There are Secrets the Government Doesn’t Want You to Know (That’s Why We Have The X-Files) – Room: Conspiracy – September 29, 2018

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… your belief in government conspiracies grows every year as you get older.

Avoid if… you think that your Amazon Echo (or Echo Dot) is secretly spying on you. (Seriously, ask Alexa if she works for the CIA…)


THE BASICS

ClueIQ:

Address: 103 S. Carroll St. #1A, Frederick, MD 21701 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 240-815-6458
www.clueiq.com
info@clueiq.com

Room – Conspiracy:

Description (from the company website): Trust no one.

Question everything.

Uncover the truth.

Step inside of a thrilling mystery centered around some of the greatest conspiracies of our time. Players will need to piece together the clues and connect the dots before time runs and the truth is lost forever. Strap on your tin foil hats and uncover the truth beneath the lies.

Difficulty: Intermediate/Expert

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $31 per person, but use ERG15 to take 15% off your games booked (not valid on Saturdays)

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 4-8

Staging Area: A small waiting room with a reception desk, and small fridge with water (don’t they have a fridge here???) and some small puzzles to work on while you wait.

Metro Access/Parking: It’s in the historic part of downtown Frederick, so if you’re going to visit from DC, you’re gonna need to drive. There is a parking lot right next to the building, or ample street parking nearby.


OUR EXPERIENCE

We actually forgot to do the pre- and post-videos because we had such a good time talking (at length) with the owner. W0mp W0mp

Note: The ERG were given the opportunity to try out this room for free, with the understanding that we would continue to provide an honest review and follow the same process we’ve used on all of our other ratings.

Logistics:

Description of the room: You walk into a room with 2 tables, a bunch of string-pointed diagrams on the walls, and what we could only guess to be a clean room in the back.

Understanding of the Mission: Uncover the clues in Icarus’ hideout, determine where he hid all the information, and get out with it before the Feds find you there.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 3:30

Our Suggested Party Size: We had 4 with one novice and one escape room virgin (ERV), and that was tough. We’d likely recommend 5-6.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Absolutely

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Alex and Anna

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: You’re in downtown Frederick in the historic district. Lots of places nearby to eat and drink (we don’t have a recommendation because we didn’t stop anywhere).

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Being Patient is Much Harder than Being “A” Patient – Room: The Patient – July 15, 2018

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you had psych as a GenEd in college.

Avoid if… being restrained is NOT your idea of a good time.


THE BASICS

Insomnia Escape DC:

Address: 2300 Wisconsin Ave NW, #200B, Washington, DC 20007 (click address for a Google Map)

Contact and Website: 202-600-0419
https://insomniaescaperoomdc.com/the-patient/

Room – The Patient:

Description (from the company website):

Detective thriller in a psychiatric hospital.
Investigate the mystery, but don’t lose your mind…

The early 1970s. You are a group of journalists sent to investigate strange things that happen around St. Elizabeth Psychiatric Hospital…

An unsettling atmosphere of a mental asylum and unexpected scenario twists in the new thriller detective escape room “The Patient.”

Difficulty (1-10)9/10

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $29/per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-8

Staging Area: The staging area was basically a lobby with a few couches and a coat rack. Note: this part of their location is located DOWNSTAIRS to the left of the main entrance..

Metro Access/Parking: The nearest Metro stop is either Tenleytown or Woodley Park metro (and then a bus), so it’s likely easier to drive/cab/Lyft in. There is street parking and one or two garages nearby.


OUR EXPERIENCE

This is the video we took before we entered the room:

Logistics:

Description of the room: A small office in what appears to be a mental institution.

Understanding of the Mission: Using our journalistic investigative skills, figure out what’s happening at St. Elizabeth’s Psychiatric Hospital.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: About 4 minutes.

Our Suggested Party Size: 4 if you’re all experienced; otherwise, 6 will work fine.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Ethan, Steph D., and Heather

Worth the time and money? This room is billed as their best and hardest room, and it was challenging (but not impossible).

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • Old Europe. Authentic German food a few minutes walk. Been there twice.
  • Glover Park Brewery – A good brewery with a nice selection of beers. No food, but they cycle in food trucks so you can get some grub.

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Who Wants to Live Forever, Anyway? – Room: The Alchemist – October 12, 2018

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’ve got the Midas touch.

Avoid if… you think that the Philosopher’s Stone originated with Harry Potter.


