10 Best Escape Rooms in San Diego for a Thrilling Adventure
If you like a healthy dose of thrill, then escape rooms should be at the top of your bucket list. Combining problem-solving skills, group collaboration, and creative thinking, escape rooms are a spectacular way to sharpen your skills and have fun all in one! What better way to train your brain than through an activity you can experience with friends, coworkers, or family?
Escape rooms blend technology, engaging themes and story lines, puzzles, props, audio engineering, and lighting into a seamless experience that is both realistic and exhilarating. They encourage you to work under pressure, improve communication and teamwork, explore your inquisitive and analytical side, and interact with different minds to solve problems together. It is a rewarding experience, but be prepared to go through a wave of emotions, from frustration to excitement to relief.
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San Diego’s Best Escape Rooms
When it comes to San Diego escape rooms, you’ve got tons of options to choose from. Consider yourself a fear-seeker? There are rooms that will keep you on your toes and shaking in your boots. Enthusiast of fairy tales? There are escape games that possess enchanting qualities that will have you feeling like you’ve been transported to a different dimension.
We’ve composed a list of 10 of the best escape rooms in San Diego that feature well-thought-out puzzles, riddles, codes to be cracked, impressive mechanics and unique storylines that will leave you scrambling to find hidden clues as the clock ticks. The ball is in your court to put your heads together before you are trapped inside for eternity.
Well, not eternity–legally, they can’t keep you there forever. But it sure does feel a lot more gratifying to escape before time runs out. Remember, the objective is to carry out your mission, not fail it!
Let’s scope the list, shall we?
The Escape Game San Diego
The Escape Game is among the most unique escape game centers you’ll encounter in San Diego. They offer 4 diverse escape rooms for all skill levels–Prison Break, The Depths, Special Ops: Mysterious Market, and Gold Rush. Each themed experience transports you into peculiar settings where you’ll have to put your team building and critical thinking skills to the test to assemble pieces of puzzles, solve riddles, complete physical tasks, and beyond. Your mission might be to combat a global crisis that threatens the world, break free from a 1950s style prison,or navigate in a submarine to discover what is hiding deep in the ocean. No matter what adventure you choose, you’ll be amazed by the incredible artistry, mechanics, sound effects, and detail that make the environments feel extremely realistic.
The Escape Game offers a good mixture of unlocking locks with codes, keys, and timed hints, but you’ll only have 60 minutes to break free–or else. Customers rave that they love the puzzles so much, they opt to stay for a second game.
- Address: 232 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
- Phone: (619) 853-2834
- Hours: Mon – Sun, 8 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Red Door Escape Room Fashion Valley
This San Diego escape room features a spacious setting, which is a bit different from the semi-claustrophobic-feeling rooms you’ll find at other escape game establishments. Not only is the production value top of the line, but so are the themes and mechanics that make each experience come to life. Choose from 8 different rooms with varying levels of difficulty – some more enchanting–like Once Upon a Time–and some more in-your-face–such as Fair Game – a carnival-themed thrilling adventure.
You can choose from a full episode that spans an hour, or a mini-game for 30 minutes. Like many escape rooms, you aren’t allowed to bring phones into the room, so you’ll have to soak up the experience sans technology.
- Address: 7007 Friars Rd Suite 212, San Diego, CA 92108
- Phone: (619) 679-1690
- Hours: Sun – Thurs, 12 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Fri – Sat, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
The Hour Room – Escape Room
The Hour Room features complex puzzles with life-like plot lines that require strong cooperation to complete your mission. The Abandoned Basement–their main escape room–is where you’ll take on the character of a hostage, working collectively to solve hidden clues from a previous hostage who never succeeded in escaping from the underground. This is a great way to use your rational and investigation skills to crack thought-provoking codes. The more players, the cheaper the price. All games are private, so this is a perfect setting for a team outing or birthday party.
- Address: 1027 Sixth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
- Phone: (619) 732-6885
- Hours: Mon – Sun, 10:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
The Unlockables Escape Rooms
The Unlockables is one of the few San Diego escape rooms that offer impeccable themes, production, and room design. They have three different locations–Poway, Kearny Mesa (this location), and San Diego. At their Kearny Mesa location, you can select from 3 thrilling adventures: Resident Alpha–where you have to find a cure to save the world, Contraband–where you have to steal money heist, or Alien Alumni-where you must find your way out of detention. Teamwork makes the dream work–you must divide and conquer, working on multiple puzzles simultaneously in a non-linear fashion to find context clues to solve the experience. The ominous music and sound effects of each room help create suspense and really bring you into the experience.
