On Ford Island in the heart of infamous Pearl Harbor, the Pacific Aviation Museum’s two massive hangars totaling more than 120,000 square feet house military aircraft from the WWII Vietnam and the Korean War. Given its setting, the highlights here are Pearl Harbor related: Hangar 37 houses Japanese Zero planes, a civilian plane that was shot down during the Pearl Harbor attacks, and a P-40 fighter plane similar to those that took flight on Dec. 7th, 1941. On the door of Hangar 79, it’s still possible to see bullet holes left from that day. But there are plenty of other planes to pique the aviation-enthusiasts interest including an authentic F4F Wildcat, the actual Stearman N2S-3 piloted solo by former President George H.W. Bush and several MiG planes from the Korean conflict. You can even learn about ill-fated aviator Amelia Earhart, who visited the airstrip here on several occasions, including during her Round-the-World Flight—each year, the museum hosts a birthday party in her honor. Additionally, incredibly popular combat flight simulator experiences are available for an additional fee; the experience lasts 30-minutes including a flight briefing.
Because the Pacific Aviation Museum is located on an active military base, you’ll have to park at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center (1 Arizona Memorial Place) and take a shuttle bus—with departures every 15 minutes—to the museum; no bags are allowed but storage is available for a fee. The museum is open from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily. Tickets for self-guided tours can be purchased on the museum’s website in advance (sometimes for a considerable discount) or at the onsite box office for $25 adults, $12 children. Guided tours led by experienced pilots lend additional insight but cost a little more at $35 adults or $22 kids (4-12).