Pearl Harbor Historic Sites

Home / Articles / Pearl Harbor Historic Sites

Pounding sound, billowing smoke, and explosions in and around Pearl Harbor, Hawai'i, was the scene on December 7, 1941. Ships were damaged, ships were sunk, many lives were changed and many lives were lost. The episode drew the United States into World War II. 

In Pearl Harbor, on the island of O'ahu, the USS Arizona Memorial spans the sunken USS Arizona battleship and embodies both war and peace. It is one of several places to learn the stories about the U.S. involvement in WWII. The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument preserves and interprets the stories of the Pacific War, from the internment of Japanese Americans to the battles in the Aleutians.

Be one of the millions of people from around the world to visit the USS Arizona Memorial, as well as the USS Battleship Missouri (Might Mo) Memorial, the USS Bowfin submarine and the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.

Places to learn about a pivotal moment in U.S. history: the attack on Pearl Harbor and entry of the U.S. in WWII

No trip to the island of O'ahu is complete without a visit to the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites. To truly understand the vital role of Pearl Harbor in World War II, spend a day among all of the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites. Stand in the shadow of the hulking Battleship Missouri, crouch through the narrow passages of the USS Bowfin submarine; or stroll among the WWII-era fighter planes at the top-ranked Pacific Aviation Museum and look at the remains of the USS Arizona.

The USS Arizona Memorial is the most visited site on O'ahu however, visitor access to the USS Arizona Memorial has been suspended for several months due to movement of the loading dock and corresponding movement of the loading ramp to the memorial, which poses a safety concern for our visitors. In lieu of USS Arizona Memorial programs, visitors will be taken on a 30-minute narrated harbor tour of Battleship Row and the area around the USS Arizona Memorial. Tickets are still required. Visitors can get walk-in tickets at the Visitor Center on a first come, first served basis, or you can make an online reservation for one of the tours. Be sure to plan ahead! With a limited number of tickets available each day, reservations do fill quickly. 

While the repair process continues on the USS Arizona Memorial through March 2019, you can still visit the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, two free museums, shore side exhibits, snack shop and bookstore. NPS park partners at the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park and the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum remain open also. Check the park's Facebook page for updates on the repair.

Seven uniformed military men stand on a cement circle with the USS Arizona Memorial in background.

Ceremonial Lawn at Pearl Harbor Visitor Center (NPS, FLICKR)

You can be part of the annual December 7th National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day Commemoration. Survivors, veterans and visitors from around the world gather to honor and remember the 2,403 service members and civilians who were killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Additionally, 1,178 people were injured in the attack, two U.S. Navy battleships (the USS Arizona and the USS Utah) were sunk and 188 aircraft were destroyed.

Remembrance events are held at World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument and culminate in a commemoration ceremony on Dec. 7. Can't make it to Hawai'i? See photos of past events on the park's Flickr page. Watch the park's introductory video or videos of past commemoration events on their YouTube page. Keep up to date with the latest news on the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument's Facebook page.

Explore Related Trips

Bring Home a Story