Each year, millions of people from all over the world come to Pearl Harbor to see for themselves where World War II began for the United States on December 7, 1941. The USS Arizona Memorial is the number one visitor destination in Hawaii, and is one of the most visited places in the United States for history buffs.
If you’re planning to visit Pearl Harbor, there are a few experiences and places to see on your visit. Read our post on visiting Pearl Harbor to learn more.
Pearl Harbor Warbirds
The tours offered by Pearl Harbor Warbirds are the perfect experience if you’re a history buff.
Pearl Harbor Warbirds owns and operates an authentic World War II aircraft and takes you up in the sky above Pearl Harbor and O‘ahu for the most unique and historical experience on the Island.
If you don’t want to be in a tour group being guided around Pearl Harbor, Pearl Harbor Warbirds offers a one-on-one experience that’s designed to take you back in history. The experience begins as a member of the Aviation Detachment – on December 10th, 1941 three days after the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor. History comes alive once you receive a simulated Classified Intelligence Brief, similar to what you may have experienced in 1941, to assist you in a Route-Reconnaissance and Battle Damage Assessment mission. Then you’ll execute a Battle Damage Reconnaissance flight aboard the venerable U.S. Navy (AT-6) that many WWII Aviation Cadets experienced early in their training. See Pearl Harbor and O‘ahu from the air as the Army and Navy airmen saw it and fly the same routes the Japanese attackers used. The sights, sounds and smells of the military aircraft with its radial engine provide the experience of a lifetime.
There are two tours that Pearl Harbor Warbirds offers. The Admiral’s Warbird Adventure is our most popular tour, but you may also enjoy a flight in our vintage warbird airplane with our Ensign’s Warbird Experience.
If you have any questions, contact Pearl Harbor Warbirds at 1-844-774-5304.
As the only Official Royal Palace in the United States, ‘Iolani Palace is a must visit historical site to include on your list of things to do in Oahu. The Palace is a National Historic Landmark and was the home of the original Hawaiian monarchs before Liliuʻokalani was deposed. One fun fact about the Palace: it had electric lights before the U.S. White House.
To get the most out of your tour, learn about the rocky relations between the U.S. and the Hawaiian Kingdom before you go. Learn more about the tour and the Palace at http://www.iolanipalace.com/
Ulupo Heiau State Historic Site
With no entrance fee, visiting the Ulupo Heiau State Historic Site is well worth the visit. Discreetly located behind a YMCA, the Ulupo Heiau is the second-largest temple on Oahu. Estimated to be more than 400 years old, this sacred site was built by menehune (a legendary race of little people in the Islands) and has an altar, oracle tower and wooden images.
Queen Emma’s Summer Palace
Home to some beautiful Hawaiian weddings today, Queen Emma’s Summer Palace or Hānaiakamalama (The Southern Cross), served as a summer retreat for Queen Emma of Hawai‘i from 1857 to 1885, as well as for her husband King Kamehameha IV, and their son, Prince Albert Edward. It is a now a historic landmark, museum, and tourist site preserved by the Daughters of Hawai‘i.
A place for history buffs looking for places off the beaten path, He‘eia Fishpond was used during the 14th through 19th centuries for the fattening and storing of fish for food and also as a source for kapu (forbidden) fish. A fish was kapu to the Hawaiians during its spawning season to allow a variety of fish to reproduce. Although the chief or commoners were unable to catch fish in the sea at specific time spans, they were available in the fishponds because fishponds were considered a part of the land.
Learn more about the fishpond and the plans to restore it at http://paepaeoheeia.org/
Nu’uanu Pali Lookout
One of the most famous battles in Oahu took place on the cliffs of Nu’uanu. King Kamehameha battled for control of the island and forced the battle uphill towards the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout. Depicted often in Hawaiian artwork, more than 400 warriors fell to their deaths off the 1,000-foot Nu’uanu cliffs. The Battle at Nu’uanu was the last fight to take place in Ancient Hawaii.
When visiting the Nu’uanu Pali Lookout today, you can imagine the decision of thousands of warriors shedding blood before infamously leaping off the edge toward certain death below.
Learn more at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nu’uanu_Pali
Kukaoo Heiau is an ancient agricultural temple believed built hundreds of years ago by the valley’s earliest Hawaiian residents. Located in the backyard of one of Oahu’s most prominent homes, Kukaoo Heiau in urban Honolulu’s Manoa Valley was restored in 1933 and is considered an Oahu historic site.
Learn more by calling 808-988-1287 or visiting www.manoaheritagecenter.org)
Known as “The Westminster Abbey of The Pacific,” the Kawaiaha’o Church was dedicated on July 21, 1842 by 5,000 worshippers, led by Kamehameha III, as the “Great Stone Church.”
A beautiful sight to see from the outside or during a service, the Kawaiaha’o Church is located at 957 Punchbowl Street in Honolulu. Learn about the services at http://www.kawaiahao.org/.
Puu o Mahuka Heiau
Perched on the Pupukea cliffs above Waimea Valley and Bay, Puu o Mahuka Heiau is O‘ahu’s largest heiau and overlooks O‘ahu’s North Shore.
Believed to be more than 400 year sold, the heiau is comprised of three adjoining walled enclosures covering nearly two acres. The temple was once an important element of the social, political and religious systems of the valley’s earliest Hawaiian residents. Down below, Waimea Valley itself claims 78 archaeologically significant sites, including religious temples, fishing shrines, fishponds and house sites.
Kukaniloko Birthstone State Monument
Kukaniloko Birthstone State Monument is located on a five-acre field in the central Oahu’s upland Wahiawa town, considered the piko (Hawaiian for “belly button”) of the island. The roughly 180 lava-rock stones of the monument, once used as a royal birthsite, are believed to possess the power to ease the labor pains of childbirth. It is also estimated to be more than 900 years-old.
Learn more at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kukaniloko_Birth_Site
Pearl Harbor Warbirds offers the best Hawai‘i 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 Hawai‘i, but only one warbird airplane flight. Located in Honolulu, Hawai‘i Pearl Harbor Warbirds provides a personal historical experience making it one of the best O‘ahu attractions.
Fly Pearl Harbor like it was on December 10th, 1941. Learn more about our Admiral’s Warbird Adventure.