Visiting Pearl Harbor! Hawaii, Day 7

I went to Hawaii! Hawaii is actually paradise and this trip was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. This is the seventh day of my week-long adventure, so be sure to read about my first few days in Hawaii and check back in soon for the upcoming posts of my adventure!

When I knew that I was flying all the way to Hawaii from the mainland, I knew that I absolutely wanted to visit Pearl Harbor. My family is a bunch of history nerds and I’ve inherited my family’s trait, so of course I wanted to see Pearl Harbor. In fact, I flew to Oahu from Maui specifically because I wanted to visit Pearl Harbor.

My flight that day didn’t leave until 9pm, so I had basically all day to visit Pearl Harbor and adventure around Waikiki.

I took the bus from Waikiki Beach to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. The bus took me right there and it took little over an hour to get there. Bus passes are $2.50 per ride or $5.50 for a day pass, which is what I bought.

Pearl Harbor was absolutely incredible. There is so much history and tragedy.

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It is free to enter the memorial, however, you may not take in any bags larger than a wallet (including camera bags) but you may bring in your DSLR camera, like I did. You must check your bag for $5 per bag at the main office.

The memorial has several free and costly places to visit. There are several buildings of air conditioned exhibits that you can check out with memorabilia from the attack for free, as well as the Tree of Life sculpture and “Crossroads of the Pacific” sign outside the exhibits.

Visits to the sunken USS Arizona and its landing platform are free, but tickets are on a first-come first-served basis. I was able to just walk up and grab a ticket, as were many other people. You can also schedule your visit, if you are traveling in a larger group. The tour has you watch a 30 minute or so documentary for the history of the USS Arizona, as well as a short boat ride to the USS Arizona, its memorial structure above it, and past the renovated USS Missouri. The U.S. Navy takes you on the ride and it only takes an hour or so.

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USS Arizona Memorial

The significance behind the USS Arizona is that, during the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941, the ship was hit by a Japanese torpedo. The ship sunk, along with over 1,700 of its crew members. It was the most tragic of the losses at Pearl Harbor during the attack with the most deaths. The men were entombed inside the USS Arizona and to this day, their bodies remain inside the ship. A few men escaped, and many of them wish to return to their crew on the USS Arizona when they pass.

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USS Arizona memorial and boat dock. Lying underneath this structure is the USS Arizona and its entombed crew
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Boat docks leftover from the attack
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View of the memorial from shore

The grounds are absolutely beautiful at the Pearl Harbor memorial.

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There are also several memorials listing the names of crew members who both lived and died during the Pearl Harbor attacks scattered around the grounds.

There are also many exhibits that you must pay for at Pearl Harbor. It is $15 to visit the USS Bowfin, a submarine attacked and renovated, and $30 to visit the USS Missouri and airfields. There are a few other things you can do as well, and a full “Passport” to visit the entire the Pearl Harbor memorial is between $72-90. I didn’t do this, since I was on a budget, but I would have loved to. I think that prices are so high because they need the money for upkeep and management on the exhibits.

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USS Bowfin submarine
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USS Missouri battleship

After walking around, buying a few gifts and trinkets at the visitor center, and doing all of the free things at the memorial, I sat for several minutes in quiet contemplation. It is a beautiful place to just sit and think about life — or not think about anything and just enjoy the history and location.

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Eventually I had to go home. Funnily enough, one thing I learned about Hawaii is that they have wild chickens all around. They thrive in the cities and town and seem to have free reign of the entire region. I found the rooster, seen below, outside the visitor center at Pearl Harbor. Why did the chicken cross the road?

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I flew out of Honolulu airport and eventually made it back home to Tucson, Arizona. Since my flight was overnight, I watched the sunrise found 30,000 feet in the air. It was beautiful.

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And that’s it for my last day of my Hawaii adventures! I hope that you enjoyed the series and check back in soon for more posts about my travels!

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Thank you for reading! Have you ever visited Pearl Harbor or Oahu? Do you want to?? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!

Xoxo’s

Emmalee

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