The USS Arizona Memorial floats above the watery site where the eponymous battleship was bombed and sunk, taking 1,177 lives with it, in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The solemn, all-white memorial features a marble wall of names of those who served onboard and spans the Arizona’s width, with openings to look down on the sunken hull.
The USS Arizona Memorial is free and open to the public. For civilians, the only way to access the memorial is via Park Service shuttle boats that run according to timed tickets. Visit several Pearl Harbor attractions on a guided tour that includes boat tickets and round-trip transportation between Honolulu and Waikiki. Because USS Arizona tickets are limited each day and often involve long waits to procure, booking a tour in advance is a convenient way to ensure you’ll see the memorial. Note that boat tours not run by the Park Service are not allowed to disembark at the USS Arizona Memorial and sometimes skip it; boat tours with Park Service tickets allow you to disembark and take the Park Service’s tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Park Service’s memorial tour includes the viewing of a 23-minute documentary, round-trip boat ride, and time at the memorial. Plan to spend about 90 minutes there.
- Check the weather before you go. Because the memorial must be accessed by boat, high winds and seas may be cause for cancellation.
- There are no restrooms at the memorial, but facilities can be found at the visitor center.
- The USS Arizona Memorial, visitor center, and related facilities are accessible to wheelchair users.
- Because the timed tickets are limited to the number of seats on the boat, crowding is not an issue.
How to Get There
The memorial is located within the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, in Pearl Harbor on Oahu. To reach the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center from Waikiki and downtown Honolulu, take Nimitz Highway to H-1 West and take exit 15-A to HI-99, then turn left at the fourth traffic light.
When to Get There
The USS Arizona Memorial is open daily year-round except Thanksgiving, December 25, and January 1. If you want to visit spontaneously, the site gives away 1,300 tickets each day starting at 7am—arrive early, as they’re given on a first-come, first-served basis. Many visitors opt to start their Pearl Harbor experience with the USS Arizona, making morning tickets the hardest to come by. Other challenging times to get tickets are the weekends on either side of the anniversary of Pearl Harbor (December 7), as well as over busy summer and winter school holidays.
Other Pearl Harbor Attractions
There are four other main sites at Pearl Harbor besides the USS Arizona Memorial: the land-based USS Oklahoma Memorial run by the National Park Service; the floating Battleship Missouri Memorial, aboard which the WWII peace treaty was signed; the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park, where visitors can board and see the interior of the sub that avenged the attacks by sinking enemy ships; and the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, home to huge hangars of period aircraft.