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From California Meetings & Events Magazine Spring Issue 2014
San Diego Tour Company finds success making motion meaningful
In 2003, Marc and Darlynne Menkin launched WHERE YOU WANT TO BE TOURS to show off the hidden gems of San Diego to families,groups and leisure travelers. Today, corporate groups represent 90 percent of their business. Their tours offer a range of physical activities, from biking and walking tours to interactive bus adventures, customized culinary and wine tours and the signature Urban Challenge Scavenger Hunt. Here, they share what they’ve learned over the past decade
From California Meetings & Events Magazine Fall Issue 2011
Best Teambuilding – The Winner Is: Where You Want To Be Tours
Discover secret San Diego while learning new things about yourself and your co-workers during a fun, high energy Scavenger Hunt with Where You Want To Be Tours. This unique tour company, located in San Diego, takes a child-like “Aloha” approach to life and tours, as they set up adventures that are both historical and hysterical. Scavenger hunts focus on team bonding, problem solving and time management. Highlights of the scavenger hunt include visiting spots that only locals are aware of, a gentle walk around the city and keepsake photo albums. In addition,, Where You Want To Be Tours offers a number of other walking tours, such as The La Jolla Shores Walking Tour and Downtown with a Difference. Other fun activities include wine tasting and food tours, kayaking, fun runs, guided hikes and limo tours.
The married couple, who own and operate the San Diego companies Out of the Ordinary Group & Team Adventures and Where You Want to Be, already had offered walking adventures as part of their professional repertoire.
Where You Want To Be Tours now offers visitors the opportunity to discover Secret San Diego with 3 new two hour tours. The Walking Tour, Neighborhoods of Balboa Park – A Nature Lover’s Adventure, explores historic neighborhoods that surround the famous park, bridges spanning pristine canyons and bamboo forests. Downtown with a Difference is a behind the scenes walking tour of the city’s hidden gems, from the historic Gaslamp Quarter to Petco Park; visitors will get a different glimpse of the area once known as the redlight Stingaree district. For a change of pace, guests can opt for the Discover Pacific Beach Bike Ride, a relaxing spin through the beach neighborhood locals love, and check out little-known wonders such as a giant Tiki Statue and 7-foot tall pirate statues, plus other surprises. This tour includes the bike rental and promises a leisurely ride with no steep hills.
Coastal Living Magazine
“Got Wheels? San Diego is the place to go for biking!”
For some stop-and-go action, sign up for a two-hour bike tour led by freelance TV Newscaster Darlynne Reyes Menkin and her
husband, Marc. The couple moved to San Diego 16 years ago from Philadelphia and delight in sharing the area with newcomers- on
bikes, Segways, buses or on foot. “We’re walking concierges,” Darlynne says. One tidbit you’ll learn is that Mission Bay’s 4,235
acres compose one of the largest man-made aquatic parks on the West Coast. “It was dismal mudflats in the 1940’s,”Marc says.
“But they dredged the bay, made it accessible to boats and turned it into the nautical community you see today.”
Desert Sun Jan 2012
Scavenge This! San Diego Magazine March 9, 2008 by Ron Donoho
I love to scavenge. A few years ago, my company hired Where You Want to Be Tours to run a team~building scavenger hunt. it was a warm summer day. Teams departed San Diego Magazine’s office in a double-decker bus. Sales guy Jim EIy’s yellow Afro wig bobbed in the breeze. The mood was high. The game began on a boat. We ran off the Marriott marina dock toward our first scavenger clue–the carousel in Seaport Village. Little did my team know we’d set the Where You Want to Be Tours’ record for most clues and tasks solved (they’ve been in business since July 2003). I was named team MVP. My prize: a psychedelic-colored ceramic shoe-bank. True story.
Where Tours is run by Darlynne and Marc Menkin. “After the San Diego Magazine hunt, we had to change the rules and not allow running,” says Darlynne. Indeed, we had an art director in flip flops who was not too happy afterward.
Darlynne later asked me to help out as a team leader for other companies’ downtown hunts. I’ve done three, including a University of San Diego Dads & Daughters race. The sorority girls were excitable and competitive. The dads frequently asked if we could stop for a beer. Downtown San Diego is a perfectly diverse place to scavenge. Last July, my team competed in a hunt sponsored by Dreyers Ice Cream. We were up against two dozen corporate teams. Starting at Horton Plaza, we had half an hour to accomplish 30 tasks. We nailed 22-things like counting the number of lights on the Gaslamp Theater marquee, and gathering sugar packets from certain restaurants.
Our team put one player on a bike. This ploy is legal. Nonetheless, we were booed when it was announced SD Mag won a
half-year’s supply of free Dreyers |ce cream. Where Tours didn’t run this scavenger hunt. But they did enter as a team. Marc and Darlynne’s posse tied for second place. Wouldn’t you say that’s like your company softball team beating the Padres? Darlynne later asked me to help out as a team leader for other companies’ downtown hunts, I’ve done three, including a University of San Diego Dads & Daughters race. The sorority girls were excitable and competitive. The dads frequently asked if we could stop for a beer. Downtown San Diego is a perfectly diverse place to scavenge.
Desert Sun Jan 2012
California Meetings & Events May 2012
Redefining Team building – Teamwork and Productivity Exercises for a New Generation
After years of success with their customized adventure scavenger hunts, owners Darlynne and Marc Menkin decided to create a teambuilding activity where people could have fun and give back to the community at the same time. Their Charity Scavenger Hunt has been a hit with companies, such as Ralph Lauren, since its inception.
“In this particular scavenger hunt, the tasks are designed so that the company can help a charity/nonprofit group of their choice,” says Darlynne Menkin. “For example, we had a group buy toys as one of the scavenger hunt tasks. At our awards ceremony, we arranged to have kids from a homeless shelter stop by so that the corporate group could personally give them the toys.” And since their adventures are all about hidden San Diego, teams can expect to visit places they’ve never seen or have only heard about. The tasks run the gamut from finding specific murals, public art or historical tributes to writing creative songs and ad jingles. If a team loves the thrill of a physical challenge, the Menkins can add fun obstacle courses and other cool twists.
“We hired Darlynne and Marc for our fall conference in San Diego and couldn’t have been more pleased with the results,” says Jasmine Freeman of Office Dynamics. “[They were] two of the easiest people to work with; they listened to our needs and our ideas and crafted an event that we felt was tailored to fit our group. Their team arrived full of spunk and did an expert job at encouraging creativity and team spirit among our participants.”
San Diego Metropolitan Magazine
Where San Diego Magazine
Ever wanted to be on the Amazing Race? Try Where You Want To Be Tours, which sets guests loose on a scavenger hunt wherein they locate, explore and enjoy privileged access to historical landmarks, rooftop lounges, artsy boutiques and trendy hotels with minor assistance from an upbeat team leader. Complete a challenge at each site, record it using creative photography and earn your clue to the next site and task. All hunts end with an energetic ceremony at a restaurant where awards are presented to the winning team. Length 3 hours
The most popular are Downtown, Old Town, Balboa Park, Coronado, La Jolla, The UCSD Campus and Encinitas.