Feeling sluggish? Need a quick pick-me-up before embarking on your great escape? Try one of the many fantastic coffee shops Pacific Beach has to offer, all within walking distance to Quicksand Escape Games on Garnet Avenue. Whether you need a high-caffeine power drink, or a sweet treat to put some pep in your step, or even a relaxing tea to de-stress before (or after) your game, you won’t be disappointed with any of these picks:
1 Better Buzz Coffee: This popular coffee chain has a location on Garnet Avenue, just a few blocks away from Quicksand Escape Games. They offer a variety of coffee drinks, including their signature "Best Drink Ever." (As an espresso lover, this place is a personal favorite).
2 Java Earth Cafe: This cozy cafe is located on Cass Street, just a short walk from Quicksand Escape Games. They serve organic coffee and a variety of baked goods, sandwiches, and salads. Beach-side vibes included!
3 Coffee Hub & Cafe: This cafe is located on Grand Avenue, a few blocks from Quicksand Escape Games. They offer a variety of coffee drinks and food options, including sandwiches and fresh baked pastries.
4 Bird Rock Coffee Roasters: This artisanal coffee roaster has a location on La Jolla Boulevard, a short walk from Quicksand Escape Games. They offer a variety of coffee drinks, as well as whole bean coffee for purchase.
5 The Swell Coffee Co.: This coffee shop is located on Mission Boulevard, just a few blocks from Quicksand Escape Games. They serve coffee, tea, and pastries, as well as breakfast and lunch options. If you’re looking for more than just coffee, this is a good place to check out!
With the power of good coffee, good energy, and good fun, you can escape even the most difficult of escape rooms! That burst of delicious caffeine energy can prove especially helpful when playing these kinds of games, which require our players to solve puzzles and think critically under pressure. A cup of coffee before escape room experience can help to enhance cognitive function and make the game more enjoyable!
Are you running out of escape rooms to play in your town? Are you itching for some mental stimulation? And do you maybe not want to leave your house? Well I’ve got great news for you! What if I told you that you can play an escape room from the comfort of your couch? I’m going to share with you some of my favorite escape room style video games you’ll be sure to love!
If you have a big group of escape room enthusiast friends, then Escape F1rst is the game for you! Escape F1rst is an escape room style game that can be played with up to 6 people! This game will definitely test you and your friends' ability to work well together! There are three different escape rooms to play: Psycho Circus, The Red Button, and Lost in Time. This game also has 3 different game modes, solo (if you want to escape by yourself!), co-op (two brains are better than one!), and competitive (for those players who really want a challenge!). The puzzles and rooms in this game are very well done, and any escape room fan will be sure to love this game!
Platform : Steam, Nintendo Switch
Superliminal is a puzzle game that is played from the first-person perspective and is set in the Pierce Institute. This game follows the player as they test the company's new SomnaSculpt technology developed for dream therapy.
Superliminal is a game based on the interesting use of forced perspective and optical illusions. By manipulating objects' perspectives and thinking outside of the box, players will find their way through different puzzle rooms in order to escape from the dream!
Platform : PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
The Room (Series):
The Room is, in my opinion, just like a real life escape room! This is the game that most people think of first when thinking of escape room style puzzle games! The Room is a three-dimensional puzzle game. Although it does not have much of a story, the only storyline being told by letters found around the room, the creativity of the puzzles make up for it! In this game, the player is presented with four puzzle boxes with the goal being to open them all up. To do this, players must use optical illusions and find the ornate puzzles built into seemingly ordinary items around the room. Everyday household objects are a lot more than they seem to be and hold the solution to an entire puzzle!
Platform : iOS, Android, Steam, Nintendo Switch
We Were Here / We Were Here Too / We Were Here Together:
We Were Here is a unique two-player escape game, so you’ll need a friend to play this with! In the We Were Here series, you and your partner are lost in a frozen wasteland and split up in different rooms in an abandoned castle. The only possession you each have is a walkie-talkie to talk to each other. Both parties must work together to help solve their partner's puzzles to find out what connects their rooms and to escape together. The players must have good communication with each other because the solution to a puzzle in your room is most likely in your partner’s room!
Platform : Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X & S, Xbox One
And when you finally get the motivation to get off the couch, get some exercise by coming on down to Quicksand Escape Games for more escape room fun! We have four amazing rooms to play: The Diner, Speakeasy Nouveau, Chinatown, and The Family Cabin, so there’s a little something for everyone here! Although video games are really fun and accessible, there’s really nothing like going to a real escape room!
