This article is part of a series of pieces called “Detours” designed to send you just a little off the beaten path from the beaches and attractions of St. Pete/Clearwater, to discover other, lesser-known local favorites like family-run stores, unique galleries, and tantalizing restaurants. Read on and take a Detour into authentic St. Petersburg and Clearwater, Florida!
Walk through the door of a small storefront on idyllic Tarpon Avenue and you’re greeted with a wash of bleeps and blips and blinking lights.
This long, narrow space may be a museum, but it doesn’t act like one.
That’s because the Replay Amusement Museum’s dozens of pinball and arcade machines are meant to be played—not merely admired.
Go All-Out Hands-On at Replay Amusement Museum
The new attraction is the ideal getaway for visitors looking for a fun, affordable diversion off the beach. You’ll get a dose of nostalgia for your parents; a deep dive into gaming for teens; and a bit of wide-eyed wonder for the youngsters.
Leave your pocket change in the car. Replay Amusement Museum charges a flat fee ($13 for adults; $7 ages 6 to 12) for all the thumb action and body English you can handle. And the place has so many games—more than a hundred—that wait times are rarely an issue.
The game lineup dates from the late 1950s to today. Joystick action includes most of the standards—Donkey Kong, Mortal Kombat, Pac Man (and Ms.).
Pinball? Forget it. Bespectacled, T-shirt-clad manager Skyler Johnson told us that Replay houses the Top 10 pinball machines of all time as ranked by the Internet Pinball Database. You’ll also encounter rarities, like Surf Champ, from 1976.
Thanks For This Awesomeness Go To…
Replay Amusement Museum is the brainchild of local residents Brian and Becky Cheaney. Brian, an avid game collector for many years, was beginning to run out of places to put them. Rather than sell or warehouse his beloved collectibles, the couple decided to share them with the world.
Other Places to Visit While You’re in the Area
Tarpon Springs Historical Society
160 Tarpon Ave.
The converted train depot contains archives, artifacts and curiosities, telling the story of one of Florida’s most unique communities: an early tourist haven, a center of sponging, and a Greek enclave.
Tarapani’s Department Store
128 E. Tarpon Ave, Tarpon Springs
The 105-year-old institution is part of a vanishing breed: the independent, locally owned department store. Actually, Tarapani’s could be more accurately described as a beautifully appointed specialty store, filled with decorative glass, furniture, textiles, belt buckles, antique spoons, art work and collectibles.
Court of Two Sisters
153 E. Tarpon Ave., Tarpon Springs
Court of Two Sisters has a great reputation as a delightful trove of eclectic antiques, tchotchkes and collectibles. The Upper Court—upstairs—showcases consignment furniture.
The Bayou Café
118 E. Court St., Tarpon Springs
A popular breakfast and lunch spot in the city’s historic district, conveniently located across the street from Replay.