There’s much more to the island of Oahu than beaches, surfboards, and palm trees. It’s also the site of the Pearl Harbor attack—“a day that will live in infamy.” You can pay your respects and brush up on history at these notable stops.
Site of the infamous Japanese attack, Pearl Harbor is where America officially became involved in World War II. Thousands of American sailors and pilots lost their lives at the site, an event that’s memorialized at what is now a powerful outdoor museum. Stroll the decks of battleships, see fighter planes that took to the skies to stave off the sudden attack, and know that whatever your itinerary at the museum, you’ll want to stop to pay your respects at the Arizona Memorial.
How to Visit: There are numerous private and small-group tours offering daily trips to Pearl Harbor. A guided tour can save you the time of waiting in line at the entrance of the popular attractions.
Punchbowl and the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
Thousands of American service members have found their final resting place at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (called “Punchbowl” by locals). Massive efforts have been undertaken to identify remains in foreign lands and have them repatriated to Punchbowl. Its unique setting inside of a crater allows for a calm and serene location away from the city bustle.
How to Visit: Punchbowl can seen as part of a package tour along with Pearl Harbor, or you can also visit on a Honolulu city tour. Tour guides tell stories behind many of the gravesites.