How to Get Free Tickets to the USS Arizona Memorial

By Hawaii.com Team

The infamous Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is shown in this Dec. 7, 1941 file photo. The USS Arizona is pictured in flames after being hit. Photo: Paul Walsh.

Visiting Pearl Harbor is the #1 thing to do in Hawaii. The bombing of Pearl Harbor was the single most significant factor causing the United States to enter World War II and effectively change the course of history forever. Because of this, visiting ground zero of the Battle of Pearl Harbor has a great effect on people; those who visit tend to leave changed for the better.

All attractions at Pearl Harbor are at-cost except for the USS Arizona Memorial. Free tickets to the USS Arizona Memorial can be obtained in three different ways, and we’ve done our best to guide you through the somewhat cumbersome process below.

Although there are 1,300 free tickets available daily, due to high demand there are often more people than free tickets and not everyone gets to visit the USS Arizona Memorial that day. For this reason, we encourage booking a guided tour. Guided tours include guaranteed tickets to the USS Arizona Memorial. This allows you to bypass the ticket line and secures your seat on the shuttle boat to the USS Arizona Memorial.

Skip the free tickets and purchase a guided Pearl Harbor tour.

1. Walk-in to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center Before 7:00 am.

1,300 walk-in tickets are available daily on a first come, first served basis at the Visitor Center. We recommend arriving before 7:00 am to increase your chances of receiving a ticket. We can’t stress this enough. Someone wrote us once that they saved Pearl Harbor for the last day of their family vacation. They showed up too late, and all the tickets were gone. They traveled all that way, were so close, and never got to visit the Arizona Memorial. Don’t let that be your story! Please plan ahead, or simply purchase a tour.

As the early birds receive their tickets, they usually begin filling up the morning tours. That being said, you may need to wait a few hours for your USS Arizona Memorial tour. In the meantime, you can visit the other attractions (USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park, the Battleship Missouri Memorial, the Pacific Aviation Museum) or explore the exhibits and store.

2. Book online at 7:00 am for the next day.

Every day at 7:00 am, a limited number of “next day” USS Arizona Memorial tickets are released. They can be booked by visiting www.recreation.gov.

Please note: There is a non-refundable $1.00 convenience fee per reserved ticket. Reservations are limited to 12 tickets per person per day. It is suggested that you arrive an hour before your ticket time in order to pick-up your tickets. A minimum of five to ten minutes is required. If you are late, you may forfeit your free USS Arizona Memorial tickets to walk-in customers on standby.

3. Book online up to 2 months in advance.

You can visit www.recreation.gov to book free tickets to see the USS Arizona Memorial. You are allowed to book as far in advance as 2 months. The only problem is that these tickets sell out fast. We recommend you set a reminder for yourself 2 months before you’d like to visit. If you wait too long to book, the tickets might be sold out.

For example, today is August 23, and the next available tickets are not until September 26. Tickets on the day of October 23 are nearly sold out; all morning tours are sold out leaving only afternoon options available.

Please note: There is a non-refundable $1.50 convenience fee per reserved ticket. Reservations are limited to 12 tickets per person per day. It is suggested that you arrive an hour before your ticket time in order to pick-up your tickets. A minimum of five to ten minutes is required. If you are late, you may forfeit your free USS Arizona Memorial tickets to walk-in customers on standby.

Skip the free tickets and purchase a guided Pearl Harbor tour.

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