On the west bank of Cape Fear River, take a self-guided tour of a ship that participated in every major naval offensive in the Pacific during World War II. Exploring the floating city, with living quarters, a post office, chapel, laundry, and even an ice-cream shop, takes about two hours. A climb down into the ship's interior is not for the claustrophobic. A 10-minute orientation film is shown throughout the day. Don't miss the Independence Day fireworks display that lights up the ship. The ship can be reached by car or by taking the river taxi from Riverfront Park that runs daily Memorial Day through Labor Day and weekends May 1 to Memorial Day and Labor Day to mid-November, at a cost of $4 per person. Visitors with limited mobility can arrange a "back porch" tour with a minimum four weeks' advance notice.