The USS Memorial Gardens in Scottsdale is an amazing and touching tribute to the USS Arizona and the brave men that were involved in the historic event on December 7, 1941. A piece of the sunken ship is on display, as well as further information surrounding the people and places of early World War 2.
Our family visited shortly after the memorial gardens opened. Unsure if this was appropriate for children, we were happy to find that this is an excellent place to introduce young ones to WW2. All displays are tastefully done, with no graphic or disturbing photos. It’s actually a perfect place to chat about Pearl Harbor, include some visuals, and pay tribute to the ones who fought for our country’s freedom.
The relic room holds the piece of the USS Arizona, but was unfortunately closed during our visit. You can peek in the windows and mock portholes on the side of the building. Also around the relic building are various plaques describing the events before, during, and after WW2, as well as personal accounts from the Pearl Harbor bombing and ship tragedy. Names of everyone on the ship are in plain sight. The kids enjoyed respectfully turning the blocks to view the names.
Probably one of the most unique features of this memorial are the markers, which are aligned to form the perimeter of the USS Arizona. These markers also light up at dusk. You are able to walk around the columns and benches are provided for those who wish to sit and contemplate.
A paved walking path continues around the outside of the lake. Take some time to explore this, and experience the memorial from a different angle. Benches are also provided at various points. The entire memorial is well designed and thought out.
The USS Memorial Gardens in Scottsdale is free to the public, along with free parking. It is open 24/7, with the relic room open dependent on staff availability. We recommend visiting around sunset to be able to view the memorial with daylight, then experience the beauty of the lights after dusk. You can find it next door to the Great Wolf Lodge, and Salt River Fields.
There are no restrooms available. The entire area is stroller friendly. Be aware that part of the memorial is near water and while shallow, always keep tabs on little ones for safety reasons.
USS Memorial Gardens in Scottsdale (Salt River)
7455 N Pima Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85258