(Topic ID: 169684)

Best Pinball City in North America?


By eldy76

3 years ago



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  • 51 posts
  • 37 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by xTheBlackKnightx
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    There are 51 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 3 years ago

    So I recently turned 40 and the husband is wanting to take me somewhere for a few days. Naturally I'd like to indulge my pinball habit, so I need info. What city would you consider to be the ideal pinball locale? Should I aim for an expo, or just head somewhere with some cool pinball places to hit up? I figure why not ask the experts.

    Thanks!

    #2 3 years ago

    Portland, Oregon

    #3 3 years ago

    Hmmmm. If you can do expo, then I do suggest that. Overall I'd say Chicago is the #1 pinball city. But, you can go to plenty of places and incorporate Pinball.

    NYC
    Vegas
    Boston - You can go to Pelham, NH and visit Pinball Wizard Arcade which has the most pinballs next to the hall of fame

    My vote goes to the expo in Chicago this year. Turning out to be a VERY interesting show. Chicago is closer than most of your options and it's a fun city.

    #4 3 years ago

    I would really love to show some regional pride and mention places on the West Coast, but from my (admittedly limited) travels, I'd say Pittsburgh is the best pinball city in North America.

    #5 3 years ago

    ...er.....really? Not sure the PHOF is enough to win this title. It was cool and all, but it's not someplace I'd got every week, or probably even every month. Once as a part of a vacation when you already want to be in Vegas? Sure. Once as part of a vacation where you're playing in Nationals....that was a great excuse to spend the rest of the week in Vegas... +_+;;

    #6 3 years ago

    If you just want to play on location, the top spot is Seattle or Portland, but there are certainly well known locations in New York, Vegas, Pelham, NH, Denver.

    For shows, it's Pittsburgh. Pinburgh > PAPA IMHO.

    #7 3 years ago
    Quoted from Frax:

    ...er.....really? Not sure the PHOF is enough to win this title. It was cool and all, but it's not someplace I'd got every week, or probably even every month. Once as a part of a vacation when you already want to be in Vegas? Sure. Once as part of a vacation where you're playing in Nationals....that was a great excuse to spend the rest of the week in Vegas... +_+;;

    Between PHOF, the pins at NYNY, the brand new Fremont Arcade and Flipperspiel... I'd say it's pretty good.

    But this time of year, visiting Las Vegas is like visiting the surface of the sun, so be aware!

    #8 3 years ago

    St. Louis. 2 good pinball places in the metro area. Orbit lounge and Silver Ballroom. There is a place just across the river called CP pinball too, pay a cover and all games are on Free play . Plus the zoo, science center and art museum are all free. Happy birthday btw! I'll join you in 4 years

    #9 3 years ago

    Austin Texas has three Pinballz Arcade locations with 99, 79, and 29 machines.

    Are there any other cities that have multiple locations with more than a few machines?

    #10 3 years ago
    Quoted from Cornelius:

    pins at NYNY, the brand new Fremont Arcade and Flipperspiel

    The pins in NYNY looked amazing, modded and clean, but the prices....better clench up before you go in there. =P Haven't heard anything about the other two, but I'll have to check that out before we go back...because we're definitely going back!

    #11 3 years ago
    Quoted from Frax:

    ...er.....really? Not sure the PHOF is enough to win this title. It was cool and all, but it's not someplace I'd got every week, or probably even every month. Once as a part of a vacation when you already want to be in Vegas? Sure. Once as part of a vacation where you're playing in Nationals....that was a great excuse to spend the rest of the week in Vegas... +_+;;

    I didn't say it was the best. I voted Chicago. I said it was a good place to incorporate Pinball into a vacation. And it is. Although I've heard the HOF is underwhelming, Vegas has plenty to offer as a vacation spot.

    #12 3 years ago

    Hopkins, Minnesota

    LTG : )
    Disclaimer : I am biased. Read the other posts.

    #13 3 years ago
    Quoted from MinusWorlds:

    Vegas has plenty to offer as a vacation spot.

    Word to that. I walked 50 miles in 5 days along the 99% along the Strip and still felt like I only saw a third of everything.

    *Edit* FWIW, the thread title is a little misleading, because I was kind of expecting a discussion about liveable pinball meccas, not just a vacation stop, so...oops.

    #14 3 years ago

    Ann Arbor/Brighton/Hamburg Twp. Michigan. Limited access spot, however.