Picture this – after many sleepless nights excitedly awaiting your escape room experience at
Quicksand (hey, we get it), the day is finally here. It’s all you could’ve imagined. You and your
team enjoy the best hour of your lives! But now what? Time to call it a day after 60 minutes of
puzzling? Absolutely not. After all, one does not simply waste a good parking spot in Pacific
Beach. Here are 4 ways to make the most of your night out in PB:
Catch the Sunset
Depending on your game schedule, there’s a good chance you’ll be out in time to see one of our
famous sunsets. Not to brag, but people have been known to stop in the middle of the street and
applaud – our sunsets are a pretty big deal. Luckily, the sun doesn’t even set until almost 8pm in
the summer! And Quicksand is conveniently located just 3 blocks away from the beach. You can
embrace the PB lifestyle and sit with your toes in the sand, or keep your shoes on while taking in
the beautiful views from Crystal Pier.
Pick Up a Sweet Treat
Did you know Quicksand is within walking distance of not one but two famous cookie spots?
Baked Bear, a company started by two San Diegans, is known for their legendary cookie-and-
ice-cream sandwiches. They’ve expanded their cookie goodness across the country from Texas
to Maryland, but our Pacific Beach storefront is the original location (circa 2013). Our second
favorite cookiery is Insomnia Cookies. They’re not a local company, but because they have some
incredible vegan and gluten-free cookie options (and are located just downstairs from us), we’re
willing to forgive. Both companies are also open until midnight, so you’re set no matter when
your escape room ends!
Toast Your Victory (or Drown Your Sorrows)
Since we all know you arrived at your escape game completely sober (right?), it’s only fair that
we offer some adult-friendly suggestions for afterwards. If you’re still feeling competitive,
Society PB (which is only a few doors down from our location) has nine pool tables and tons of
bar games. Or, if you're keen, take a quick stroll across Cass St then grab a flight from Crushed (which also features sliders for all tastes!).
Burn off Some Adrenaline
Win or lose, escape rooms can really pump up your adrenaline levels, and you might be looking
for a way to harness some of that energy. Luckily, PB is filled with fun spots to get active.
Topping the list is Mavericks Beach Club (21+), the quintessential PB party destination where
you can dance the night away. Start walking towards the beach from Quicksand and you can’t
miss it. If you’re looking to move to a different type of music, head a block east to Moonshine
Beach (21+), a surprisingly popular honky-tonk bar with country concerts and line dancing. If
you like bowling, we’re also walking distance from Break Point PB, where you can let out your
frustration on some bowling pins (kids welcome before 8pm).
No matter which activities sound the most exciting to you, remember that going to Quicksand
Escape Games isn’t just an hour-long experience; it’s the start of an amazing night filled with
beachy, Californian fun.
Hermione’s been called the brightest witch of her age, but does that automatically make her a
Quicksand escape room MVP? Do you think Malfoy would keep his team in line or cause them
to implode? And what about Ron’s incredibly specific wizard’s chess skills? We have some
thoughts. Sit back and enjoy the escape-room-meets-Harry-Potter crossover you never knew you
Harry Potter: 6/10
Of course we must begin with the Boy Who Lived. To be honest, Harry’s a bit of a toss-up. As a
Gryffindor, he’s a gifted leader and clearly has no problem convincing people to follow him
anywhere. His ability to motivate his friends would come in handy when they get tired or
discouraged. However, he also tends to make rash decisions that don’t always work out well
(stealing the Weasleys’ flying car, anyone?). We give him a solid six for leadership and moxie,
but considering the number of life-threatening situations he’s been in, his decision-making skills
might be better suited to magical duels than escape rooms.
Ron Weasley: 8/10
We can’t mention Ron without acknowledging his epic game of wizard’s chess, which allowed
Harry to move on and do all the cool hero things. Ron exemplifies one of the most important
escape room qualities: teamwork. While some escape room goers focus on understanding the
bigger picture, Ron is our boots-on-the-ground man getting things done. He’s the teammate
painstakingly translating morse code so someone else – ahem, Harry – can rush to the lock and
enter it themselves. He may not always get the credit, but here at Quicksand Escape Games, his
sacrifices will not go unnoticed. Eight points to Ronald Weasley!
Hermione Granger: 9/10
Time and time again, Hermione has basically saved the world using her logic and deductive
reasoning skills. While that might not be enough in all situations, cleverness is half the battle in
escape rooms. If Harry’s the idealistic leader and Ron’s the hands-on muscle, then Hermione is
the brains behind the operation, noticing small details and connecting clues. Admittedly, she’s
not the best at staying calm under pressure (cue the infamous Malfoy slap), so we won’t give her
a perfect score. But remember when she literally harnessed the power of time travel just to take
extra classes? Yeah, that should warrant a nine.
Draco Malfoy: 5/10
No offense to any Slytherins reading this, but we’re not convinced Draco’s resourcefulness
would compensate for his other – shall we say, darker – traits. A big theme here at Quicksand is
the importance of teamwork and collaboration. Good teammates know how to prioritize the
success of the group, but Draco seems a little more driven by personal ambition. He strikes us as
the type of guy who would discount his partners’ ideas, only to steal them a few minutes later
and play them off as his own. We bet he would also sabotage his team by refusing to take any
hints. Only five points for Draco.
