Ipswich trip advisor
Each month in QT Magazine we’re giving YOU the opportunity to share stories of your travels, your holiday stories and what advice you’d give to other people looking to do the same. This month’s ‘Trip Advisor’ is Clayton York, from Basin Pocket, who shared all the ins and outs of his visit to the USA earlier this year, taking in the East Coast and San Francisco. Clayton was there to take in the madness of a Presidential election.
Who went on your holiday? My partner Andrew and myself. It took us a little while to work out where we were going to visit as there were so many places we wanted to see but with limited time. We had visited England, Scotland and Italy in 2015 so we already had the travel bug. How did you plan ahead? After working out that we would be gone for about a month, we could then narrow down our places to visit. We both wanted to see San Francisco, New York and Washington DC, but we also wanted to see a few places that not everyone goes to. We actually went to the Travel Expo early last year with the intention of just having a look around but we ended up booking all our flights on the day. The staff from Virgin and Flight Centre at the Travel Expo were fantastic and advised us how to best book our international and US domestic flights. Where did you go? We flew into Los Angeles and transferred to a flight to San Francisco. We then flew to the East Coast and visited Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, and finally, New York City. How did you get there? We flew Virgin Australia to Los Angeles and then Virgin America domestically within the United States. We couldn’t fault Virgin Australia or Virgin America and found their service really good. Andrew and I particularly enjoyed watching the Virgin America safety video. If you get a chance watch it on YouTube. Travelling between the cities we visited on the East Coast, we used Amtrak (rail and bus) services. We found the system easy to use, reliable and very cost effective. What were your impressions of San Francisco? We both loved San Francisco. It was a very friendly city that was easy to navigate and full of little surprises. But if you are going there, do some training as you’ll be doing lots of walking up very steep hills. Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island were particular highlights for us. We actually walked across the Golden Gate Bridge and would definitely recommend doing this if you can. On the other side of the bridge is a small village called Sausalito, a must see, and we were able to easily get a ferry back to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco from Sausalito. Was Washington DC what you expected? It was actually better than what we expected. I initially thought it might be a little boring but it was far from that. Seeing the main sights in person was amazing and a particular highlight for me was standing at the Lincoln Memorial on the very spot where Martin Luther King Jr gave his “I Have A Dream” speech. We were in Washington DC a week before the 2016 Presidential election so there was lots of political talk around the city, but this just added to the fantastic vibe. What was your favourite experience in Washington? There were so many awesome experiences. Visiting the main tourist spots was probably the highlight, in particular seeing the White House, the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument. We also both enjoyed visiting Georgetown but it was raining so we couldn’t explore as much as we would have liked. Visiting the Holocaust Museum was a very emotional experience but is a definite must-see. How do you feel about Washington now? To be honest we were very surprised at how wonderful it was to visit, as the people, places and experiences were amazing. We’d love to go back and explore it even more one day. What tips would you give Ipswich residents thinking of going there? Definitely allow enough time to fully explore both cities. We spent four nights in both Washington and San
Fran,also foundbut coulda great have way easilyto help spent us a exploreweek in San either. FranciscoWe and Washington DC was to book onto the Big Bus Tours. They ran regularly, stopped at the main points of interest and usually offered a few side tours or attraction passes at reduced prices. We also did a night bus tour in Washington DC, that was included in the price of our Big Bus Tour ticket, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the city sights at night. Also, if you plan on visiting Alcatraz Island when in San Francisco, make sure you book your tickets to the island as soon as you can. There is only one company that operates tours to Alcatraz and only a limited number of places are available each day, so if you aren’t on the ball, you’ll miss out and there’s no other way to visit the island. My best tip, which I discovered too late is that if you plan on visiting the White House, you need to apply for tickets through the Australian Embassy in Washington before you travel. We unfortunately didn’t know this in advance, so we couldn’t go into the grounds, but this gives us an excuse to go back. What would you do differently if you went back? Definitely allow for more time in each city. We hardly scratched the surface. Where do you plan to go next? We are already planning another trip to the United States for later next year. This time we want to explore the southern states, as well as Las Vegas and Los Angeles. WANT TO SHARE YOUR TRAVEL STORIES? QT Magazine wants to hear about your travels, and your tips for anyone considering going to where you went. Been to Bali, Europe, Asia, South America or New Zealand in the past couple of years? Email your details to Darren.firstname.lastname@example.org and you could be in the June issue of QT Magazine.
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
The White House
Houses in San Francisco
Behave yourself at Alcatraz