9 Oct

Day 4 – Pearl Harbor

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Have a History Lesson at Pearl Harbor Museums and the Arizona Memorial

About Today’s Plan

Are you tired from all the swimming/hiking/walking/kayaking you’re doing in Hawaii? Today’s plan is to relax a little. The majority of today will be spent at the Pearl Harbor National Park. The Arizona Memorial is the main attraction, but you can stay to walk inside the USS Missouri Battleship, to learn about fighter planes at the Pacific Aviation Museum, or to see a submarine at the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park. We will also visit the nearby swap-meet at Aloha Stadium, which is a great place to do all your souvenir shopping!

Preparation

Get tickets online. The main thing you need is to buy tickets for the attractions at Pearl Harbor. The Arizona Memorial viewing is done by time slots. Get your tickets online or you’ll be on a first-come, first-served basis, which may mean a lot of waiting.

No Bags Allowed! No handbags, backpacks, purses, or any other concealed bags are allowed in the Pearl Harbor National Park attractions, for security reasons. Leave your bags in your car trunk or use the $3 storage lockers at the visitor center.

The swap meet is open Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. To visit the nearby Aloha Stadium Swap-Meet and Marketplace, schedule this day for a Wednesday, Saturday, or Sunday (but it’s not open when there is a football game going on… check schedule). There is also a post office station at the marketplace, so bring your shipping addresses if you want to ship your souvenirs from Hawaii, rather than carrying them back home.

The Pearl Harbor National Park (link)

To see anything at Pearl Harbor, you must first go to the Visitor’s Center. From there, you can ride a shuttle or a boat to the attractions. Lockers and tickets are also available here.

The Arizona Memorial

Arizona Memorial
• 7am – 5pm, daily
• online reservations ($1.50 service fee)
• free tickets (walk-in)
• visits are by time-slots

The Arizona memorial is the most popular attraction in Hawaii. It was built to commemorate the 1,177 men that died on the USS Arizona battleship. The Japanese army bombed the ship, the ship exploded, and it sank underwater (source). The memorial itself was built on top of the sunken USS Arizona, which you can see by looking over the rails.

Photo by tweber1The Arizona Memorial is the most popular attraction in Hawaii, with over 4,000 visitors a day.

The whole attraction is 75-minutes long. You will start by watching a 25-minute documentary, then you will board a boat to the memorial. You can reserve times by purchasing tickets online ($1.50 convenience fee) or you can get walk-in tickets (free), but it is first-come, first-served, with no time guarantee. Get them online so you won’t have uncertainty. And the fee is only $1.50!

Battleship Missouri Memorial

Battleship Missouri Memorial

•8am – 4/5pm, daily
• adult = $22, child = $11
online tickets
• audio tour included
• tour guides available
• snack bar inside ship
• take shuttle from visitor center

We call this ship “Mighty Mo.” Buying a ticket to this means spending at least an hour here. There are multiple exhibits and a lot to explore, because this is a really, really big ship with really, really big guns. The ship is air-conditioned inside and there is also a snack bar.

Photo by Daniel RamirezThose are civilians in the bottom-right of this photo. Did I mention that the USS Missouri is really big?

Pacific Aviation Museum

Pacific Aviation Museum
• 9am – 5pm, daily
• must take shuttle from visitor center
• online tickets available
• adult = $15+, child = $8+
• combat flight simulator = $10 (or use this free coupon)
• has a cafe for breakfast and lunch

If you are a fan of planes, you can check out the aviation museum at Pearl Harbor. It’s basically one big lot of helicopters and fighter planes. There’s also a combat flight simulator for kids for $10 (get it for free with this coupon).

Photo by Daniel RamirezThe Pacific Aviation Museum is a great place for aircraft enthusiasts.

USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park

USS Bowfin Museum
• 7am – 5pm, daily
• Adult = $10, Child = $4
• infants not allowed in the submarine
• audio guide included
• not fun if you’re claustrophobic

For those of you want to explore submarine life, you can visit the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park. The main attraction is the submarine. Even though this submarine was around during World War II, it’s in great condition and the gears and cylinders are all so shiny that a rapper might be tempted to make a music video in here. Kids will maneuver around just fine, but adults might be shocked at how uncomfortably small the doors are :0.

Photo by Daniel RamirezAnd you thought your apartment was small?

Aloha Stadium Swap-Meet & Marketplace

Aloha Stadium Swap-Meet & Marketplace
• 99-500 Salt Lake Blvd.
• Marketplace: Wed, Sat, Sun: 8am – 3pm
• Swap-Meet: Wed, Sat: 8am – 3pm, Sun: 6:30am – 3pm
• closed on Saturday if there is a football game
• admission = $1
• free parking
• shuttle available from Pearl Harbor
• post office station in section 1A

Aloha Stadium is our venue for football games, concerts, and other big events. 3 days a week (Wed, Sat, Sun), the stadium turns into one, big marketplace. This is the best place to shop for your souvenirs. Not only will you be able to see a large variety of goods in one area, but the prices are incredibly cheap compared to the international marketplace. And if you don’t like the prices you see, you can just keep walking and find other vendors selling the same item for less.

There is a post office station available in section 1A, so you can send your souvenirs immediately. $5 handling fee. The marketplace stretches around the entire stadium, so this is a very long walk if you want to see everything. There’s a lot of the same stuff here (like T-Shirts that say “Hawaii”), but you’ll also find custom, hand-crafted goods as well.

Are you a football fan? If you’re a football fan and you have some friends in Hawaii, go to a University of Hawaii football game at Aloha Stadium during the college football season. If you do go, be sure to plan a tailgating party! This is one the most fun things for a family or group of people to do.

Aloha Stadium is very close. The stadium is about 3 blocks from Pearl Harbor. You can easily walk there. Alternatively, you can use the FREE, blue shuttle that goes from Pearl Harbor to Aloha Stadium. The shuttle is available only on days that the marketplace is open.

Photo by Michael OcampoFor the price of 1 t-shirt at a store, you can buy 8 at the swap-meet. That’s cheap.

Day 5: See the Fishes at Hanauma Bay

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ron has been living in Hawaii since the age of 5. Though it's difficult to travel when living in the center of the Pacific Ocean, Ron has still traveled to South Korea, China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, as well as the mainland US (Las Vegas, Hollywood, New York). His favorite place in the world is in the seat of an airplane, just before takeoff.

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