Ip­swich trip ad­vi­sor

QT Magazine - - TRAVEL -

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.hallesy@qt.com.au and you could be in the June is­sue of QT Magazine.

PHO­TOS: CLAY­TON YORK

The Golden Gate Bridge in San Fran­cisco

Wash­ing­ton DC

The White House

PHOTO: CLAY­TON YORK

Wash­ing­ton DC.

Houses in San Fran­cisco

Be­have your­self at Al­ca­traz

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