During Race & Seek, an extra phone battery in your pocket could easily be worth thousands of dollars. The urban scavenger hunt sends teams of 2?10 out into city streets in search of 14 clues, which they must capture via photo or video with their smart phones. The first-prize winners haul in some serious bounty: $500 and free entry into the Grand Championship, where $5,000 waits at the finish line.
But a slew of physical and mental challenges stand in the way of that money. Harder and harder clues come in via text and email, and as participants decipher them, they must navigate the city largely on foot?no cars, bikes, taxis, or griffins are allowed?with the aid of GPS and a city map.
Marlon J. Love, the visionary artist behind M.J. Love Photography, is all about love, whether it be his wife, his craft, or the vibrant cities from which he draws inspiration. A sketch artist and photographer from an early age, Marlon finally let his talents see the light when he decided to make photography his trade. The Brooklyn native hasn’t looked back since, mainly because he’s been busy photographing weddings, family portraits, and events. Marlon strives to capture his subjects’ true emotions in each photograph, which led him to develop a 100% satisfaction guarantee, which includes a complimentary reshoot or a full refund.
Challenge Nation pioneered the urban-adventure race with a race season that includes visits to more than 35 cities across the country. Each scavenger hunt is personalized to the hosting city, exploring its many diverse neighborhoods with a series of clues that would test even the most skilled children's-book detective. The teams?composed of at least two people?vie for a $300 first-place prize. The Amazing Race?style competition rewards quick wits and wise planning over physical fitness, so the best way to prepare is by doing logic puzzles while eating Funyuns and lounging in a La-Z-Boy. The top 25 teams qualify, the top five receiving free entry, to compete in the national championship, which rewards winning teams with a $5,000 cash prize.
An American government professor may not seem like the first person to ask about ghosts. But if you want to learn about the D.C.'s spectral past, then Dr. Philip Ernest Schoenberg possesses inside knowledge on the capital's paranormal past. A presidential consultant for PBS's website and founder of Scary DC, the professor heads up a staff made up of fellow Schoenbergs and a cast of storytellers that lead visitors on weekly tours. Trips explore the haunted history of sites across the city, possibly encountering John Quincy Adams residing over the Capitol Building or James Madison checking out a book about himself at the Library of Congress.
There are plenty of famous landmarks to see in Washington D.C.: the White House. The Lincoln Memorial. Jefferson's vault of pudding. However, more obscure (but just as interesting) sites lie off the beaten path, and Zohery Tours whisks its patrons to many of them. In between stops at the U.S. Capitol Reflecting Pool and the American Red Cross Headquarters, Dr. Zohery introduces visitors to the spots where dignitaries go jogging and politicians take their morning coffee breaks. He also opens their eyes to the cultural aspects of the city, which include seven universities, the National Gallery of Art, and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Regardless of the locale, the guide taps into 25 years of experience hosting D.C. tours, regaling visitors with historical facts and answering questions about the political process.
Washington Walks offers a diverse list of walking tours, each lasting approximately two to three hours and led by passionate, knowledgeable guides. The Embassy Row tour, offered on Saturdays at 10 a.m., explores the highfalutin housing of the city's once-upper crust, and Thursday night's The Most Haunted Houses tour takes off Lafayette Park's shirt to expose its violent underbelly and stops at the highly haunted Octagon. Scholarly Sundays can be devoted to the Georgetown tour, which elegantly strolls through the Georgetown neighborhood to examine 200-year-old mansions and talks about the olden days when horse-drawn carriages were pulled by eagles. There's also a series of Saturday and Sunday tours dedicated to individual neighborhoods, providing locals with the opportunity to master their living zone.