An American Symbol: Battleship IOWA
Battleship IOWA’s historic service as a leading US Navy warship portrays core pillars of the American Spirit: individuality, self reliance, national unity, overwhelming strength, and technological innovation.
IOWA was launched more than 70 years ago to defend American ideals of freedom, liberty and justice—her construction, design, and the service of her veterans reflect these ideals, and inspire all who visit the iconic ship. Forged in war, guardian of peace, IOWA is now the great gray sentry of the Los Angeles Waterfront.
Today veterans, their proud families, eager school children and curious international tourists are awed by IOWA’s proud legacy as one of the fastest and most powerful ships ever to sail the world’s oceans. Teak decks and steel bulkheads echo the words and deeds of significant individuals including three U.S. Presidents, distinguished military figures, countless foreign dignitaries, and most importantly, thousands of her own heroic IOWA sailors.
A family tour aboard IOWA is a genuine adventure spanning the ship’s glorious past and the nation’s bright future: Live the history; continue the legacy. Visit Battleship IOWA and Celebrate the American Spirit!
Highlights of Your Family’s Tour on Battleship IOWA
•“Victory the Dog Adventure” is a scavenger hunt for kids to follow “Victory” (USS Iowa’s official mascot) on an adventure through the ship.
•Crew living areas on the tour show you how officers and crew slept, ate, and relaxed when not on duty.
•Stroll the famous teak decks; unique to U.S. battleships. These classic decks are undergoing daily restoration and refurbishment.
•IOWA’s World-famous Captain’s Cabin was the actual living and sleeping quarters of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. FDR and his War Cabinet planned major WW2 strategy at the cabin’s table in 1943. In this formal setting, IOWA’s commanding officers welcomed U.S. Presidents and world dignitaries.
•IOWA’s big gun exhibits include videos and interpretive signs about her nine 16” guns, twelve 5” guns, Tomahawk and Harpoon missiles and the radar-guided 3,000 round/minute Gatling guns.
•Thick steel walls and gun mounts throughout IOWA shows why she was called the most heavily armored ship in the world.
•See the recently restored Admiral’s Bridge, where three of America’s Five-Star Admirals observed IOWA’s underway operations.
•Enjoy the museum and videos that highlight the story of the IOWA, followed by a visit to the IOWA Ship’s Store and Photo Intel.
•IOWA tour guides help bring the ship alive as they share historical and technical information. Many guides are US Navy veterans, and color the tour with amazing tales of life at sea.
•Your tour concludes on the fantail, where aviation milestones were achieved. Seaplanes and helicopters were launched from this deck, and breakthrough drone technology was tested on IOWA’s fantail.
A visit to the IOWA is a family adventure through history and innovation!
Hours of Operation
- The USS IOWA is open every day, except Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- 1000 to 1700 (10:00 AM to 5:00 PM) with the last ticket sold at 1600 hours (4:00 PM).
Where is the IOWA & Parking
- The USS IOWA is located at Berth 87 at the Port of Los Angeles.
- Click here for maps and detailed directions.
- Visitors to the USS IOWA can park in the Port of Los Angeles lot adjacent to the ship. The lot is accessible from 1st Street & Harbor Boulevard and the charge is $1.00 per hour.
- USS IOWA is not currently ADA accessible. However, accessibility for disabled guests will be improved over the next year.
- There are many obstacles on the ship such as uneven decking, high door frames and many sets of stairs that are safety hazards. For that reason, no wheelchairs are allowed aboard the ship and those using canes and walkers should use extra caution.
- Visiting the USS IOWA can be a very rewarding family experience and children are welcomed on board!
- Children love Victory the dog scavenger hunt and is available at no additional cost at the beginning of your tour.
- Parents must supervise their children at all times.
- Strollers are not allowed on board the IOWA. For small children, the use of a front carrier (Baby Bjorn-type carrier) is suggested. There are several stairs and obstacles on the tour. Children may not be carried up stairs unless they are in a front-facing carrier. If they are not in a carrier and cannot climb the stairs safely on their own, then the child and a guardian must remain on the main deck of the ship.