Exploring Portland on our Urban Adventure Quest

urban Adventure Quest Portland

The Schnitz

Last weekend, Erin’s college roomie was in town, so we thought it would be fun to show her around Portland. We were also hoping to get in a little exercise. Enter Urban Adventure Quest, a scavenger hunt that took us all around downtown — on foot and via Portland’s trolley. We had a blast and learned a lot about Portland!

Urban Adventure Quests are not truly a budget adventure, as the cost is $49 per team, but if you figure it’s 2-3 hours worth of entertainment for a group of people (they suggest 2-5, but you could have more people on your team), then it’s a decent value. They do offer some discounts on their website (military, school, bulk purchases) and we are offering one, too. Read on! It took us a little under four hours to complete all 18 questions (plus bonuses), but we stopped along the way for lunch and to explore the farmer’s market at Portland State University.

urban Adventure Quest Portland

Cipher in the rain

The questions and clues are found via their website as you go, so you need at least one mobile device in your group. You may also need old fashioned pencil and paper. We had three smartphones, and we used them all. One was strictly for getting the clues and entering our answers. The other two were used to do some Internet research and math! This hunt was more than just “go here and find this.” We had to use our smarts (and our smartphones) to get the info we needed from the places we were sent to solve the puzzles. For example, there’s a beautiful old building downtown that has busts of composers on the side of it. We had to work some of their names into a hand-drawn crossword puzzle (guess and check, baby), and then use the intersecting letters to form the actual answer!

We began at Pioneer Courthouse Square doing some math, then moseyed down the street to do science and math while looking at art. We swung by the Portland Art Museum where we enjoyed the outdoor sculptures, and wandered on to learn about the Benson bubblers and the Portlandia sculpture, the second largest of its kind in the US, just behind the Statue of Liberty! Who knew?!? We compared photos to building murals, added the heights of mountains, solved ciphers, and counted lightbulbs in the lobby of a hotel that we were clearly not nearly hip enough to stay in! The questions/clues were hard enough to be challenging but not so challenging as to be frustrating. And many of the spots we stopped were things we didn’t know about, even though we live here.

Urban Adventure Quests are available for 35 cities around the US and are a fun way to learn about a new city or even one you’re already familiar with. If you’d like to try out Urban Adventure Quest, they’ve very kindly given us a 20% off promo code to pass on to our readers. The code is AWEEK. Let us know if you take advantage of it!

Wherever you’re adventuring, we hope you enjoy your week or your weekend doing it!

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