    #15 3 years ago


    Quoted from Frax:Word to that. I walked 50 miles in 5 days along the 99% along the Strip and still felt like I only saw a third of everything.
    *Edit* FWIW, the thread title is a little misleading, because I was kind of expecting a discussion about liveable pinball meccas, not just a vacation stop, so...oops.

    I've always wanted to do the nuclear museum but the few times I could it was closed. I've been to Vegas on Halloween. No need to even check out the gentleman's clubs on that night

    #16 3 years ago
    Quoted from MinusWorlds:

    My vote goes to the expo in Chicago this year. Turning out to be a VERY interesting show. Chicago is closer than most of your options and it's a fun city.

    I wish I could make expo this year, but stupid work schedule won't allow it. Boooo for work! Maybe next year though, I love Chicago!

    #17 3 years ago

    Thanks for the input. We thought about Vegas because it's cheap. I'd like to hear more about the pinball options.

    I'm really only interested in good food and pinball and a few days of kid free fun so other vacation-like stuff is nice but not a deal-breaker. I'll keep these places in mind!

    #18 3 years ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    Hopkins, Minnesota
    LTG : )
    Disclaimer : I am biased. Read the other posts.

    Make it "Twin cities area" and you won't be biased anymore...

    #19 3 years ago

    Portland, Oregon REDUX
    You will not be disappointed.
    Public and private, it is a pinball mecha in many ways.

    #20 3 years ago

    I take pinball based trips once in a while. I think Chicago was my favorite place to go just to play, eat and drink.
    Look at the line ups at Headquarters, they have a couple of locations and mostly freeplay. Also Logan's is an important place to check out.
    Last time I was there, I spent 4 days bouncing between these spots and loved every minute of it.

    Since you're in Canada though, Toronto is a hot spot right now. Cabin Fever, 3030, Junction City Music Hall, California Sandwiches are all great places to play and there's a ton of single or double machine locations that are easy to travel between.
    I'm sure you've been here before and know how awesome the city is! Just get an AirBnB on the west side and you'll have access to some great neighborhoods.

    Here's a pretty up to date map with info on machines:
    https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1gsjvE3XqhL6Jo5-Nhr7KRlT0ugs&hl=en_US

    #21 3 years ago

    Why is Portland considered so great?

    #22 3 years ago

    Seattle

    #23 3 years ago

    Hit up pinballmap.com for some data. There's more to be said than just numbers, but it counts for something!

    Portland, 302 Locations, 715 Machines

    Seattle, 135 Locations, 516 Machines

    #24 3 years ago

    Seattle is awesome - Pinball museum, several awesome arcades like 8-bit arcade and Another Castle and even more bars with great selection of pins like Shorty's. And there's a lot to see and do as well (especially if you like outdoor activities)

    New York is great too - Everyone should visit Sunshine Laundromat at least once in their lifetime, the concept is great and they have several rare pins like Big Bang Bar. Great bars with pins, e.g. Pioneers and you absolutely cannot visit Manhattan without visiting Modern Pinball. Gotta love NYC

    Chicago - Great arcade bars and home of Stern. It might be possible to visit Stern factory

    Las Vegas - Plenty to do and several places to play. Although PHOF is a bit 'out of shape' it does provide an opportunity to play rare pins like pinball circus.

    My biased vote goes for Seattle (and you can make a daytrip to Portland too)!

    #25 3 years ago
    Quoted from eldy76:

    So I recently turned 40 and the husband is wanting to take me somewhere for a few days. Naturally I'd like to indulge my pinball habit, so I need info. What city would you consider to be the ideal pinball locale? Should I aim for an expo, or just head somewhere with some cool pinball places to hit up? I figure why not ask the experts.
    Thanks!

    Game Galaxy in Antioch, Tennessee! One price per person and all day play on about 100 pins. The place is always empty too

    #26 3 years ago

    Sorry but Toronto isn't even close (and I'm from Toronto) ... if you want location pinball in Canada look at Vancouver ... way more locations and way more machines ... Toronto is improving, City Pinball that runs the machines at Cabin Fever and Junction City do an excellent job but it isn't an apple to apple comparison

    Quoted from Carrman:

