Tag Archives: adventure

5 Cities With Hidden Scavenger Hunts

Calling all private eyes, detectives, and treasure hunters! We’ve brought together the most exciting (and challenging) scavenger hunts and mystery adventures in five cities across America. Think you’ve mastered deductive reasoning? Got the eyes of a hawk? Round up the usual suspects – family or friends – and put those skills to the test.


Combine exploring city neighborhoods and an Amazing Race-style scavenger hunt with Urban Adventure in San Diego. If you thrive on competition, team play is option here as you meander through the city following the clues. What better way to settle family rivalries or bond with new colleagues? When you’ve finished the tour, check in to The Dana, a retro-style hotel on Mission Bay, minutes away from the beach and the San Diego Zoo, where you can make friends with Gao Gao, Bai Yun, and Xiao Liwu, the three adorable giant pandas who live there.


There are eight million stories in the naked city…and once you’ve arrived, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Problem-solvers enjoy Escape the Room, a brainy puzzle in which participants are held captive in a room until someone cracks the code to escape. It’s the stuff of nightmares for some, and an irresistible challenge for others. Alternatively, create your own adventure wandering the corridors of the lower Manhattan sensation, Sleep No More, an ‘immersive theatre’ mashup of Macbeth and film noir. Imagine a scavenger hunt led by a bloodthirsty Scottish power couple as conceived by Alfred Hitchcock. You can’t actually stay at the abandoned McKittrick Hotel, the gloriously detailed,100-plus room set of the show, but you can book yourself a room at Viceroy, a snazzy new hotel in Midtown that channels Art Deco and the old New York in its intricate design and luxe amenities.


The nation’s definitive Easter Egg hunt takes in the capital, kicked off by the President and First Lady themselves. Planned specifically for young children with accompanying adults, classic activities like dyeing and decorating eggs are supplemented by storytelling, cooking demonstrations, sports, and games. Check out the highlights of 2015 and plan next year’s visit now! Or, decipher cryptic messages and solve a fictional murder mystery set in D.C.’s expansive National Gallery. Sleuths and fans of the Da Vinci Code will be well prepared for the Leonardo-themed, two-and-a-half hour tour.  Meanwhile, the charmingly historical Henley Hotel is situated close to Gallery Place and offers a delightful afternoon tea service, a great way to celebrate the case closed.


Some treasure is buried deep in the earth… and some falls straight from the sky. The deserts and dry lakebeds of Glorietta Mountain in New Mexico are excellent spots to search for fallen stars (aka meteorites). Bring a metal detector and a rock hammer, or team up with the pros at Meteorite Adventures and begin your expedition with them. When not engaged in active fieldwork, enjoy central Santa Fe at the Hotel Chimayo, a downtown hotel that displays local artwork in partnership with Chimayo Cultural Preservation Association.


Trivia night at the local pub will seem elementary, my dear doctor, compared with the mental and physical challenges posed by City Solve in Seattle. Charge up the brain cells at the original Starbucks located in Pike Place Market and prepare to solve riddles, identify pop-culture references, and outsmart (or outrun) the competition: after all, there’s a $300 cash prize for first place. With the mission complete, enjoy an evening gazing out at the waterfront over a glass of local Washington wine at the The Edgewater, the best hotel in Seattle for panoramic views of Elliot Bay and the Olympic Mountains in the distance.


Off the Beaten Path: North American Adventures

Craving a grand adventure, one that won’t make you pay $100 + just to get in, only to be surrounded by thousands of other sweaty people, all spending half of the day waiting in long lines (I’m talking about you, Disneyland)? That doesn’t seem like much of an escape, or any adventure I’d want to partake in. So why not take the road less frequented, head outside of town, and immerse yourself in an unfamiliar wilderness. The western United States is wild and full of rare beauty that should be witnessed. Below are a few of my top destinations for that adventurous spirit of yours.

Man Vs Nature

California: Lost Coast

Black beaches, spectacular ocean vistas, alpine forests, redwoods, and sweeping grasslands make up this rich 80 mile stretch of coastal wilderness. The Lost Coast is tucked away in an unusually quiet, undeveloped corner of California. Highway 1 had to be constructed around this area because it was too rough, leaving this area peaceful, pristine, and secluded. There are only four roads that will lead to this coastline, two of them being one-lane dirt roads; all of them are steep and winding. But it is certainly well worth the tough trek out there.

Arizona: Painted Desert

lost coast bixby bridge

On the outskirts of the Grand Canyon and just north of the Petrified Forest is the colorful mingling of badlands, buttes, and plateaus that seemingly extend forever – the Painted Desert. It is aptly named after the richly colored land of lavender, pink, white, gray, yellow, orange, and red and stunningly set against the blue sky backdrop. Travel a bit further from the peripheral to bask in the solitude and remarkable beauty. The vibrant color and otherworldly features must be seen and if you stay up late it is one of the finest places to stargaze in the country.

South Dakota: Wind Cave

Underneath South Dakota is one of the world’s longest caves with more than 130 miles of passageways home to many unusual and stunning mineral formations. And as you may have guessed by its name… it is windy down there. Don’t take forget to take in the scenery on your way to the caves – the above ground ecosystem is just as remarkable. The park is host to a myriad of species, miles of grassland surrounded by dense forest. I recommend going late spring when the wildflowers are in bloom and plentiful and the summer vacation season hasn’t yet begun.

Washington: North Cascades Backcountry

gates of the arcticJust three hours from Seattle is an intricate mix of rugged glacier topped peaks, countless streaming waterfalls, deep and densely forested valleys, and richly populated meadows. The two sides of the mountain couldn’t be different – dry on the east, damp on the west – making the Cascades a uniquely complex and varied ecosystem. Its home to a number of different habitats and hosts more plant species than any other park. Make a trip late summer, the snow on the higher trails is still quite ample at the start of summer.

Alaska: Gates of the Arctic

Most people fly in… the only other option is to walk. And that isn’t really recommended. You can, but it is a tough route to the interior. Bush pilots say the real Alaska begins where the road ends. The land is harsh, the wilderness is vast, and the weather is unpredictable. Definitely go in the summer, you don’t want to be stuck up there in the winter – it is entirely north of the Arctic Circle after all. Even in the summer, with its never-ending days and relatively mild temperature, rain and snow are not uncommon. They see few people up there (it’s for the truly adventurous), but visitor numbers have been increasing.

Alan Carr

Alan Carr is an avid aviation and travel aficionado learning about the aspects of the flying world from the business to the technical, while also frequently writing on what he finds. He currently works with globalair.com to provide resources on aircraft related information.

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