Every year, it seems like it gets more difficult to find a good arcade. San Francisco, though, has a thriving arcade culture that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. The next time you visit San Francisco, set some time aside to explore one or more of these arcades. It could be the last time you have the opportunity.
Players Arcade Sports Grill
Location: Pier 39 Fisherman’s Wharf
Previously named Riptide Arcade, Players Arcade Sports Grill has turned the once-dark and dingy arcade into the kind of place families can have fun without worry. The arcade has a ton of games for players of all ages. It even has classic games like Tron, making it perfect for adults who grew up in the ’80s.
Players also has a menu that offers something for everyone. If the games wear you out, then you can recuperate by enjoying the arcade’s beautiful view of San Francisco Bay.
Pacific Pinball Museum
Location: 1510 Webster St, Alameda
Pacific Pinball Museum is a paradise for people who love the skill and craftsmanship of classic pinball machines. The museum has over 80 pinball games that visitors can play. Visitors can also rent a party room that gives them free play on all machines.
If you don’t want to cross San Francisco Bay, you can have Pacific Pinball come to you via Lil’ JuJu rentals. This converted trailer has 6 pinball machines ready for any event.
Location: Pier 45 Fisherman’s Wharf
MuseeMecanique gives arcade enthusiasts something they won’t find anywhere else: a collection of games, music boxes, and mechanical dolls that shows the evolution of modern arcades.
The arcade has the world’s largest collection of privately owned antique arcade games and musical instruments. All of the games work just as they did when they were first made. While a lot of museums would keep antiques like this behind glass, MuseeMecanique encourages visitors to play.
It even offers free daily admission, so you don’t have an excuse not to visit.
Image via Flickr by simononly
Location: 1737 Post Street #323
Playland Japan is a small arcade between Japantown and Lower Pacific Heights. Despite its small size, it has a huge variety of games, including video games and mechanical games.
This is really the place to go when you want to experience an authentic Japanese arcade. Many of the games reward players with small prizes. They aren’t the cheap items that you usually find at carnivals, though. Playland Japan takes its games seriously, so it takes its prizes seriously, too.
If you stay at Hyatt Regency San Francisco, you can visit all of these arcades easily. They’re just a few minutes away by car or bus. You could even walk from the hotel to Fisherman’s Wharf if you wanted to get a bit of exercise before indulging in arcade games.
Do you have a favorite arcade in San Francisco? Why do you think the city has managed to keep so many of its arcades while most cities have lost them?
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