THE BASICS

Insomnia Escape DC:

Address: 2300 Wisconsin Ave NW, #200B, Washington, DC 20007 (click address for a Google Map)

Contact and Website: 202-600-0419
https://insomniaescaperoomdc.com/secret-society

Room – The Alchemist:

Description (from the company website): A perfect library with floor to ceiling bookshelves. The smell of old books that lingers here is distinctive, but it is hard to know exactly what creates the nostalgic aroma. The room looks like the place where Goldfinger would stockpile gold reserves. Oh, wait… Have I just said gold?

Well, that is right. Probably you have heard that the Order of the Alchemists has finally created the Philosopher’s Stone. The secret gathering of the Order is arranged to take control of the World with this powerful artifact. You are sneaking into the library of the Master of the Order just 60 minutes before the Order members will start arriving. You are the last hope of mankind, you have to stop them.

Our escape room could be filled with enough comfy chairs and reading material to call itself DC’s best-hidden library but you will not have time for such mundane activities anyway. This is the place where the Order of the Alchemist keeps their secret documents and your task it to find the Stone.

The Alchemist is an innovative escape room here in DC. Once you and a group of your friends cross the threshold, you are transported into a different world. Can you escape the library before the members of the Order come for you? Can you find the Stone before it is too late?

Difficulty (1-10): 9/10

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $29/per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-8

Staging Area: The staging area was basically a lobby with a couch, coat closet, and a water cooler.

Metro Access/Parking: The nearest Metro stop is either Tenleytown or Woodley Park metro (and then a bus), so it’s likely easier to drive/cab/Lyft in. There is street parking and one or two garages nearby.


OUR EXPERIENCE

This is the video we took before we entered the room:

This is the video we took just after we completed the room:

Logistics:

Description: Instead of describing it, we have a picture! (posted with permission from Insomnia Escape DC)

This is a view of the room from the entryway.
This is a view of the room from the entryway.

Understanding of the Mission: Pretty straightforward. Find the hidden Philosopher’s Stone before he comes back and catches you.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 13 minutes.

Our Suggested Party Size: We had 6; 4-6 should be perfect.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Not particularly

Members of the team (other than the ERG): Steph D, Heather, Rosemary, and Don

Worth the time and money? This room had previously been billed as their best and hardest room. We can tell you it’s certainly not the hardest.

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • Old Europe. Authentic German food a few minutes walk. Been there twice.

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Losing is Never an Option – Room: The Lost Ruins – June 30, 2018

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you enjoy a challenge and don’t mind getting a little dirty.

Avoid if… you hate losing, have a fear of flying, or are claustrophobic.


THE BASICS

Red Door Escape Room:

Address: 8103 Rasor Blvd Suite #100, Plano, TX 75024 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 972-787-0085
https://www.reddoorescape.com/location/plano

Room – The Lost Ruins:

Description (from the company website): You’ve received a rather cryptic journal from your missing graduate professor, Dr. Summerlee. Gather your classmates, travel to his last known coordinates and locate him before the jungle… or, perhaps something worse, claims him.

Difficulty (1-10)Medium

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $32

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 6v6

Staging Area: Lobby has plenty of seating, some games to keep your hands busy, and a brain teaser that, if I recall correctly, nets you 10% off.

Metro Access/Parking: It’s in a shopping center, but I don’t know anything about the public transit system down there. Drive or call a Lyft/Uber.


OUR EXPERIENCE

This is the video we took before we entered the room:

This is the video we took just after we completed the room (apologies for the wind):

Note: The ERG were given the opportunity to try out this room for free, with the understanding that we would continue to provide an honest review and follow the same process we’ve used on all of our other ratings.

Logistics:

Description of the room: You start off your (competitive) adventure in the remnants of a crash site and need to find your way out and through the series of rooms before the other team.

Understanding of the Mission: Find your Professor, or what he was searching before, before it’s too late and you become one with the jungle.

Did We Escape: Yes. We both won and lost, too. Read on.

Time Remaining: I don’t actually know but the other team beat us out of the room, but because they used a 4th clue (you only get 3), they lost 3 minutes off their time. So, we beat them, time-wise, by 90 seconds. (And we only used 2 clues.)

Our Suggested Party Size: We were a group of 6 (with 4 ERVs) against a group of 4 novices. I would highly recommend 4 as your minimum.

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): John, Rosemary, Jayden, Julian, Steph D.