Albus Dumbledor: 10/10
It’s Albus Dumbledor. If he can’t escape a room, we don’t know who can.
Most people don't consider the environmental impacts of the leisure activities they participate in, but each activity has an impact. Some impacts are small while some can be significant. Let's take a look at some of San Diego's popular activities and how they affect the environment.
Going to the beach is a tricky one environmentally as some people have no impact while others create significant waves (pun intended). The no impact group probably looks like someone local with their own beach equipment that uses bamboo mats to lay on (vs. towels that require washing and drying). They pack their own food in reusable containers. The high impact group on the other hand buy one-time use equipment, buy food in containers and most of it ends up in the garbage can (or the sand!) at the end of the day.
Reduce your impact at the beach by renting equipment and choosing restaurants that use recyclable containers.
San Diego's last remaining professional sports franchise draws a lot of excitement to locals and visitors. Win or lose the amount of waste produced at these games is staggering. The team of course uses tons of resources to keep the park pristine but there isn't anything a fan can do to curb that and the team does its best to use green technology to reduce the upkeep impact. Fans should remain mindful of the trash they produce at the game and consider how you get to the stadium. The best way to reduce your impact for a baseball game is to take the trolley to the stadium. Driving, and especially circling/idling for parking, has a huge significance on the environment each time the team plays at home.
San Diego's bays are a great place for water sports from stand-up paddle boards (SUPs) to jet skis and more. This one is obvious but activities like sailing, SUPing, or fishing are very low impact on the environment while jet skis and other motorized water vehicles use lots of gas, give off fumes and other fluids that end up in our air and in the bay. These activities are a lot of fun and shouldn't be shunned, but next time you want to get on the water you can reduce your impact by opting for a human-powered option rather than one with a motor.
Escape Room (A Quicksand one of course...)
An escape room is a no-brainer for people looking for a low-impact-on-the-environment activity. We are an indoor activity so we do consume electricity but we do everything we can keep our energy-use low. Like most escape rooms, we keep the rooms relatively dim and the bulbs we do use are LED. Many light bulbs have been with our company since day 1. Also, escape room are, by nature, reusable. The props move around but unlike, say, axe-throwing, that requires new wood targets per group, or golf which guzzles water to keep the greens green, we use the same materials over and over. We do need to replace props every now and again, but we do everything we can to create durable, resilient, clues that stand-up to constant use. More, when we build new rooms, the vast majority of the furniture we use is pre-owned and restored (or reverse re-stored depending on the scenario!).
Don't feel bad if you came to San Diego to jet ski or play a round of golf, but always keep in mind that everything we do has an impact on the environment. Sustainability is important in all aspects of life, even the fun ones.
As you try more and more escape rooms, you'll inevitably find yourself in both private escape rooms and public escape rooms. A public escape room is an escape game where you buy a ticket per person and are paired with other individuals who bought tickets for that same time slot. A private escape room is an escape game where you purchase admission for a whole group either at a flat rate or a tiered rate and no strangers can join your time slot.
At Quicksand Escape Games, we offer private escape games with tiered pricing (the price per person decreases as you bring more people). We dipped our toes in public games early on but made the switch to private escape rooms and never looked back.
Public escape rooms can be great experiences but they can also be very not-great experiences. Our sentiments are likely similar to others who have played both private and public, while public games can be fine, we've never met a customer who preferred being paired with strangers to their own private game if/when given the choice.
Common public escape room problems:
- Matched with very experienced players as an inexperienced player
- Matched with very inexperienced players as an experienced player
- Matched with very large groups or families as a couple or small group
- Matched with young children
- Matched with...unpleasant people
- Matched with two, three or even four different groups in one room
- Matched with drunk people
- Expecting to be matched up with more people in a difficult room and finding you're the only one booked
And the list goes on. Perhaps you can luck out and get matched with your future best friends but you probably have a better chance at one of the scenarios above. With a private escape room, you choose your team and you know exactly what you're getting.
We'd never rule out a few public escape rooms on our schedule, but generally speaking, private is preferred. You'll feel more comfortable communicating with each other without having to worry about being polite. You know each other's strengths and weaknesses. You'll end up working faster and smarter, and ultimately have a better chance at escaping!
At Quicksand Escape Games, we use the term "pre-solve" to describe when a player comes up with a well thought out theory about an eventual next step. You may figure out exactly what you need to do, but don't yet have the tools or final piece of the puzzle to complete it. When you do find that final piece, you will be well on your way. When pre-solving, be sure not to lose sight that a theory is a theory and don't get too hung up on something too long.