    I take pinball based trips once in a while. I think Chicago was my favorite place to go just to play, eat and drink.
    Look at the line ups at Headquarters, they have a couple of locations and mostly freeplay. Also Logan's is an important place to check out.
    Last time I was there, I spent 4 days bouncing between these spots and loved every minute of it.
    Since you're in Canada though, Toronto is a hot spot right now. Cabin Fever, 3030, Junction City Music Hall, California Sandwiches are all great places to play and there's a ton of single or double machine locations that are easy to travel between.
    I'm sure you've been here before and know how awesome the city is! Just get an AirBnB on the west side and you'll have access to some great neighborhoods.
    Here's a pretty up to date map with info on machines:
    https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1gsjvE3XqhL6Jo5-Nhr7KRlT0ugs&hl=en_US

    #27 3 years ago
    Quoted from MinusWorlds:

    Boston - You can go to Pelham, NH and visit Pinball Wizard Arcade which has the most pinballs next to the hall of fame

    Spring of 2015 I took a week long trip to the Boston area. I got to go whale watching, see a Red Sox game and took a trip to Maine to see the lighthouse at Cape Neddick. I also stopped at Pinball Wizard and Funspot. Some great scenery to see on the drive from Boston to Maine and then the walks around the city were enjoyable too. I was into video arcade games at the time but I attribute Pinball Wizard with starting my obsession with pinball. It's a great place and the movie theater/restaurant next door was a pretty great place to watch Avengers.

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    #28 3 years ago
    Quoted from Pinball-DOOD:

    Game Galaxy in Antioch, Tennessee! One price per person and all day play on about 100 pins. The place is always empty too

    I agree, i went there with the DOOD and it was great. The games are all in good condition and there are never any lines or anything!

    #29 3 years ago
    Quoted from Frax:

    The pins in NYNY looked amazing, modded and clean, but the prices....better clench up before you go in there. =P Haven't heard anything about the other two, but I'll have to check that out before we go back...because we're definitely going back!

    I'll let you know about the Freemont Arcade after I go there next week. Flipperspiel Wunderland doesn't have a lot of pins, but the ones that are the are nice (as well as the collection of classic video games). When I went there they had a beautiful Hot Tip SS. I haven't had a chance to go there in a few years, but I hope to go there while I'm in Vegas next week. Time permitting, I'll also check out New York New York.

    #30 3 years ago
    Quoted from dmbjunky:

    Spring of 2015 I took a week long trip to the Boston area. I got to go whale watching, see a Red Sox game and took a trip to Maine to see the lighthouse at Portland Head. I also stopped at Pinball Wizard and Funspot. Some great scenery to see on the drive from Boston to Maine and then the walks around the city were enjoyable too. I was into video arcade games at the time but I attribute Pinball Wizard with starting my obsession with pinball. It's a great place and the movie theater/restaurant next door was a pretty great place to watch Avengers.

    That looks more like the Cape Neddick lighthouse in York, Maine not Portland Head.

    #31 3 years ago

    I've been told my town. My house in particular.

    But in all honesty Chigago Il. is without a doubt the pinball capital of the world. Always has been.

    Not that I'd want to go there...

    #32 3 years ago
    Quoted from supermatt:

    That looks more like the Cape Neddick lighthouse in York, Maine not Portland Head.

    You were right. Thanks for the assist.

    #33 3 years ago
    Quoted from Metalmanmiles:

    I agree, i went there with the DOOD and it was great. The games are all in good condition and there are never any lines or anything!

    Thank you, dude

    #34 3 years ago

    Colorado is pretty awesome, especially if vacation is part of the trip. Off the top of my head, there are at least half a dozen premier locations with 10+ machines within an hour drive of Denver. There are also 8ish monthly tournaments, and 5 leagues.

    (Pinball map says 150 locations with ~500 machines for the state of Colorado, but nearly all of those are within that same one hour drive of Denver).

    #35 3 years ago
    Quoted from Swainer80:

    St. Louis. 2 good pinball places in the metro area. Orbit lounge and Silver Ballroom. There is a place just across the river called CP pinball too, pay a cover and all games are on Free play . Plus the zoo, science center and art museum are all free. Happy birthday btw! I'll join you in 4 years

    St. Louis zoo is ridiculously good. Best I've ever been to. I wasn't expecting much, but it was fantastic.

    Pinball? Definitely represented there, but there are better cities for a pinball destination trip.

    #36 3 years ago

    Silverball Museum in Asbury Park, NJ is pretty iconic and you can easily spend a weekend there just in the museum and on the (growing, again) boardwalk. It is oceanside.

    A good friend of mine also owns the Morristown Game Vault in Morristown, NJ, and his games are immaculate and he is a very nice guy.