Worth the time and money? Absolutely

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

The Princess is in ANOTHER Castle?! DAMMIT! – Room: 8-Bit Escape – July 22, 2018

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you remember blowing on the old game cartridges to get them to work.

Avoid if… you don’t know Mario from Luigi (or their last name) or who Donkey Kong is.


THE BASICS

Escape Room Herndon:

Address: 404 Elden Street, Herndon, VA 20170 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 506-306-2279
www.escaperoomherndon.com

Room – 8-Bit Escape:

Description (from the company website): Your friends have come over to play your newest video game, but once you get to the basement you see your mom has locked up all your gaming gear until you finish your homework.  You and your friends have 60 minutes to find all your gear and put it back together before your mom kicks them out and they all go over to Wade’s house.

Difficulty (1-10)7/10

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $28 per person

Identifier: N1 (Replaced The Cursed Crypt)

Party Size: 4-6

Staging Area: A pretty large lobby with a few bar tables and chairs, and a lounge with couches and chairs and tables.

Metro Access/Parking: It’s in Herndon so you’re better off driving. However, this place is in a shopping center so there is plenty of parking.


OUR EXPERIENCE

This is the video we took before we entered the room:

This is the video we took just after we completed the room:

Note: The ERG were given the opportunity to try out this room for free, with the understanding that we would continue to provide an honest review and follow the same process we’ve used on all of our other ratings.

Logistics:

Description of the room: It’s the basement from what was likely your parents’ house back from the early 80s, with shag carpeting, wood paneling, and an old, comfy couch. There are tons of different toys around and a few gaming systems. [There is literally the same wood paneling from my basement growing up. -Jason]

Understanding of the Mission: You didn’t do your homework, so your mom dismantled your new game system. Figure out how to re-assemble it before your friends arrive; if it’s not “ready, player one,” they’re gonna go over to Wade’s house. (And seriously, screw Wade.)

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 7:25

Our Suggested Party Size: 4-6 (their recommendation is spot on)

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Heather, Valerie, and Steph D.

We found all the games and didn't lose our friends to "Wade".
We found all the games and didn’t lose our friends to “Wade”.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

Continue reading

The Sky is Falling! – Room: Tesla’s Legacy – August 11, 2018

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you are a science nerd or love your gadgets.

Avoid if… you don’t know the difference between alternating current and direct current.


THE BASICS

ExitGames – Escape Room Zagreb:

Address: Petrinjska ul. 7, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 011 (if dialing from outside Croatia), then 385 91 536 7376
http://www.exitgames.hr/en/
info@exitgames.hr

Room – Tesla’s Legacy:

Description (from the company website):

“Only one hour is left until a total world annihilation. Your team of experts is humanity’s only hope for survival. Will you have enough courage and cunning to save us all?”

Don’t worry, you are not alone. You have one of the greatest minds in history on your side, Nikola Tesla. Tesla’s legacy adventure offers a rich setting intertwined with specially designed puzzles submerging you into a wondrous world of fascinating mechanical devices. Strange noises and lights, weird contraptions and fun gadgets will both guide and distract you on your way to becoming a hero.

Choose this ExitGames adventure if you want to learn about one of history’s most fascinating minds and uncover some of his secrets that enabled him to invent machines light years ahead of his time and literally bring light to the world.

Difficulty: none given

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: Cost: Cash only in Croatian kuna is accepted
350 kuna for 2-3 people, about $47.10 per group ($23.55 or $15.70 per person)
450 kuna for 4-5 people, about $60.56 per group ($15.14 or $12.11 per person)
500 kuna for 6-7 people, about $67.29 per group ($11.22 or $9.61 per person)

Languages: Offered both in Croatian and English

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2–7 people

Staging Area: A very comfortable lobby with plenty of seating.

Metro Access/Parking: This location is directly in the city center, right near Ban Jelačić Square. Uber works well in Zagreb.


OUR EXPERIENCE

This is the video we took before we entered the room:

This is the video we took just after we completed the room:

Logistics:

Description of the room: A large laboratory with tons of gadgets, a huge bookcase, and what appears to be a bar (it’s not… no liquor) on the side of the room. There is also a very large door on one side of the room.

Understanding of the Mission: There is a meteor hurtling towards Earth, with enough mass to produce a force upon contact that will destroy the entire planet. All nations of the world have banded together to try and stop it, to no avail.

