Traveling by convertible is on lots of people's bucket lists, but there's a more rela (traffic-free!) way to get the same views.
In fact, Amtrak claims the only vantage point that rivals its route is from a surfboard. The coast-hugging train goes from San Diego to San Luis Obispo at some of Southern California's most beautiful towns. After increasing service last fall, the route now offers 11 round-trip services each day and five between Santa Barbara and San Diego.
The full stretch from SAN to SLO takes approximately 5 hours and 45 minutes, but we suggest booking multi-city stops to get the most out of your railroad adventure. Some notable Surfliner stops include San Clemente Pier, a picturesque place to watch the sun set; Anaheim (hello, !); and Oxnard, known for its strawberry fields and in May. Plus, these particular trains have special — reservations required — giving you an excellent excuse to explore your stopover destinations by pedal.
Our recent search for tickets returned a fare of $61 for a straight-shot from San Diego to San Luis Obispo during the second weekend of July. With stops in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, the rate is $103.
Once in San Luis Obispo — one of the oldest cities in the state, founded in 1772 — the historic offers boutique accommodations within walking distance of downtown landmarks like the Elmo Theatre. The surrounding region is known for its and , while the nearby fishing village of Morro Bay, 15 miles northwest, is a hotspot for wildlife (think: otters, seals and Peregrine falcons) and year-round water sports like sailing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.
Need further proof of the Surfliner's superiority to automobile transport? Four words: bar car and wi-fi. Good luck finding a rental with those amenities!