Things to do at the Pearl Harbor Memorial
History buffs will find a full day of activities and events to occupy themselves at or near the USS Arizona Memorial.
Park attractions include:
Visitor’s Center – This is the first stop for visitors who wish to explore the Pearl Harbor memorial. The center has two theaters, in which a 23-minute documentary film on the attack is screened for visitors who obtain tickets for the timed program. On most days, visitors will also find one or more Pearl Harbor survivors at the visitor’s center who are willing to share their experiences.
Pearl Harbor Museum – The museum is located in the Visitor’s Center complex and opens every day at 7:30 am. Here, visitors can view hundreds of significant artifacts, historic documents, photographs and personal memorabilia associated with the Pearl Harbor attack. The museum artifacts relay a complete history of the attack, as well as scientific research relating to the early part of World War II.
Bookstore – Also located within the Visitor’s Center complex is a small but well-endowed bookstore run by the Arizona Memorial Museum Association, a non-profit organization that aims to educate visitors about the Pearl Harbor attack. The bookstore contains over 120 book titles, 50 video titles, as well as ample audio tapes and posters relating to the attack, to the USS Arizona and to the war in the Pacific. All proceeds from the bookstore go to funding the interpretive programs that are offered free of charge to visitors.
Exhibits – On the grounds of the Visitor’s Center, guests can experience various exhibits, such as the Remembrance Exhibit, which pays tribute to the men, women and children who lost their lives during the attack. Along the water’s edge, the park showcases Interpretive Exhibit Panels, which project stunning detailed images of Pearl Harbor as it was in 1941 onto the busy port that Pearl Harbor is today.
Timed Interpretive Programs – The free interpretive program includes time for visitor’s to do a self-guided tour of the above attractions, as well as a 23-minute documentary film about the attack and a short talk given by a Pearl Harbor survivor or a National Park Service ranger. Following this, visitors will be asked to line up to board a 100-passenger Navy shuttle boat that leaves for the USS Arizona Memorial, which is a stunning, white 184-foot structure atop the sunken hull of the USS Arizona. Guests will have approximately 15 minutes to explore the memorial, which includes three distinct areas: The Entry Room, which contains flags for the states after which all the sunken ships were named; The Assembly Room, an open area where ceremonies are held; and The Shrine Room, which houses a grand marble plaque with the names of the 1,117 soldiers who lost their lives on the USS Arizona.
Outside of the park grounds, visitors may wish to explore the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park and the USS Missouri, which is housed on nearby Ford Island. Tickets for these activities can be purchased at the USS Bowfin Museum.