pearl Harbor tours if time permits.

USS Arizona Memorial and Museum

This memorial is a moving tribute to the brave soldiers who lost their lives in the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. A visitor center and museum are the land-based portions of the memorial park. A free ferry takes visitors for the short boat ride to the memorial located over the sunken hull of the USS Arizona. Over 1.5 million people visit the Arizona Memorial every year.

Pearl Harbor Tours: USS Bowfin Submarine Museum Tours are located at Pearl HarbourUSS Bowfin Submarine Museum

Go on board one of the few WWII submarines still afloat and learn what life was like for a submariner. Adjacent to the sub is a fascinating museum focused on the US Naval submarines from the first in 1900 to the nuclear submarines of today. Numerous other submarines, torpedoes and missiles are located on the grounds around the Submarine Museum.

Pearl Harbor Tours include the Battleship USS Missouri TourBattleship Missouri Memorial and Museum

The last of the great US battleships, the “Mighty Mo” took part in many battles during WWII and secured her place in history as the site of the surrender to Allied Forces that ended World War II. Learn what life at sea was like with tours throughout the ship, films, photos and artifacts at the Missouri Museum.

Pearl Harbor Tours include the Pacific Aviation Museum located on Ford Island

Pacific Aviation Museum

Numerous WWII planes, dioramas, historical movies, and fascinating true stories of heroes and villains make this museum entertaining as well as educational. You can even try your skills in a WWII dogfight in a flight simulator at the Pacific Aviation Museum.

All of these museums share the same parking lot. The stop for the shuttlebus that takes visitors to the Battleship Missouri Memorial and the Pacific Aviation Museum is located just outside the Bowfin Museum (vehicle access is restricted on Ford Island). The shuttlebus is frequent and free for museum ticket holders.

Books and Videos about the attack on Pearl Harbor

To learn more about the history of the attack on Pearl Harbor, we’ve selected several prominent books and a few DVDs. Have a look at our selection of books and videos about the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Pacific Air Museum Hosts Monthly “Hangar Talks”

Once a month, the Pacific Air Museum hosts an afternoon “Hangar Talk” featuring guest lecturers. Among them are aviation authors, pilots and World War II veterans whose topics cover the history of aviation as well as how aviation changed history. You can attend for free with your paid admission to the Pacific Air Museum, where you will find diorama exhibits; rare aircraft such as a Japanese Zero, an F4F Wildcat and a B-25 Mitchell Bomber; and combat flight simulators. To find out more about upcoming Hangar Talks, call 808-441-1012

New Name, New Website for Arizona Memorial Museum Association

On June 1, 2010, the Arizona Memorial Museum Association made its own history when it officially changed its name to Pacific Historic Parks to better reflect its expanded support of four National Parks throughout the Pacific: World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument at Pearl Harbor, Kalaupapa National Historical Park on the island of Molokai, American Memorial Park in Saipan and War in the Pacific National Historical Park in Guam.

The nonprofit organization was formed in 1979 in association with the National Park Service to support and fund educational programs, museum exhibits and interpretive programs for the USS Arizona Memorial, which is part of the recently dedicated WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument. The monument also includes sites on Ford Island: the USS Oklahoma Memorial, USS Utah Memorial, and several historic Battleship Row mooring quays and CPO bungalows.

Over the last 31 years, the organization’s role has grown to include support of the three additional historic landmarks. Information about all four parks is available at PHP’s new website.

Battleship USS Missouri Welcomes 4 Millionth Visitor

Just after 11 a.m. Hawaii time on June 4, Rachel Chmiel of Atlanta, Georgia, was welcomed as the 4 millionth visitor aboard the USS Missouri.

Michael Carr, president and chief operating officer of the Battleship Missouri Memorial, showered gifts upon the milestone visitor, including a U.S. flag that Chmiel and her children helped raise over the “Mighty Mo”. Other Oahu attractions and companies joined the Missouri in congratulating the visitor with gifts.

Visiting Hawaii with her husband, Tim Saviello, and their two children, Chmiel and her family have several ties to Hawaii and the military. Chmiel’s father served in the U.S. Navy; Tim Saviello was born on Oahu at Tripler Army Medical Center, where his father worked as a doctor; and his sister-in-law, Erin Saviello, is currently serving in the U.S. Air Force.

First Phase of USS Arizona Memorial Center Open

The first phase of a new USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center is open to visitors. It includes a new bookstore an education and research center, a snack bar, administrative offices and ticketing facilities for all the other World War II-era attractions. These include the USS Arizona Memorial: the USS Bowfin Museum, USS Missouri Memorial and Pacific Aviation Museum-Pearl Harbor.

The new center is designed to improve the visitor experience and comfort. A 23-minute movie about the Pearl Harbor attack will be shown in temporary facilities until the primary facility for the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is complete.

Battleship USS Missouri Again Open to Visitors

After 3 months in Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, the USS Missouri has returned to it’s home and is open for visitors. The museum ship is again open daily (except Christmas Day, Thanksgiving Day and New Years Day) from 9 AM to 5 PM. Detailed information on tours, tickets and how to get there is available HERE.

Mighty Mo Returns

The battleship USS Missouri returned to it’s Ford Island berth after 12 weeks of repairs in dry dock at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. The ship began the repair work, that cost about $18 million, on Oct. 14, 2009. The replacement of hull plates and the installation of a $1 million dehumidifying unit as well as regular maintenance and painting were part of the work done by shipyard workers. The “Mighty Mo” will be prepared to welcome visitors again, and is expected to have a formal grand reopening on January 30, 2010.

Save the Tower

A fundraiser at the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island Thursday to save the aging control tower was held a few weeks ago. Contributions are still welcome. If you would like to support this effort please go to the museum support page.

You might also be interested in Hangar Talk, a blog on many aspects of the Pacific Air Museum and related subjects.

Pacific Aviation Museum Adds Jets

Donations from the USAF Museum and the Hawaii Air National Guard have added five vintage jet aircraft to the Pacific Aviation Museum’s collection.  The additions include an F-4 Phantom, two F-86 Sabres, a MiG-15, and an F-102 Delta Dagger.

The five aircraft, from the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, are now housed in an 85,000 square foot Hangar 79 that is also home to an F-14 Tomcat, an F-15 Eagle, a Bell UH-1 “Huey,” a Bell AH-1 Sea Cobra, and a Stinson L-5.

Pearl Harbor Attack Route

This illustration shows the route the Japanese bombers took on December 7, 1941. Click on the image to see a larger version. National Geographic has a beautiful version on their Pearl Harbor Commemorative Map that shows the same information in wall map form. Here are more historic photos of the Pearl Harbor attack.


Routes of Japanese attack