- Address: 7380 Clairemont Mesa Blvd #205, San Diego, CA 92111
- Phone: (619) 535-6259
- Hours: Mon – Sat, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sun, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Steal and Escape
Get ready for a thrilling experience that is both challenging and adventurous at Steal and Escape. Their hi-tech AI integrations are truly WOW-worthy and their well-designed escape rooms feature challenging yet approachable puzzles. Each nontraditional and uniquely tailored mission requires no age limit, and gives you 60 minutes to complete the objective. You’ll have 3 epic rooms with varying levels of difficulty to choose from–The Lost Expedition, The Neighbor, and The Missing Season. Choose your path–stealing discoveries from your neighbor, excavating a dig site to bring back ancient artifacts, or convincing the guardian of the seasons to add a 5th season to our cyclical calendar.
- Address: 2602 Transportation Ave Suite B, San Diego, CA 91950
- Phone: (619) 259-4096
- Hours: Mon – Tues, & Thurs 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri – Sat, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sun, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Escape Era Escape Room
This is a San Diego escape room you don’t want to miss! Enter, observe, solve, and escape this carefully curated series of puzzles. You can select from their Deja Vu escape game–a slightly more forgiving room where you might have to get on your hands and knees and crawl–or the Arcade Room–a non-linear, retro-themed experience that is not for the faint of heart. Be prepared to break into teams and work independently on different tasks that end up being part of a greater whole–woven together throughout your journey to escape. Best time is 40 minutes–see if you can beat it!
- Address: 5830 Oberlin Dr #303, San Diego, CA 92121
- Phone:(858) 707-5830
- Hours: Mon – Sun, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Quicksand Escape Games
Quicksand Escape Games pays meticulous attention to detail to provide an authentic experience for their customers. You’ll run into your typical black light stuff, but you’ll also bump into unexpected turns and challenges you won’t find at your average escape room. There are 4 rooms with playful themes, all with enticing and clean layouts and props. If you get stuck on any problem or puzzle, you can refer to your supportive game host that can give you gentle nudges in the right direction. Many tasks you’ll have to solve and complete require collecting numbers and counting things, so if that’s up your alley, this escape room is for you!
- Address: 1001 Garnet Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
- Phone: (619) 929-0152
- Hours: Mon – Sun, 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Use observation skills and deductive reasoning to solve complicated puzzles and save Sherlock Holmes before time runs out! MindFox Escape is clean, boasts impressive artistic elements and high quality mechanics that help transport you into a different time and place. Select from two escape games–Moriarty’s Manor, a multi room escape game set in the Victorian era, or Black & White Cafe–a single room escape game with a mind-altering twist. On this whimsical adventure, you’ll have to find items that activate a diamond prism before you are trapped in a colorless world forever. If you get stuck, game masters are there to help you when you’re in a pinch.
- Address: 7404 Trade St, San Diego, CA 92121
- Phone: (858) 800-1234
- Hours: Wed – Thurs, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Fri, 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Sat, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sun, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Closed Mondays & Tuesdays
Exxcape Games – San Diego Escape Room
If you’re into frightening thrills, look no further–Exxcape Games offers an unforgettable immersive challenge that keeps your heart pumping and your mind moving. Ashley is a 2000 square feet gaming area with 6 rooms and long corridors, where you’ll have 90 minutes to complete your assignment. The setting is your old high school, which brings up memories of a terrible incident that happened with your classmate Ashley. You’ll have to unravel the mystery of what happened to her in order to transport out of the past and into the present. Live actors are present–so be careful, because you are not alone. The difficulty level of this escape game is rated an 8/10.
- Address: 7847 Convoy Ct #101, San Diego, CA 92111
- Phone: (619) 671-8285
- Hours: Mon – Sun, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
The Entrapment encapsulates the essence of the perfect escape room: thought-provoking puzzles, charismatic themes, fun and magical props, and a friendly guide to help you on this high energy experience. There are 3 unique, fully immersive rooms to choose from, all of which are linear and offer an intriguing ambiance. Each experience varies in difficulty and time to complete, ranging from 60 minutes to 90 minutes. Completing these challenges is no easy feat, but worth the frustration and trepidation to accomplish. For larger groups, The Entrapment offers an exciting outdoor puzzle called Puzzle Pursuit.
- Address: 7990 Dagget St, Suite a-10, San Diego, CA 92111
- Phone: (858) 848-6539
- Hours: Sun – Thurs, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri – Sat, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
There is no denying that these games will certainly help connect you and your group on a personal level. Escape rooms offer a fun break from your workload–designed to help teams work together and utilize their creative and critical thinking skills. Of course, you might not make it out in time, but don’t be discouraged, you can always try again! While we think the best escape room San Diego has to offer is The Escape Game, there’s an eclectic array of San Diego escape rooms for all preferences and problem solvers, so we encourage you to try multiple!
About the author: Courtney Pester is a content writer, designer, and singer based in San Diego. When she’s not writing articles, she’s curating delectably aesthetic charcuterie boards, writing songs, and dipping in the ocean.