Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

Visiting Pearl Harbor On Your Own: What To See & Do

an island in the middle of a body of water

When visiting Pearl Harbor on your own, there are some places you simply cannot miss — so keep reading for a comprehensive look at what you should see. A solo trip to this somber site can prove even more enriching than if you go with a group. The following tips for visiting Pearl Harbor on your own will allow you to reflect on the tragedy that took place on December 7, 1941, and also enjoy the Hawaiian scenery.

Visiting Pearl Harbor On Your Own: What To See & Do

Pearl Harbor Warbirds

Experience history from the seat of an authentic World War II airplane when visiting Pearl Harbor on your own. Pearl Harbor Warbirds offers the best Hawaii flight adventure tours available. Be immersed in the details of the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor and soar above the important sites that played a part in the “Day of Infamy.” Relive history as you retrace the steps of the Army and Navy airmen in the days following the bombing. Fly on some of the same routes the Japanese attackers used into the airfields at Wheeler, Kāne‘ohe and Bellows. There are many air tours in Hawaii, but only one warbird airplane flight. Located in Honolulu, Hawaii, Pearl Harbor Warbirds provides a personal historical experience, making it one of the best Oahu attractions to see if you’re traveling solo.

USS Arizona Memorial

Operated by National Parks Service, the USS Arizona Memorial is another must-see if you’re visiting Pearl Harbor on your own. Built for and by the United States Navy, the USS Arizona Battleship (BB-39) was built in the mid-1910s. During the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, the USS Arizona Battleship was bombed.

The USS Arizona Battleship exploded and sank, killing 1,177 officers and crewmen. Many of the other ships involved in the attack proved salvageable, but not the USS Arizona. While the Navy did remove parts of the ship for reuse, the wreck of the USS Arizona Battleship still lies at the bottom of Pearl Harbor.

The USS Arizona Memorial, dedicated on May 30, 1962 to those who died during the attack, straddles the ship’s hull.

Battleship Missouri Memorial

Weighing over 58,000 tons and measuring just under 900 feet from bow to stern, the USS Missouri is a massive, awe-inspiring ship. A true force to be reckoned with in her prime, the now-peaceful giant stands silent guard over Pearl Harbor.

Known as the “Mighty Mo,” it’s the last American battleship ever built and also the last to be decommissioned. The surrender of the Japanese on the deck of the Missouri brought WWII to an end. It remains one of the most impressive highlights in Mighty Mo’s 50-year career, spanning three wars, and three generations of American fighting men and women.

Climb aboard the Missouri and follow in the footsteps of General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers. Stride across the deck and get a close-up view of the Missouri’s massive, 16-inch, 50-caliber guns. Then, head down to an inspection of the crew’s quarters and mess. Finally, stand on the bridge of the Missouri and check out the view from the Captain’s Chair!

Pearl Harbor Pass

If you plan to visit quite a few of the attractions at Pearl Harbor, consider purchasing a Pearl Harbor Pass. It includes a visit to the USS Arizona, as well as admission to the USS Bowfin submarine, the USS Missouri battleship, and the Pacific Aviation Museum. The pass costs $89 for adults, and it includes shuttle transport between Waikiki and Pearl Harbor. It’s valid for 30 days, but you could likely see everything in one day. Try to allow for at least six hours.

General Tips

  • If you visit the USS Arizona Memorial, it’s a place to pay your respects and quietly reflect on the events that occurred on December 7, 1941. Don’t arrive in a swimsuit and, by all means, do not pull out a selfie stick. This is considered a cemetery. If you bring a purse or backpack, you’ll also need to pay for a locker while you take the tour.
  • You can also try out a guided tour, if you prefer.

What other tips for visiting Pearl Harbor on your own would you add? Let us know, and be sure to book your Pearl Harbor Warbirds tour.