How Far Is Pearl Harbor From Honolulu Airport? Your Guide to Visiting the Memorial

Visiting Pearl Harbor was the most powerful experience of my trip to the island of Oahu in Hawaii. A visit to a serious site like Pearl Harbor is educational, sobering, and moving.

uss-arizona-memorial

How far is Pearl Harbor from Honolulu Airport? If you only have a short time in Oahu, you may be wondering about the logistics of going from Daniel K. Inouye Airport to the historic monument.

You’ll learn about the war strategy, see the USS Bowfin, and come away with a greater understanding of American history.

The short answer is that Peral Harbor is only a 10-minute drive or a 15-minute bus ride from the airport. Read on for the specific details.

This article includes the following helpful info:
1 Directions for how to get to Pearl Harbor from the airport
2 Instructions for how to book tickets online
3 Numerous photos and a description of what you’ll see there

Options for Getting From Honolulu Airport to Pearl Harbor

How can you get to Pearl Harbor from the airport? The options include driving, taking the bus, walking (not recommended), or taking a rideshare.

If you’re coming straight from Daniel K. Inouye Airport, the distance from the Honolulu airport to Pearl Harbor is about three miles by vehicle.

distance from honolulu airport to pearl harbor
It’s only three miles distance from Pearl Harbor to the Honolulu airport.

That means it only takes roughly 10 minutes to drive there, accounting for traffic and red lights.

If you’re driving a rental car, it will be a quick and easy drive. If not, you have some other options.

Taking Public Transportation: The #20 Bus

Honolulu’s official public transportation is called TheBus. Yes, that’s the actual name.

From Waikiki, the main tourist area of Honolulu, buses to Pearl Harbor can take an hour. But from the airport, the bus is much faster!

You can find the #20 bus at the airport, and ride it directly to Pearl Harbor. It’s only a 12-minute ride, and buses run every 20 minutes. As of this writing, the cash fare for a single ride is $3.

What if you have luggage? Ah, that’s the tricky part. But fear not! You have two options. First, the airport has storage lockers at Baggage Claim E.

And Pearl Harbor also has a storage facility for bags of all sizes, including suitcases. You can’t take bags to the Pearl Harbor Memorial itself, but the Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum near the Pearl Harbor visitor center has a storage facility.

Both of these bag storage options require payment, obviously.

pearl-harbor-site

Walking from the Airport to Pearl Harbor

You could walk from Honolulu Airport to Pearl Harbor if you were really motivated. But I wouldn’t recommend that, as the road there isn’t the best for pedestrians.

Walking on highway H1 isn’t cool, so you’d have to take a lot of side streets. Such a walk would take about 90 minutes, and the sun would be bearing down on you the entire time.

Taking Uber or Lyft From the Airport

Finally, you can always just take an Uber or Lyft from the airport to Pearl Harbor. This is probably the most convenient option.

Expect to pay in the $15-20 range for a one-way ride to the Pearl Harbor Memorial via rideshare.

Top Pearl Harbor Group Tours

What’s the best way to visit Pearl Harbor? Well, the easiest is to book a group tour likes the ones below from GetYourGuide.

 

Booking Tickets to the USS Arizona Memorial

valor-in-the-pacific-monument

Looking for some tips for visiting Pearl Harbor? When I visited, it was possible to walk up and get a free, first-come, first-serve walk-in ticket to the Arizona Memorial.

However, walk-up tickets are no longer available. You’ll want to book a ticket in advance through recreation.gov. There’s a $1 service charge, but otherwise, tickets are free.

Tickets do get gobbled up quickly, so make your reservation as soon as possible.

While the USS Arizona Memorial is free to visit, the other attractions are pretty expensive if you choose to see them all.

The Pearl Harbor site offers package discounts, or you can visit the Aviation Museum for $26, the Pacific Fleet Submarine Museum for $22, and the USS Missouri for $35.

inside pearl harbor memorial
A look inside Pearl Harbor at the USS Arizona Memorial.

What You’ll See at Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial

Pearl Harbor, of course, was struck by a surprise attack by the Japanese on December 7, 1941, which prompted the U.S. to enter World War II.

I hadn’t realized the full scope of the bombing until I visited here. The biggest surprise was hearing that the initial wave of bombers and torpedo planes totaled a whopping 183 aircraft.

The second wave was an additional 171 planes.

second-wave-display
You’ll see many helpful information boards while visiting Pearl Harbor.

Imagine living on Oahu at that time and having to endure a nightmarish 90 minutes while 300 planes bombed the military base.

More than 2400 Americans died and another 1100 were injured. It was the deadliest attack in the U.S. until 9/11.

Although the national monument is somber, the Pearl Harbor grounds aren’t sad and depressing. There’s a good amount of positivity and love in the various displays.

You see that in the wreaths dedicated to each branch of the armed services. And in the flowers and personal remembrances that visitors bring.

marines-navy-wreaths

I thought this was interesting: Some of the service members who survived the attack on the USS Arizona choose to have their remains interred at the monument.

Many service members and their families visit the site every year, either on their own or as part of formal ceremonies.

uss-arizona-survivors-interred

The Pearl Harbor Historic Site consists of several different attractions, including the Pacific Aviation Museum, Battleship Missouri Memorial, and the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum.

The heart of the monument is the USS Arizona Memorial. The Arizona was one of the biggest casualties of the attack. It exploded and sank, killing more than 1000 officers.

Today, the ship remains right where it sank. In a creative display of ingenuity, a beautiful white memorial was built above the ship.

To reach the memorial, visitors must take a free ferry (they run every 15 minutes) from the main visitor center. Guests enter the memorial, where they can look down to see the remains of the ship.

pearl-harbor-monument-interior

Inside Pearl Harbor, you’ll see the memorial is tasteful and visually stunning, with tons of natural light coming in the open spaces. The names of the victims are inscribed on a marble wall in the back room of the memorial.

A couple parts of the ship remain above water. This is the base of gun turret #3.

uss-arizona-gun-turret-3

Over at the USS Bowfin, guests can walk through a World War II submarine that was put into service in 1942. Just about every room of the submarine is open.

Visitors can see the dorms, kitchen, and control rooms with their antiquated machinery.

uss bowfin pearl harbor
uss bowfin cannon
high-voltage uss bowfin interior

Outside the Bowfin are several torpedoes and missiles from the same era. There’s also a quad gun with four huge barrels.

torpedoes visiting pearl harbor
quad-gun-seat-view

Here’s one of the most unusual and sinister items on display. It’s a Japanese suicide torpedo. The torpedo was large enough to fit only a single person.

The pilot hunkered down inside a small cockpit and used a periscope and radio signals to find its target.

japanese-suicide-torpedo

The suicide torpedo could travel about 50 miles per hour and would launch four miles from its target. Nine separate groups of suicide torpedoes were launched during the war.

They were successful in taking down a couple of American ships, but the total number of Americans killed from them was not much more than the number of Japanese pilots who died in the suicide attacks.

I highly recommend seeing at least the USS Arizona when you’re visiting Pearl Harbor. It’s not often you get to experience such a huge part of American history up close.

While you’re on Oahu, consider also hiking at Koko Crater, visiting the Dole Plantation, or going cage diving with sharks!

Have you ever been inside Pearl Harbor to see the memorial?

pearl harbor pinterest

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *