One of the top destinations in the world is Waikiki, Hawaii. When you think of Waikiki, you probably imagine the pristine beaches, tropical weather, and plenty of Waikiki beach activities to dive into. However, we can never forget about the Pearl Harbor Memorial. If you are looking to experience the time of World War II and revisit its legacy, then let’s board this ship and explore the things you can do at and around the Pearl Harbor Memorial.
The Pearl Harbor Memorial attracts about 1.7 million people from all over the world each year and continues to do so despite pandemic restrictions. This great historical attraction is only eight minutes away from Best Western’s The Plaza Hotel — convenient right? It's the closest hotel to Honolulu International Airport and a perfect place to stay. Now that we got your accommodations covered, let’s go and take a trip around Pearl Harbor.
1. USS Arizona Memorial
The USS Arizona Memorial is the perfect place to start your Pearl Harbor Memorial tour. As one of the most interesting things to do in Waikiki, the memorial starts with the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. They offer a deluxe tour which features “The Road to War” and “Attack” galleries to visit, providing a narration that leads to the start of World War II. One special feature from this tour is the Pearl Harbor Virtual Reality Center, where you can have a totally exhilarating virtual experience. See the Air Raids as if you were physically there with this interesting tour. Finally, get a tour of the USS Arizona deck and reimagine the view of the battleship.
If you are interested in this attraction, you can purchase tickets online or in person the day before your visit. The USS Arizona Memorial is open from 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM. The deluxe tour is priced at $17.98.
2. Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum
Do you love flying in planes around the world? The Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum is perfect for you! The museum contains the first aviation fleet, which comprised over 50 different aircrafts and the most iconic control tower of WWII. At the aviation museum, you get to see different aircrafts that dropped bombs during WWII, view the machineries that saved thousands of lives during the war, and relive the historical significance of innovating aviation!
After experiencing the flight, you can relax and rest at Laniākea Cafe, which is a WWII themed cafe that serves sandwiches, salads, cold beer, wine, and gourmet burgers.
The museum is located on Ford Island, which is just a shuttle bus away from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, and it’s open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
3. Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum
Waikiki beach activities are definitely a must, but this other attraction is also perfect for the beach lovers. The Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum — better known for its attraction the USS Bowfin — is a famous go-to-place in the Pearl Harbor Memorial guide. Moreover, it is both a submarine museum and a living memorial for WWII. It is a remarkable place to experience the first U.S. Navy submarine force in history.
We highly recommend you visit these top spots in the museum:
- USS Bowfin: A submarine museum and WWIImemorial
- McCann Rescue Chamber: A real rescue chamber that brought survivors to the surface
- The Waterfront Memorial: A memorial for over 3,500 crewmen and officers lost during WWII
- Conning Tower: A confined space in the submarine
- Japanese Kaiten: The only remaining manually-operated torpedoes in the world
- Gift shops and Lanai Food Court: Where you can buy souvenirs after the tour and enjoy good food after the emotional tour
Get this tour for only $21.99 for adults and $12.99 for children between ages four to 12. It is open daily from 7:00 AM until 5:00 PM.
4. The Battleship Missouri Memorial
To wrap up this historical Pearl Harbor Memorial tour, you must visit the last battleship located near Ford Island. The USS Missouri is the battleship where the Japanese surrendered and ushered in the end of WWII. Get the full experience viewing this completely restored WWII battleship. The tour includes going inside the engine rooms, looking at gun turrets — which were fired during WWII — and experiencing the ending of a long war.
There is no need to feel down after the end of this tour as you can eat at Slider’s Grill or get refreshed with Wai Momi Shaved Ice. You can get tickets for this tour for only $29.99 and the tour is open daily from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
5. Aloha Stadium Swap Meet
The Aloha Stadium Swap Meet opened in 1979 and is considered a premier outdoor market. It’s located just three minutes away from Pearl Harbor Memorial. As always, it is a custom to bring back something from your travels. Visit this one of a kind market, which has a variety of souvenirs crafted by Hawaiin locals, ethnic and local food, fine jewelry, handcrafted products and vintage antiques. You will surely find something that suits your personality.
Whether you are in love with Waikiki for its lovely environment and bustling summer experience, or taking a detour from your trip, it’s always good to reminisce about the past and revisit our history. This guide of activities near the Pearl Harbor Memorial is surely going to be one that resonates with you. If you are looking to drop by and enjoy Waikiki beach activities or dive deeper to experience Pearl Harbor, we’ve got the perfect accommodation just for you.
Best Western’s Plaza Hotel provides quality service, convenience and an overall satisfactory experience for your stay here in Oahu Island. What are you waiting for? Book an accommodation with us before you experience the emotional history of Pearl Harbor.