There is only one hope left. Nikola Tesla

Did We Escape: Yes… with some help

Time Remaining: Technically 0:00, but the meteor “slowed down” as it approached Earth, giving us some extra time to solve the last few puzzles (they gave us some extra time since it was just the two of us)

Our Suggested Party Size: 4-6 would be a good number for your team

Did the room challenge the entire team? Oh. My. God. YES!!

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Heather

Mike and Heather infiltrated Tesla’s laboratory in search of one of his experiments to save the Earth.

Worth the time and money? Absolutely, yes!

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: There are lots of places within walking distance, so we recommend you use Google or TripAdvisor (or ask for a recommendation!)

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Where are Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts When You Need Them? – Room: Conspiracy X – June 23, 2018

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you truly still believe that Elvis is alive or the pyramids were built .by aliens.

Avoid if…you have a friend who is a conspiracy theorist who is always trying to get you to believe his/her stories (our condolences).


THE BASICS

Cville Escape Room: (MOVED TO NEW LOCATION June 1, 2018)

Address: 310 E. Main St., Charlottesville, VA

Contact and Website: 434-566-9499
https://www.cvilleescaperoom.com

Room – Conspiracy X:

Description (from the company website): Obsessed with conspiracy theories, a friend sends a final desperate message: one of his theories is true! Separate fact from fiction before time runs out! An intriguing mystery for up to 8 investigators.

(image taken from Cville Escape Room’s website)

Difficulty (1-10): unlisted

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $25 + tax per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 8

Staging Area: They put us in a small waiting room with chairs and then came in to give us the briefing. It’s cool that Cville Escape Room has a Lock & Key Club for players who have done 4 rooms at this location. Once you hit your 4th room, you get your name on a ribbon attached to an antique key, and for every successive room, you get a small key pin added to the ribbon.

Metro Access/Parking: There’s a pay-parking lot about 1.5 blocks away and street parking, if you can find it.


OUR EXPERIENCE

This is the video we took before we entered the room:

This is the video we took just after we completed the room:

Note: The ERG were given the opportunity to try out this room for free, with the understanding that we would continue to provide an honest review and follow the same process we’ve used on all of our other ratings.

Logistics:

Description of the room: The room is a cluttered apartment littered with stuff all around, and tons of posters, newspaper articles, and other stuff on the walls.

Understanding of the Mission: We have to explore the different conspiracy theories of a friend of ours (who has since gone into hiding) to determine which conspiracy theory is correct.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 4:47

Our Suggested Party Size: 6 was good, but only if you have experienced people with you (there is a LOT to do in this room… see below).

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Heather, Steph, Corey, and Brittany

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After: It’s downtown Charlottesville right off the main pedestrian walkway, so there are tons of options. We ate dinner at the place below.

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There Were No Pigs In This Pen…Only Felons And Explosives – Room: The Pen – August 19, 2018

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you like being distracted, getting dirty, and enjoy loud noises and the smell of death.

Avoid if… you’re easily scared/creeped out, or are a germaphobe.


THE BASICS

Hellscream Haunt:

Address: 3021 N Hancock Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80907 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 719-650-4483
Https://www.hellscreamhaunt.com

Room – The Pen:

Description (from the company website): YOUR FELLOW PRISONERS ARE BREAKING OUT OF THE PENITENTIARY. THEY DIDN’T SAY HOW THEY ARE DOING IT, BUT THEY DID LEAVE BEHIND SOME CLUES. TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE, IN ORDER TO LEAVE, THEY NEED TO BLOW UP YOUR CELL! YOU HAVE 60 MINUTES TO GET AS FAR AWAY FROM THE BLAST AS POSSIBLE.

Difficulty (1-10)Medium and EXTRA Scary (you have the option of choosing Medium or Hard, as well as Scary or Not Scary, but this is their hardest room)

Time Limit: 60 minutes (and you will need every second)

Cost: $28

Identifier: R1

Party Size: Up to 6

Staging Area: This whole place is also a haunted house, so there’s a queue outside where everyone can line up then they bring you in. Once you get in, there’s a small area where you get the briefing before they start your game.

Metro Access/Parking: Drive or get a Lyft/Uber


OUR EXPERIENCE

I totally forgot to do any Facebook Live video’s for this room and I’m totally bummed about that. We rushed in because we were so excited and I just completely forgot after.

Note: The ERG were given the opportunity to try out this room for free, with the understanding that we would continue to provide an honest review and follow the same process we’ve used on all of our other ratings.

