The USS Arizona Memorial
Standing proud and solemn above the waters of Pearl Harbor rests the USS Arizona Memorial, a dedication to the servicemen who lost their lives during a surprise attack during World War II in 1941. Voted the top 5th landmark in the U.S. by TripAdvisor, this memorial remains one of the most visited places in all of Hawaii. Located across the harbor from the luxury apartments for rent in Ewa Beach, this is a must-see location for residents of the island and visitors alike.
If you're planning a trip to the memorial, then there are a few tips to know that can enhance your visit. Here is some useful information to know before you go.
When to Visit
The Visitor Center at the memorial open every day at 7 a.m. sharp. Programs begin at 7:30, running in fifteen minute intervals, with the last program starting at 3 p.m. Without purchasing tickets in advance, the thirty-minute window in-between opening and the start of the program schedule is the best time to go.
You can, of course, reserve tickets online ahead of time. If you're planning ahead, then it is highly recommended to reserve a spot for the late-morning or mid-afternoon programs to avoid larger crowds. Also, summer months and winter holidays are the busiest times of the year.
What to Do
The program, which is an escorted movie viewing, is the main draw at the memorial. Each lasts roughly an hour and fifteen minutes as visitors are taken into the Pearl Harbor Memorial Theater for a brief introduction followed by a an award-wining documentary on the USS Arizona and the Pearl Harbor attack. After watching the film, visitors board a Navy shuttle boat that transports them to the memorial.
From there, you can explore the memorial while listening to audio recordings about its features. Visitors are then taken back to the Visitor Center where more audio explains the exhibits and galleries within. It's a fascinating and highly informative tour, but seeing the memorial is a surreal experience.
Afterward, there are plenty of other memorials and monuments to visit in the harbor area. The USS Bowfin Submarine Museum and Park is a popular destination, but nearly every memorial has a four out five star rating on traveling websites. With a Passport to Pearl Harbor or Memorial Deluxe tour package, you can visit multiple sites within the same day.
Finally, you might want to grab a bite to eat before or after your tour. There's a snack shop and fast food stand in the Visitor Center, as well as several restaurants to choose from nearby. Schooner's is a popular choice since it sits right on the water. They offer plenty of tropical cocktails and upscale Hawaiian-themed cuisine from Furikake Ahi to Chipotle Mango Ribs.
Making the Most of the Tour
The first part of your tour is the 23-minute documentary. It contains actual footage of the Pearl Harbor attack along with testimonies from survivors. While on the Navy shuttle boat, remain seated until U.S. Navy personnel tell you exit. Now you're at the memorial itself, and knowing what to look for ahead of time can help you make the most of your visit.
To start, fragments of the ship can be seen sticking out of the water. Colorful fish from the nearby reef, who love to swim around these pieces, will help you to spot them. You'll notice that water has a rainbow hue from the oils spilling out of the ship. While it might look alarming at first, several environmental groups monitor the ship's leakage and have so far determined that there is no threat to wildlife in the area.
The main area is an assembly room that rests above the wreckage of the USS Arizona. This is an excellent place to listen to the audio on the provided smartphone, reflect on the sinking of the ship, or take a few pictures while you wait to see the Shrine Room. It's also worth noting that several names were added to the shrine to include survivors who chose to be buried with their fellow sailors years later.
After you're taken back to land, there are two small museums to look at titled "The Road to War" and "Attack." Both are excellent in their accurate depictions of history and contain several artifacts worth taking the time to look at. While it might go without saying, check out the Road to War museum first.
Here is a list of additional information that can help you plan the perfect trip:
Only 1,300 walk-in tickets are given out each day, and they go fast.
Purchasing a Go Oahu Card allows you to pick up the audio headset for free.
There are no bags allowed in the memorial, which includes purses.
Lockers are available for a fee.
No strollers are allowed, but everything is wheelchair accessible.
Aside from a clear bottle of water, no food or beverage is allowed inside.
Parking is free and can be found at the main entrance.
Luxury Apartments for Rent, Ewa Beach
Minutes from the harbor rests Kapilina Beach Homes, luxury homes and townhouses in community-oriented locales that create the perfect backdrop to one of Hawaii's world-class beaches. These garden-style rentals place residents amidst pristine lagoons, private beaches, and first-class amenities that redefine island living.
The community at Kapilina includes various amenities and features designed to cater to Hawaiian lifestyles. Residents can relax in the Jacuzzi, stay in shape at the fitness center, or take advantage of the running trails nearby. A private marina allows you to head out on the open waves, while the on-site farmer's market provides organic, sustainable food. The entire community is pet friendly with an included dog park for furry residents, as well. Basketball and volleyball courts encourage neighborly fun, while an active event calendar creates a tight-knit community.
Kapilina Beach Homes are more than just another address on the beach. These rentals reinvigorate the concepts of community while redefining luxury living. We invite you to experience what most only consider a dream. Welcome to your Hawaiian home. Welcome to Kapilina.