While it's possible to visit all four of the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites in a span of roughly 8 hours, the best way to experience Pearl Harbor - and not miss a thing - is to make a day of it. There's an incredible amount to see and do and lots of family-friendly places to grab a bite to eat. Here are a few things to keep in mind while planning your trip.
A National Historic Landmark, Pearl Harbor is also an active military base. For security reasons, bags are not permitted at any of the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites. For a $3 fee, visitors may store backpacks, purses, diaper bags, shopping bags, and the like at the baggage storage area at USS Bowfin Park.
Tickets for all four attractions are available at the Visitor Center ticketing counters. Tickets for USS Missouri and Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor may be purchased in advance online.
Admission to Arizona Memorial is free. The entire program lasts an hour and 15 minutes and includes a 23-minute documentary on the history of Pearl Harbor and a short boat ride to and from the memorial.
Time-stamped tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so it's best to arrive early. Pearl Harbor is the number one visitor destination on Oahu, so be prepared for a wait, as much as two hours or more on a busy day. While waiting for your tour to begin, you'll have plenty of time to take in the other historic sites.
USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park is conveniently located near the Visitor Center ticketing counters. Climb aboard USS Bowfin for a close quarters look at life aboard a WWII-era submarine, and stroll among the many fascinating indoor and outdoor exhibits in the Pacific Submarine Museum. Allow about an hour to get the most out of your visit.
Battleship Missouri Memorial and Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor are both located on Ford Island and are only accessible to the general public via the shuttle buses which depart from the Visitor Center every 15 minutes. The last shuttle back to the Visitor Center leaves at 5:00 p.m. from Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.