Pearl Harbor has a significant place in U.S. history.

On December 7, 1941 Japanese war planes attacked Oahu. Included in the attacks were Kaneohe Naval Air Station, Pearl Harbor including Ford Island, Wheeler field, Hickam Field and Barber's Point.

The casualty list includes 2,335 servicemen and 68 civilians killed, with 1,178 wounded. Included are 1,104 men aboard the Battleship USS Arizona killed after a 1,760-pound air bomb penetrated into the forward magazine causing catastrophic explosions.

This link has a lot of information about the attack.

In more recent years, there have been four museums that have opened at Pearl Harbor.

There is one visitors center for the four museums, World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument

USS Arizona Memorial:

USS Arizona Memorial tour is free. There are many artifacts inside and outside of the museum. The tour includes a 23 minute film and a ferry to and from the USS Arizona Memorial off Ford Island and the time on the memorial. Tickets are given out daily for the tours. There are approximately 2,000 tickets available every day for walk-ups.

For a park map, on the left side of the page (Park Tools), click on: View Park Map

It shows the layout of the Visitors Center/park.

These locations on the map do not require a ticket. They are open to the public. You can opt to see them for free or pay $7.50 for the narrated headhones (Audio tour): Exhibit Gallery: Attack, Axhibit Gallery: Road to War, USS Arizona bell & anchor, Contemplation Circle, Remembrance Circle and the Waterfront Submarine Memorial.

As this is a self tour, with or without the narrated headphones, you can visit these locations before and/or after the actual USS Arizona Memorial tour.

Note: New advanced reservation policy (as of November 12, 2014):

Advanced reservations can be made for dates beyond January 11, 2015 two months in advance starting November 12, 2014. 25 of the 150 tickets can be reserved in advance for tours at 8am, 9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm and 2pm. 75 of the 150 tickets can be reserved in advance for the 2:30pm and 2:45pm tour. Online advanced reservations will be available at 7:00am HST (Hawaii Standard Time).

In addition, advanced reservations can be made one day in advance for 75 tickets for each of these tours: 8am, 9am, 10am, 11am, 12n, 1pm and 2p. Online advanced reservations will be avaialble at 7:00am HST the one day in advance.

Note (important):  Many of the tours may show 0 (zero) available for some tours or "Sold Out" if the quantity of advanced reservations tickets have been reserved for the entire day. This is only for the quantity of tickets available for advanced reservations. There will still be many tickets available for walk-ups just as there always has been. Reservations for USS Arizona Memorial Historic Tour Reservations for all three available tours through the reservation system.These include:

USS Arizona Memorial Historic Tour

USS Arizona Memorial Narrated (headphones) Tour (same as USS Arizona Memorial Historic Tour except with the narration)

Passport to Pearl Harbor: includes USS Arizona Memorial Narrated Tour, USS Bowfin Tour, USS Missouri Tour and Pacific Aviation Museum

In addition, these Pearl Harbor Museums are avaialble separately:

USS Missouri:

USS  Missouri is significant as it is the ship on which the Japanese surrender took place on September 2, 1945:

USS Bowfin:

USS Bowfin (submarine) was launched December 7, 1942, one year after the attack on Oahu.

Outside of the USS Missouri/USS Bowfin ticket office is a submarine memorial area, "Waterfront Memorial". This area has plaques for each of the 52 submarines lost in WWII and the 3,500 officers and crew lost. The submarine memorial is free.

Pacific Aviation Museum:

Pacific Aviation Museum is on Ford Island.


The four Pearl Harbor museums share the same visitors center.

USS Arizona Memorial tour starts at the visitors center.

USS Bowfin is also right at the visitors center.

Tickets for USS Missouri and Pacific Aviation Museum are purchased  at the visitors center. A shuttle will take visitors to Ford Island.

There is a USS Oklahoma Memorial stop on Ford Island that can be added for about $5.

The visitors center has several parking lots and some street parking.

From Waikiki, take bus #20 or #42 with no transfer required.

There are shuttles from Waikiki to the visitors center and return to Waikiki. Some include nearby Aloha Stadium Swap Meet.

There are commercial tours that include USS Arizona Memorial and either a circle island tour or a tour of Honolulu.

There are tours that include other military bases:

Stars and Stripes tour:

Home of the Brave tour:

Other military museums open to the public:

Schofield Barracks - Tropic Lightning Museum (free). While there, look for a small magazine/guide with a map and narration for other historic buildings.

Tropic Lightning Museum

Army Museum at Ft. DeRussy (free)  

U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii

National Cemetery of the Pacific (free) - Technically not a museum, but at the monument there are murals and a historic chapel.

Punchbowl - National Cemetery of the Pacific