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Best tour for Pearl Harbor

Madison, Mississippi
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Best tour for Pearl Harbor

Is it best to take an organized tour of Pearl Harbor, or can we simply buy tickets and tour without a guide? We are planning a trip for late July and I am trying to decide what is the best way to see the sights. Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!

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Dallas, Texas
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1. Re: Best tour for Pearl Harbor

I wouldn’t recommend a tour- it’s basically overpriced transportation. The “guides” are not allowed to take you around Pearl Harbor-it’s a National Park and as such no outside tour guides are allowed. If you have a car it is easy to drive there or you could take The Bus, Uber or taxi. USS Arizona tickets are free if you queue up before opening on the day of or you may get them in advance online at recreation.gov for a $1.50 convenience fee per ticket. Currently visitors are not allowed on the Arizona Memorial for maintenance reasons however if that is still the case when you visit you can still get a ticket and take a narrated ride over to the memorial. You just can’t disembark. Be aware there are many other sights besides the Arizona such as the USS Missouri and Bowfin and the Aviation Museum. There is a charge for admission however but no need to get tickets in advance.

Destination Expert
for Oahu
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19 reviews
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2. Re: Best tour for Pearl Harbor

Don't take a bus tour. They'll rush you in and out. And it's really just transportation. They give no tours within the Park.

You can drive or take the bus.

Take a look at the Top Questions off to the right-hand side of this page.

Also scroll down this Forum through 4-6 weeks ...as we talk about Pearl Harbor constantly.

You will want your time-slot/reservation for the Arizona Memorial ... and they do book up. Everything else is easier to access.

Saint Cloud...
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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29,028 posts
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3. Re: Best tour for Pearl Harbor

As others have said, all commercial tours do is drop you off at the Visitors Center and wait until your official NPS/U.S. Navy USS Arizona Memorial tour is over. Then they collect their customers and go on with the rest of the tour (city or circle island).

You can make advanced reservations for the USS Arizona Memorial tour using the one day in advance option (there are no tickets available using the two month in advance option until August). Preregister (sign up), so that at 7am HST the day before you want to go, all you have to do is make the reservation.


You can preregister using this link. It is also a direct link to make reservations for USS Arizona Memorial.


Tickets that can be reserves go very quick, within minutes during peak visitor times.

You can practice, using the one day in advance option, a few times without actually making the reservations. So that on the day before you'll know what to do.


Just get to the Visitors Center by 7am or so and get free walk up tickets the day you want to go. There are 1300 walk up tickets every day.

Get there by 7am anytime during the summer months to ensure you get tickets. You will probably still get tickets if you arrive around 8am, but the tour time that you get will be much later.

Taking The Bus:


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