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5 Pacific Surfliner Train Trips to Enjoy the California Coast

By Amtrak Vacations Wednesday, June 23, 2021 Read time: 4 minutes

Looking for a Pacific Surfliner trip? We’ve put together 5 great options to enjoy the California Coast from onboard the train!

Known for its incredible coastal and scenic views, Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner travels over 350 miles along the coastal region of Southern California and makes for an incredible vacation highlight. These five Pacific Surfliner trips feature sightseeing, exploration, and sun. They are sure to bring you relaxation, joy, and memories to last a lifetime.

1. San Diego Getaway Roundtrip from Los Angeles

pacific surfliner on californian coast with ocean view


Looking for the perfect Pacific Surfliner trip? The San Diego Getaway Roundtrip from Los Angeles is a great choice for a relaxing coastal vacation. San Diego, which has an average temperature of 70 degrees, has over 70 miles of gorgeous coastline. Your included sightseeing tour visits many of the famous spots, like:

  • Old Town
  • The Gaslamp District
  • Balboa Park

Plus, there are great hotels to choose from for your stay, like the Wyndham San Diego Bayside, which features an outdoor heated pool and is right next to Waterfront Park and the USS Midway Museum.

2. California Coast



Your California Coast journey begins in San Francisco with a day full of sightseeing on board a double-decker bus. From there, enjoy the scenery onboard the Coast Starlight – dramatic mountain peaks, long stretches of Pacific Ocean shoreline, and fertile valleys – as you travel to Paso Robles, which is known for its incredible wine. Your included wine tour visits between 4-6 different award-winning wineries! Next, you’ll take in the famous sights of Los Angeles, like Rodeo Drive, the Santa Monica Pier, and more before you board the Pacific Surfliner to San Diego.

Pro Tip

With so many incredible views and sights to see on this Pacific Surfliner trip, you may want to add more nights! Adding nights to your California Coast vacations is easy – just ask your rail vacation specialist and they’ll be happy to help.

3. Santa Barbara Getaway Roundtrip from Los Angeles

santa barbara, CA pier


Sunny Santa Barbara awaits you on this roundtrip getaway. Unwind and enjoy the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean with a stroll along the pier. Take in some incredible history by visiting the Old Mission, a National Historic Landmark founded by Padre Fermin Lasuen in December of 1786. Plus, enjoy all the famous sights of Santa Barbara with your included Trolley Tour, which visits the famous Stearns Wharf, the Harbor, the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, and more!

4. The Essential Californian

Pacific Surfliner at Dusk


From San Francisco to Los Angeles to San Diego, the Essential Californian is an exciting Pacific Surfliner trip that allows you to discover all the best of California. In San Francisco, enjoy a bay cruise adventure, the San Francisco Zoo, and the Walt Disney Family Museum and get a great feeling for why this is one of the most beloved cities in California. Travel to the “City of Angels” and enjoy the views from the train onboard the Coast Starlight and take advantage of the narrated tour that includes iconic attractions, like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Paramount Studios, and many others. Then board the Pacific Surfliner and head to San Diego to spend your final day of your California vacation exploring on your harbor cruise. You’ll also enjoy a narrated tour of all of San Diego’s most popular landmarks: Seaport Village, Shelter Island, Coronado Island, and so much more.

5. San Francisco to San Diego – California’s Golden Coast

Yosemite Meadows in Fall


What better way to experience California’s Golden Coast than from onboard Amtrak? In addition to the amazing sights you’ll see onboard the Pacific Surfliner, this trip also includes a fully guided tour of scenic Yosemite National Park. From the Merced River and the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range to the tall redwoods and rushing waterfalls, Yosemite is truly a sight to behold. No trip along the Golden Coast would be complete without visiting some of California’s most iconic cities, including:

  • San Francisco
  • Santa Barbara
  • Los Angeles
  • San Diego

Among your included sightseeing tours in these impressive cities is also a ride across the Golden Gate Bridge and into Sonoma Valley, along the El Camino Real, and into the heart of Napa Valley for tours and tastings of up to three vineyards.

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