Getting To Pearl Harbor

One of the first steps in getting to Pearl Harbor is finding the directions to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial. That is relatively easy as all you need to do is look up a map online. The more challenging part is the actual trip. There are questions such as how will you get there? What time should you leave? Is there parking? By far, the easiest way to go to Pearl Harbor is to book a tour. You don’t need to worry about a thing. Even the Arizona Memorial ticket is included. In that case, all of those questions are answered. The driver knows the best way to get there. The tour departure times are set to match the USS Arizona Memorial tickets. There is no need to mess with traffic, and the driver can park in the commercial area. From there, it is just a short distance to Pearl Harbor. Now, if you want to drive yourself to Pearl Harbor, then you will first need to get a rental car if you don’t already have one. Then you drive to Pearl Harbor. The average drive time from Waikiki is about 30 minutes. However, traffic can delay things. Depending on when you depart Waikiki, traffic can be very heavy, meaning that it could take more than double the drive time to Pearl Harbor, meaning you could spend up to an hour or more stuck in traffic. That is not the best way to start your day at Pearl Harbor. Public transportation can take even longer traveling on surface roads, dealing with traffic, and also frequently stopping for passengers to board. The city bus can also be very crowded, sometimes standing room only, and you are traveling according to their schedule. Ride-sharing and taxis can also have the same problems and could end up more expensive if traffic is bad or you call for a ride at the wrong time. That is why by far, Pearl Harbor tours are the best, most hassle-free way to take in the Pearl Harbor experience.

You can visit Pearl Harbor by taxi, Uber, shuttle, private vehicle, public transit (called The Bus), or an escorted tour. The two most popular ways to get to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center are to purchase a tour package or rent a car.

Getting To Pearl Harbor

Vehicles are westbound on the H-1 Freeway toward Pearl Harbor. The H-1 is one of the faster routes to get to both the Honolulu International Airport and Pearl Harbor. However, traffic can become very heavy, especially during the late afternoon.

A tour bus drives down Kalakaua Ave. in Waikiki on Oahu. Most Pearl Harbor Tours have transportation from Waikiki Hotels, Honolulu International Airport, or Honolulu Port. Large Group bus tours are an affordable way to get to Pearl Harbor with less hassle.

Purchase A Tour

There are numerous USS Arizona Memorial tours, including the Pearl Harbor/Honolulu City Tour or the Pearl Harbor / Circle Island Tour. Both tours are worth taking, and most are reasonably priced. The best part, you do not have to worry about getting your USS Arizona Memorial ticket, traffic, or parking.

A good tour guide can significantly enhance your tour experience; they can be very entertaining and funny and provide you and your family with more information than if you only went on your own.

Another great benefit of buying a Pearl Harbor Tour is the opportunity to meet other visitors and makes some new friends.


The cost of rental cars on Oahu has almost tripled since the pandemic, so they have become expensive. Upon arrival at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, there are three National Park Service public parking lots to choose from; unfortunately, most of the time, they are full unless you come in the latter part of the afternoon. There is a parking fee of $7.00 a day.

The National Park Service does have full-time Rangers guarding the parking lots and dozens of security cameras monitoring the vehicles, but please do not leave any valuables in your car. If these three lots are full, free Navy parking spaces are near the National Park Service parking lots to the north. Just be sure you do not park in front of any gate, so the Navy doesn’t toll your vehicle away. Please be informed that this area is not patrolled or monitored by cameras, so most of the break-in occurs in this area.

A car rental near the Honolulu International Airport. If you are going to Pearl Harbor just for the day, a rental car may not be the best option. Our Pearl Harbor tours offer pickup at the Honolulu International Airport.

Directions To The Pearl Harbor Visitor Center:

Driving From Waikiki

Take H-1 West, past the HNL International Airport. Take the Stadium/Arizona exit 15A. Turn left at the 4th traffic light to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.

Driving From The West Or North Shore Resorts

Take H-2 to H-1 merge. Take H-1 to Honolulu, exit 13A, and take Aiea to exit. Take the Pearl Harbor exit to Kamehameha Highway. Turn right at the 3rd traffic light at 1 Arizona Memorial Place, and you will see the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center.