Logistics:

Description of the room: You start in a jail cell that is tiny, grimy, and disgusting. Perfect!

Understanding of the Mission: The previous resident of your jail cell wants to destroy the jail. Problem is you’re still in it. He tells you that if you can get to the control room, you should be able to create another small explosion so you can get out safely before the whole building goes KA-BOOM.

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 56 seconds remaining (LEADERBOARD) and used only 3 of the 4 available clues (ALSO LEADERBOARD… they have multiple boards)

Our Suggested Party Size: 4-6

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Marco, Steph, Dillon

Does this look like a team of felons that escaped a soon-to-be-exploded penitentiary? Well, it is!

Worth the time and money? HELL. YES.

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We Played… Wisely – Room: Quest for the Holy Grail – May 27, 2018

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you ever fantasized about being one of King Arthur’s Knights of the Roundtable

Avoid if… you hate drafty castles.


THE BASICS

Room Escape Williamsburg:

Address: 1215 Mount Vernon Ave, Suite E, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 757-229-1215
http://www.roomescapewilliamsburg.com
info@roomescapewilliamsburg.com

Room – Quest for the Holy Grail:

Description (from the company website): You’ve heard word of a legend, a mystical cup that can give you eternal youth! You’ve got one hour to traverse this medieval castle and find the Holy Grail. Can you find it while you’re still young, or will you be doomed to age like everyone else?

Difficulty: Success Rate is 38%; average escape time is 52:16

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $27 per person

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-6

Staging Area: A small lobby with a few stools and games to play on. There is an ante-room where you get your video briefing.

Metro Access/Parking: It’s in Williamsburg, so no direct public transportation as far as we know. But, there is plenty of parking.


OUR EXPERIENCE

This is the video we took before we entered the room:

This is the video we took just after we completed the room:

Logistics:

Description of the room: You enter a castle room, with tapestries on the walls, a table with symbols and swords embedded into it, and some other furniture.

Understanding of the Mission: You are a group of archaeologists who believe that they’ve stumbled upon the legendary castle of King Arthur! You find clues that the Holy Grail is possibly inside. Unfortunately, you’ve triggered a trap where the castle will crumble to the ground with you in it, so you only have 60 minutes to find the Holy Grail and escape!

Did We Escape: Yes

Time Remaining: 16:07

Our Suggested Party Size: 4 worked pretty well

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Steph D. and Heather

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • Antonio’s Italian Restaurant – we ate here before going to the room, and it was EXCELLENT!
  • You’re in Colonial Williamsburg. Tons of shops and restaurants to choose from.

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We Got Out With Our Lives, But The Mummy…Not So Much – Room: Egypt Tomb – August 18, 2018

ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you like anything Egypt, Indiana Jones, or digging for treasure.

Avoid if… mummies freak you out or the thought of getting trapped in a tomb makes you hyperventilate.


THE BASICS

Glenwood Escape Room:

Address: 918 Grand Ave, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 (click address for Google Map)

Contact and Website: 970-945-7529
https://www.glenwoodescape.com/

Room – Egypt Room:

Description (from the company website): You and your team of treasure hunters have just discovered riches beyond measure in an ancient Egyptian tomb, but word has gotten out to nearby tomb robbers who are desperate to have it for themselves. Find encrypted clues, solve heiroglyphic puzzles and crack the code within an hour, or be captured by the robbers and locked within the tomb forever!

Difficulty (1-10)N/A

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $29 (All bookings are private)

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-8

Staging Area: Lobby has a couch and some puzzle games to play with. Water is available.

Metro Access/Parking: Glenwood Springs is a little touristy and a few hours from Colorado Springs, so you’re probably driving there. Plenty of street parking, though.


OUR EXPERIENCE

This is the video we took before we entered the room:

This is the video we took just after we completed the room:

 

Logistics:

Description of the room: The room is supposed to be an archaeological dig site. You start in a giant tent and make your way to the hidden tomb. Nothing is really hidden from you except where the tomb is.

Understanding of the Mission: Find the hidden Pharaoh’s tomb, escape with your life

Did We Escape: Yep!

Time Remaining: 10:29

Our Suggested Party Size: 4 is sufficient

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Steph

We found the Pharaoh’s tomb and escaped before it was pillaged.

Worth the time and money? Yes

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • Smoke Modern BBQ – We went here before because we were super hungry after the hot springs. The food was great as was the service.

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