Visit LA and San Diego in a weekend on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner


California may be synonymous with iconic trips on the Pacific Coast, but there’s one underrated way to get around without worrying about traffic or renting a car: the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train. Although it has been around for some time, increased interest has led Amtrak to expand its service along the route between Los Angeles and San Diego. The train costs $ 37 each way for a coach class seat and covers the journey in about three hours; in the meantime, the journey can take around two and a half hours regardless of traffic, especially at peak times. (And who never minds the traffic here?) The new morning train leaves San Diego at 4 a.m. and arrives at Union Station in LA at 7 a.m. (don’t worry if you’re not in the morning, there are trains roughly every and a half hours throughout the day), with the new evening train leaving Union Station at 8:25 p.m. You can sleep.

Despite the proximity to Los Angeles and San Diego, not everyone visits both in one trip. But by taking the train, you can book tickets in advance, without worrying about the hassle of driving and paying for gas, and visit both Balboa Park and Griffith Park (or Venice Beach and La Jolla). ) in a relatively short period of time. . Removing the urge to drive may mean missing out on a chance to roll down the windows and sing along to the radio, but the alternative is being able to read a book and watch the scenery roll by (most of the train ride is along the ocean) . The Surfliner also has Wi-Fi and power outlets if you want to work, bike racks and surfboards, plus free snacks, drinks, and newspapers if you upgrade to business class (usually a $ 56 ticket each way).

If you’re interested in other parts of California, take the Pacific Surfliner to Anaheim in Orange County, San Juan Capistrano (famous for being the place where swallows first return every year), Santa Barbara (hello, wine country!), And San Luis Obispo. Avid bikers can also take the train to Ventura, where they can take the popular Ventura to Ojai cycle path (it takes around six hours, so you’ll earn more than that hearty dinner at

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. What if you want to integrate even more public transport into your trip? The Los Angeles Metro Expo Line, the last stretch of which was completed in May 2016, now connects Pasadena to Santa Monica via Culver City, which means, you guessed it, even more opportunities to go to the beach without having to find a place to park.

Originally appeared on Condé Nast Traveler

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