There is a reason the USS Arizona Memorial is the number one visitor destination in Hawaii. Millions of people from all over the world come to this majestic setting to see for themselves where World War II began for the United States on December 7, 1941.
Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 3,000 miles from the West Coast of America and 4,000 miles from Japan, Pearl Harbor serves as a central gathering place for the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument, which consists of 9 historic locations in 3 of the westernmost United States - California, Alaska, and Hawaii. Of these, five are located within Pearl Harbor itself: the USS Arizona Memorial, the USS Oklahoma Memorial, the USS Utah Memorial, and parts of Ford Island and Battleship Row.
The USS Arizona Memorial is a must-see destination for all individuals coming to Hawaii, drawing more than 1.8 million visitors each year from all over the world. Visitors are free to explore the grounds of the newly renovated $56 million Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Our new Visitor Center was recently been expanded from the original 3 to 17 acres and is operated by the National Park Service.
The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center receives an average of 4,500 visitors per day and 1.5 million visitors annually. Although we have 1,000 free walk-up tickets available every day, our busy seasons often see those tickets running out by mid-morning. Remember that you can also reserve your tickets for the day and time of your choosing.
Orientation in Aloha Court
Visitors can receive information about planning their day at Pearl Harbor immediately upon entering the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Tickets and information are available in Aloha Court.
Exhibit Galleries: "Road to War" and "Attack"
These two exhibit galleries bring visitors closer to the sights and sounds of the events leading up to the attack on Oahu and its aftermath. These galleries display personal memorabilia, dramatic photographs, artifacts of the battle, and other exhibits. Kiosks are available to hear history from those who witnessed it.
Pearl Harbor Memorial Theater
The Pearl Harbor Memorial Theater is located across from the two exhibit galleries. As part of the 75-minute USS Arizona Memorial program (immediately preceding the boat trip to the Memorial), visitors will enter the theater to view a 23-minute documentary film on the Dec. 7, 1941 attack.
The bookstore is filled with over 120 book titles relating to the attack on Pearl Harbor, as well as the Pacific War effort. There are over 50 videos, posters, audio recordings, and other mementos relating to the the USS Arizona, the attack on Oahu, and War in the Pacific that visitors can purchase as a reminder of their visit and to further educate themselves on the subject.
Interpretive Wayside Exhibits
Throughout the facility are interpretive wayside exhibits that invite visitors to imagine the experience of that tragic day. Through superimposing descriptive images of Pearl Harbor as it was in 1941 across the panorama of the busy port as it appears today, the wayside exhibits allow visitors to connect the past with the present.
This exhibit pays tribute to the men, women, and children, both military and civilian, who were killed as a result of the attack on Dec. 7, 1941. Medal of Honor recipients are noted with their names listed in gold lettering, and a bronze 3D map of Oahu illustrates the various attack targets of that day.
Interpretive programs are incorporated into the visit to the USS Arizona Memorial. Upon entering the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, visitors may obtain a free ticket for their timed USS Arizona Memorial program. While waiting for their tours to begin, visitors may explore the bookstore, exhibit galleries, wayside exhibits, or simply relax and enjoy the setting of Pearl Harbor.
The 75-minute program for the USS Arizona Memorial begins at the theater. It includes a brief introduction, a 23-minute documentary film, a Navy-operated shuttle boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial, and time to experience the Memorial itself.
Within the Memorial itself, visitors will see three distinct areas:
- The Entry Room
- The Assembly Room is an open area where ceremonies are held and visitors may reflect and more closely examine the remains of the USS Arizona below.
- The Shrine Room holds the great marble wall with the names of the 1,177 Sailors and Marines who perished on the USS Arizona. The Shrine Room also honors the USS Arizona Survivors who have chosen to be interred along with their shipmates.
During busy seasons (summer, winter holidays, and spring break), visitors can expect up to a three-hour delay for their program to begin. It is important to arrive early to be sure to obtain a program ticket. Each program has a capacity of 150 people, and programs typically run every 15 minutes, with the first starting at 7:30 a.m. and the last starting at 3:00 p.m.
Note: There are no public restroom facilities on the Memorial.