Did you just find a 2"x2" red ball with two blue dots on it? Tell everyone. Maybe that's exactly what your teammates have been waiting to find. It may seem like overkill but communicating what you've done and what you've found can save the team precious time in an escape room. It also prevents some teammates from spending time with items or puzzles that have already been solved. The better you communicate, the more cohesive and cooperative your escape room team becomes.
Always have your teammates' backs. Everyone makes mistakes, right? Borrowing from the first tip, don't assume your teammate is infallible. Whether it's double-checking a drawer or shelf or double-checking a combination/code you solved, don't hesitate to confirm what a teammate has told you. It may seem inefficient at times but too often a teammate will mishear the code they were tasked with inputting or excitedly forget to keep searching after finding a clue in a particular spot.
Don't Ignore Hints
Though different escape rooms in San Diego and across the globe have different methods and rules on hints, they all offer them in some way. When you ask for and/or receive a hint, don't ignore it. Unless the moderator is trying to waste your time, which would be pretty lousy, hints are given when they are given to push you towards a next step. While its always more fun to get it on your own, taking hints helps you progress and see more of the escape game, which is the best part.
Feel like you could take on any escape room now? Check out our schedule for the next available escape room at Quicksand Escape Games.
Do you have kids? Have you been hearing about escape rooms but haven't had a chance to try them because you have kids at home? Or maybe it's your kids that have been nagging you to bring them to an escape room? Either way, you're in luck!
All of our escape games are family friendly, meaning you can bring your kids with you to play. We recommend kids ages 12 and up, but we have had plenty of younger kids play with their families. We've had a few 9 and 10 year olds finding clues quicker than their parents and solving puzzles that seem to stump the others. We've had some 4 year olds who don't contribute as much to the puzzle solving but they certainly share in the escape room excitement with their families. Teens, especially, have an absolute blast. While adults look for reasons why a solution to a puzzle won't work, kids are busy listing all the ways it can. It is truly remarkable how effective a good imagination can be for solving an escape room!
An escape room is a great way to disconnect from your phones, strengthen your communication, and make new memories as a family. We've had families come through who have done many escape rooms together, and look forward to the next one.
If you choose to bring your kids with you and you can allow them to have their own fun for a few hours. G3kids, a gymnastics and athletic gym for kids, is just one block away from us, at 934 Garnet Ave. They offer a special "Parent's Night Off" every Friday night from 6:00-10:00pm where you can drop your kids off at their open gym and the instructors provide structured games, movies, and pizza. Pick them up after your own game and dinner, and everyone has fun!
Kids or not, our escape rooms are a lot of fun. Hopefully we'll see you soon!
Do you love to travel? (We do.) Escape rooms are the perfect activity for those who travel a lot. We did a lot of traveling last year across the country, and found ourselves playing an escape room or multiple escape rooms in each city we visited.
Because you can only play each escape room once, eventually you will run out of games in your hometown. That's why traveling to different cities to play escape games in the next evolution of play. We try to play at least two escape rooms in each city we visit. It's a great, fun, activity to add to your schedule that doesn't involve eating or drinking. It takes only an hour or so of your time, so you can still fit in (...take a break from...) your parks, museums, or whatever spots called you to that city in the first place.
Being in the heart of San Diego's Pacific Beach neighborhood, we've had so many tourists visit us (have you seen the pins on our map?). We meet so many escape room addicts from Los Angeles that have exhausted all the escape rooms in LA and have ventured down south to hit us. It's also so great to see when we have visitors from all over the country/world that have played hundreds of escape games throughout the country/world that have found us to add to their list.
It's just as special when first time players find us on TripAdvisor and decide to give escape rooms a try. These newbies are so blown away that they can't wait to try all the ones in their hometown. Our favorite is when our visitors have so much fun playing one of our escape rooms that they book our other escape room immediately after or return the next day. We've been told that Quicksand has been the highlight of their San Diego vacation.
Keep in mind that some escape games in major cities, where there aren't many companies, fill up days in advance. So when you're planning your trip, make sure to check their schedule to reserve a spot that fits best with your busy itinerary.
We just came back from a quick getaway to Palm Springs where we played two rooms at Escape Room Palm Springs. Some of our favorites across the country have been The Escape Game in Nashville and Austin, and Trapology in Boston. We'll keep you posted on more of our favorites as we travel more and try new escape rooms. Hopefully when you visit Quicksand Escape Games, we'll be your favorite escape room in San Diego!
To say Pacific Beach, San Diego is going through a culinary renaissance may be a bit over the top but the quality of places to grab a great beer or delicious meal have increased significantly in just the past few years.
We know at Quicksand Escape Games how important the pre- and post- escape room meals are and below are some of the newest, best, most unique, places for grub in our neighborhood.
These are just a handful of our newest favorites and do not include all the great places near us at Quicksand Escape Games.