Pearl Harbor, and more specifically the USS Arizona, is not so much an attraction in Honolulu, but rather a memorial.
It was on the morning of December 7th, 1941, when Japanese aircraft made a surprise bomb attack on the US ships anchored in Honolulu’s Pearl Harbor. During the deadly attack, many lives were lost, and many ships were destroyed. It was after this attack, when the US declared war on Japan and entered into World War II.
When you arrive at Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial, you get a ticket with a time on it. When it’s your turn, you meet your group and first watch a 30 minute film which explains the history of what happened at Pearl Harbor – I thought the video was concise and provided good insight into the memorial.
After the film, you board a ferry for a short 5 minute ferry ride to the USS Arizona Memorial, which is a white platform that floats above the sunken ship. You spend about 15 minutes on the platform, respecting the location and the events that happened right there years ago.
Also, on the Pearl Harbor compound you can visit the USS Bowfin, for a chance to tour a WWII submarine.
Open hours: Open daily from 7:00 am – 4:30 pm (programs to USS Arizona memorial are from 8 am – 3 pm)
Entrance fee: Free, but if you enter the USS Bowfin it’s $12 per person
Local tip: You can reserve a ticket online, and then just show up an hour before your time to get your ticket and confirm your spot. Otherwise, if you can’t get an online reservation, just walk in, and you’ll be able to get a ticket, which will usually be for a couple of hours from the time you get it. So the last time I went, I got my tickets at about 10 am, and then went to eat a marvelous Hawaiian lunch at Alicia’s Market, and then came back just in time for my 12:45 pm tickets. Another thing you can do is walk over to the theater, and wait there, and sometimes you can get in early because of the no-shows.