A few weeks ago we had family in town and wanted to do something fun and different for Eric's cousin's birthday. I suggested taking a tour of the city, but with a twist. Instead of just tromping around the city, I purchased a scavenger hunt that worked via your smartphone WiFi signal, you could go at your own pace and didn't need to wait for anyone to take you on the tour. I purchased our city hunt through Urban Adventure Quest, which I found through a quick internet search. Though it wasn't super cheap, it wasn't too bad considering five of us were entertained for a good two hours and saw a lot of Portland that we hadn't seen previously, even though three of us live here.
For $49 (less if you find a promo code online), you can take five people on a totally cool tour. To be fair, there is no way to regulate who goes on a hunt, so if you have more people who want to work together, there's really no stopping you. Of course, maybe you want to compete with another group of friends to see who can finish the hunt first. Then you'll want to purchase more than one.
So, what do you get? Each city hunt has an average finish time of about two hours, but if you don't care about time, you may want to take a lot longer to check out the places you end up. You'll get around 20 puzzles or instructions to find answers to get you to your next destination. Ours took us from one side of downtown to the other, stopping off at popular Portland landmarks and ones that we didn't even know existed.
Make sure to wear good walking shoes, bring your camera (or use your phone) to take pics of your progress and fun, plus the more people who have a smartphone, the better. Though you can only run the hunt on one phone, the others may need theirs to look up answers, take notes or check out a map. You'll also want to bring a few pieces of paper and a pen, water to keep hydrated, a few bucks for public transportation (will be specified on the UAQ website) and don't forget the sunscreen.
You can't go downtown without eating at one of our many awesome restaurants, but we wanted to continue our adventure with an adventurous meal and popped into Brunch Box for lunch. If you've never heard of it, you can order a cheeseburger with bacon, spam and all the fixings in between two grilled cheese sandwiches made with Texas toast. That's what you're looking at there (the Redonkadonk).
With Urban Adventure Quest, you can see your city in a whole new light or learn a ton of stuff about a totally new city. I look forward to trying it on one of my future travels. Another similar company that runs these sorts of scavenger hunts is Stray Boots.
Have you ever taken a unique tour of your own or any other city? If so, tell us what you liked about it!
Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this post. I just genuinely thought the hunt was fun and wanted to share my experience.