San Diego Urban Adventure Quest took us on a ride none of us expected.

I can’t remember the last time I’ve done a scavenger hunt. When the opportunity to try this one came about, I jumped on it. I gathered a few friends for some team building and bonding, and we all had a great time.

Even though it completely fried our brains by the end.

Some of the puzzles were much more difficult than any of us had anticipated.

I’m sure people were looking at us like we’d lost it as we counted things on various monuments, pieced together random bits of puzzles, and ran around the city trying to complete the challenge within 3 hours.

But I, for one, would totally do it again (even a brand new one with questions and puzzles we didn’t have.)

How Does the San Diego Urban Adventure Quest Work?

Recipes Amici Park
Recipe challenge, anyone?

You book your pass through the San Diego Urban Adventure Quest website. It’s $49 for a team of up to 5 people. If you have more than that, you can challenge each other on multiple teams.

Once you book your ticket, head down to the Waterfront Park down by the San Diego Harbor.

One of your teammates is responsible for inputting all of your answers. There’s login information given to you after you book the pass, and once you press start, the main answer holder inputs everything through their phone.

The other teammates are also able to follow along with the questions, but as read-only.

Be careful, here, too — only input the answers once, and be sure you don’t exit out of the window completely before you’ve completed the challenge.

Apart from that, there aren’t any rules outside of simply remaining safe. Google all you want, check your maps for potential answers, and just go out and do your best!

What Are the Puzzles Like?

Who ever knew a bathroom could be so complicated?

There are 23 challenges with two bonuses along the way.

Some are easy, some… maybe not so much.

I’m grateful for the team I had with me. We each brought different value to the experience, and I don’t think I would have been able to do it alone.

Some of the puzzles are decoding pictures. Others have you figuring out riddles. Some are confusing, others more straightforward.

My main piece of advice?

Make sure you read the question in its completion.

For example, we only read the first part of question one before we submitted our answers.

There were three other parts we glossed over.

Fortunately, you have four chances to input the correct answer, so we were ultimately able to figure it out and move forward.

San Diego Harbor
All aboard!

Where Does the Scavenger Hunt Take You?

After the waterfront, the scavenger hunt takes you all through the downtown area.

Personally, I love any opportunity I have to visit Little Italy.

This is one of the central hubs of food and excitement in the downtown area. It’s the best-smelling part of the city, if you ask me.

The hunt covers a couple of miles around the entire area. It takes you to some of the ships on the harbor, museums, and even random bathrooms.

Don’t poo-poo that, either — the bathroom puzzle was one of the hardest for us to figure out.

Is the San Diego Urban Adventure Quest Worth It?

Without a doubt.

As I mentioned above, I would absolutely do this again. Yes, I’d know all of the answers now, but I think with a new group of people and kind of staying quiet while they figure it out would still be just as exciting.

San Diego Monument
I swear the answer’s in here somewhere…

Additionally, I would totally do the Balboa Park scavenger hunt to round out my San Diego adventure.

Fortunately, San Diego is not the only place one can find an Urban Adventure Quest.

If I’m ever in any of the participating cities, you better believe I’m going to try this out there.

Outside of the challenges, it’s also one of the best ways to see the downtown area. One of my teammates was just visiting, and she had a blast. Myself and the other teammate were locals, and neither of us had been to any of the places the scavenger hunt took us.

Honestly, as challenging as this was, I loved it. Actually, I loved it because of the challenge. I completely underestimated what to expect out of this. In doing so, all of my expectations far exceeded what I could have hoped for.

Here’s to hoping they create a few more for America’s Finest city.

Have you ever done the San Diego Urban Adventure Quest? How about in any of the other participating cities? Would you, or what was your experience like if you’ve done one? Let me know all about it down in the comments!