Scavenger Hunts in Chinatown and North Beach

  • private
  • adults
  • kids
  • outdoor

The North Beach & Chinatown Chase Scavenger Hunt

Explore the historic heart of San Francisco…

…and the immigrant culture that has made it thrive when you embark on a fun, funny scavenger hunt that’s like a walking tour spiked with caffeine. You’ll follow a trail of clues and answer tricky, entertaining questions about what you find, from the hidden time capsule in Washington Square to the “school of rock” in Portsmouth Square.

In Jackson Square, you’ll uncover the history of the city’s oldest and handsomest buildings, survivors of the 1906 earthquake. In Chinatown, you might think you’ve left America as you hunt for answers among stores, herb shops, temples, hidden alleys, and even a fortune-cookie factory.

And in the North Beach section, you’ll find Francis Ford Coppola’s headquarters, the legendary City Lights Bookstore, and cafés and bakeries that will make you feel like you’re in Italy.

Other highlights on this San Francisco scavenger hunt include…

  • Columbus Avenue, the main street that connects Chinatown and North Beach and features legendary restaurants and cafes
  • The Comstock Saloon, a historic Barbary Coast saloon in a building that has been home to a variety of bars since 1907
  • The former Chinese American Telephone Exchange Building, a historic building in the style of classic Chinese architecture
  • Portsmouth Square, the first park in San Francisco, originally known as Plaza de Yerba Buena; it includes a monument to the city’s first public school, which stood nearby
  • Waverly Place, home of many Chinese family associations or tongs
  • Ross Alley, formerly a scene for gambling and other illegal activities but now famous as the home of the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory (grab a free sample!)
  • City Lights Bookstore, since 1953 a mecca for writers—particularly the Beat poets
  • Jack Kerouac Alley, decorated with quotes from, and named for, writer Jack Kerouac (author of the classic On the Road)
  • Caffe Trieste, a hangout for Beat writers, and supposedly where Francis Ford Coppola wrote parts of The Godfather

Along the way, you might tackle such questions as…

  • “Go fly a kite!” you could tell a man in Washington Square Park. Near him, find a stash for time travelers. How many more years will you have to live to meet them? Answer: Near a statue of Ben Franklin (famed kite flyer) there’s an inscription about a time capsule. The original one was opened in 1979. Do the math…
  • On Columbus Ave., where lightning always strikes, what is being hatched? Answer: Ideas, according to a sign at the landmark Sentinel Building, headquarters for director Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope production company. There are stylized lightning bolts in the pavement outside.

This group game is a great option for everything from corporate team building and alumni outings to birthday parties and social-group gatherings.

A Kids Edition, in which kids and adults collaborate and explore together, is also available, suitable for ages 7 and up. (The sample questions above are from the adult edition, of course.)

Contact us to learn more about our Chinatown and North Beach scavenger hunts—and find more team-building fun in San Francisco!

  • private
  • adults
  • outdoor

The Munch Around Chinatown & North Beach Scavenger Hunt

Treat your taste buds to an exotic adventure…

…while discovering the gourmet delights of Chinatown and North Beach. This hunt features the opportunity to taste various foods throughout these neighborhoods as you tackle clever and funny questions about what you find along the way.  

You might seek such snacks as…

  • Raspberry sorbet that will ruin you for any other sorbet
  • Mooncakes that sent President Clinton to the moon
  • Ferrero Rocher–flavored gelato
  • Fabulous focaccia in all its forms, including as pizza crust
  • Ovali to ogle (a puff pastry filled with raspberry and cream or custard)
  • A Princess Cake that’s a royal treat
  • Spicy cayenne-tequila truffles, rated OMG! by our staff
  • Pot stickers that take the pot

Those are just a few of the tasty treats you might sample: you get to decide what to stop and enjoy. We’ll tell you about our favorites, but the ultimate choice is between you, your tummy, and your teammates.

Along the way, you must document your tasting triumphs by taking Team Photos. But the biggest challenge might be to resist so many temptations.

  • private
  • adults
  • outdoor

The North Beach & Chinatown Murder Mystery Scavenger Hunt

A wild whodunit with a twist

We need your help to catch a killer. A Watson Adventures staffer has been found dead in Chinatown, and you have to play the North Beach and Chinatown Scavenger Hunt that he created for your group to see if it reveals any clues—or hidden messages.

As you visit neighborhood locations and answer tricky questions about them, you’ll start to uncover the secrets of our employee’s dangerous double life. More is at stake than bringing a murderer to justice: the fate of the free world is also hanging in the balance!

On this special edition of the North Beach & Chinatown Chase Scavenger Hunt, surprising details about famous places and hidden history turn out to be crucial clues. You’ll need to crack a code and somehow contact the victim to save the day.

Contact us to learn more—and find more fun in San Francisco!

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