Pearl Harbor (part 1): Visitors Center

Oahu – Day 2 – Part 1

Pearl Harbor is not just any military base in the United States but a place to remember the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. There are several historical sites, memorials,  and museums available for visitors.

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt

A trip to Pearl Harbor starts at the Pearl Harbor Visitors Center, where you get tickets for everything you would like to visit. There is plenty of parking in several parking lots. But keep in mind, that when visiting that you are not allowed to bring any bags, purses or backpacks. They have lockers available for you to rent, or just don’t bring anything. I left my backpack in the car and just brought a small wristlet with my money etc.


There is plenty to do at the Visitors Center. There are a couple galleries that revisit the attack of Pearl Harbor. You are also welcome to talk to the veterans and those who witnessed the attack. If you left anything in your car or your bag (the one that’s checked in) you can always go to the bookstore to pick it up or of course get your souvenirs here. Anything you get at the book store, will help fund the Pacific Historic Parks (which covers the Pearl Harbor Memorial and other Pacific National Monuments).

Wayside Exhibits throughout the Visitors Center walk you through the events of the attack on December 7, 1941 as well as the history of Pearl Harbor. And a specific exhibit to note is the Remembrance Circle which pays tribute to the all of the lives lost as a result of the attack. Step in the circle and take in the names listed on the plaques.

Most of the attractions at Pearl Harbor are not at the Visitors Center and you’ll you have to either take a shuttle bus or a ferry out.But the USS Bowfin Submarine is at the Visitors Center.


A display of torpedoes and missiles in front of the USS Bowfin Submarine.


Get your tickets here. Ticket pricing for Battleship Missouri, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, USS Bowfin Submarine and Museum, and Arizona Narrated Tour.

There is plenty to do and see at the Visitors Center but that is just the starting point for everything at Pearl Harbor. Give a little more time and really take in the sites and history. We ended up getting our free tickets to the USS Arizona Memorial and going onto the Battleship Missouri (USS Missouri). With our free tickets (which have a designated time on the tickets) we headed to the meet up point for the USS Arizona.


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