    His location is loved by locals but is still widely undiscovered by Pinsiders. Even if I wasn't his friend I would shout him out. I wish I could do more. He is the perfect person to run an arcade and like I said, his games and arcade are immaculate. He owns all of the game himself and has collector them over the years for this one purpose.

    It's in an old bank and Safe Cracker can be played in the actual safe!

    Note, in the big picture with all the lights on... the lighting has been fixed to look like an arcade! It's so awesome! I wish there was a picture that really included EVERYTHING because there is so much to see.

    I know this sounds like a walking advertisement but I am really just a friend and a fan. This place is like pinball heaven and I can't believe Pinside hasn't latched onto it more, I don't know what else you could ask for. I wish more people would stop in because with school starting up again it looks to have really slowed even with so much to see, but still steady and weekends are still killing it.

    Of course if you decide to pick my selection you guys are both welcome to stop down at my place and hang out as well if I'm around on one of the days. Visitors are great!

    I'm actually having a pinball/arcade party on October 29th if that happens to coincide with your plans. Seems very unlikely, but figured I would throw that in there!

    Here's some pictures of the Morristown Game Vault, everything is on free play and pricing is $10/hour, $7/half hour, per person:

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    #37 3 years ago

    Portland Oregon. More pins on location than any other city in the country, although they are spread out. Also killer food everywhere. Seattle has some great spots as well, more big locations (10+ games). Vegas is great for the EMs that you can't really play anywhere else. And although I hate being in Vegas I find myself there often as my mother in law lives there, so the PHOF saves me whenever I have to visit.

    #38 3 years ago

    Another vote for Portland, OR! Pinball heaven.

    #39 3 years ago

    It's SEATTLE all the way--

    Although not as pin heavy as Portland,the SPM is home to 40 plus pins.
    Where Seattle rocks,it's the numerous locations offering up 10 plus pins.
    I like Seattle so much,I'm planning on moving there next yr just for loc. pins.
    How many others out there have done that?
    I know I'm pretty crazy!!!
    It's only Pinball!!

    #40 3 years ago

    Pittsburgh has Replay FX for a show and Pinball PA public acade. Both are worth the trip.

    #41 3 years ago

    Based on my research for my presentation at ReplayFX 2016, I would say that Pittsburgh has a strong case.
    Pennsylvania Coin-Op Hall of Fame has about 180 pinballs.
    Pinball Perfection Museum has about 76 pinballs, going way back to the 1950s.
    Pittsburgh Pinball Factory has about 36 pinballs.
    Kickback Cafe has about 20.
    Bradish Street Pinball Parlor has about 15.
    In addition to these, other great pinball locations come and go: Beaver Brewing Company, New Great Valley Lanes, Penn Hills Game Exchange, Broadway Bar and Arcade, Ace’s Break Away and Play, Games N At, Victory Pointe, Cattivo, Hambone’s, Mount Lebanon Ice Center, Biddle’s Escape Coffeeshop, ... even with all the great locations already in the metro area, people keep trying to put more pinball out there.

    Oh, and there's also the PAPA Headquarters.
    .................David Marston

    #42 3 years ago

    Denver and the Front Range. ....our barcades/arcades are typically stumbling distance to a great local brewery and/or legal weed

    And pinball plays better at higher altitude. It's been proven in studies by smart people

    So there's that......

    #43 3 years ago

    Definitely Portland

    #44 3 years ago
    Quoted from Neuromancer87:

    Definitely Portland

    Hey, we gots legal weed too!

    #45 3 years ago

    Wow! You all are awesome! I think I may have to lobby for a few trips...... So many great pinball themed trips and so little time.

    #46 3 years ago
    Quoted from dasvis:

    Hey, we gots legal weed too!

    So does Washington and Colorado, is this just a coincidence that the best pinball resides in these places?

    #47 3 years ago
    Quoted from guymontag451:

    So does Washington and Colorado, is this just a coincidence that the best pinball resides in these places?

    It does not hurt.

    #48 3 years ago

    Seattle & Portland

    Hit 'em both - they're only 3 hours apart!

    #49 3 years ago

    If you are in Tucson, Arizona and are downtown on the University of Arizona campus, check out D&D Pinball. Great location, atmosphere and college crowd.
    https://www.facebook.com/danddpinball/

    4 months later
    #50 2 years ago

    are there any spots in portland where you just pay an entry fee and can play all the pinball you want? I know ground kontrol does the first thursday and last wednesday of the month(or first wednesday last thursday). Though I was hoping there might be another place....or even near the portland area 30-45 min driving range.

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