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Traffic driving from Santa Barbara to Burbank on Sunday?

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posts: 32
reviews: 64
Traffic driving from Santa Barbara to Burbank on Sunday?

We will be driving from Santa Barbara to the airport in Burbank on a Sunday at the end of Feb. Our flight is at 9:30pm, so I figured we should be to the airport by 7:30ish. Another poster mentioned traffic could be an issue on Sunday. What time should we leave Santa Barbara by? Any alternate routes off the main highway that may help? If we do need to leave SB early to beat traffic, are there any cute towns with a nice downtown area to walk around, grab a meal or a drink for a few hours near Burbank before our flight? Thanks!

Destination Expert
for Los Angeles
posts: 23,106
reviews: 52
1. Re: Traffic driving from Santa Barbara to Burbank on Sunday?

I'll let others respond but I'll offer this option. Return the car in Santa Barbara, if possible and take the Amtrak to the station in BUR. You haven't listed your city of residency (you can do so by clicking on 'my tripadvisor' at the top of the page and adding this info to your profile). This way, we know a little more about you and can make better recommendations.

Amtrak.com has a 4:35 departure from Santa Barbara, arriving at BUR at 6:48. It's less than a 5 minute walk to the terminals.

posts: 32
reviews: 64
2. Re: Traffic driving from Santa Barbara to Burbank on Sunday?

I love the idea of taking the train down to avoid traffic, however there is a huge price difference on the rental car to return to Santa Barbara rather than Burbank, plus the cost of train tickets (like several hundred dollars more) so that probably isn't a great option for us :(

Maine to California
posts: 4,059
reviews: 36
3. Re: Traffic driving from Santa Barbara to Burbank on Sunday?

In summertime there are a couple of traffic snarls that always occur on Sundays, just south of Santa Barbara, starting at about 4:30pm and going until 8:30pm. In February I don't think that's much of a problem but rain will definitely slow things down if you're unlucky. The good news is that Burbank is an incredibly easy airport for returning a car and getting to your flight, so you don't have to arrive until about 8:15pm. Shoot for 8pm which means leaving Santa Barbara around 6pm. For peace of mind, you could leave Santa Barbara around 4:30pm and have dinner in Burbank. The Daily Grill at the Marriott across from the airport is fine.

So. Cal
posts: 1,162
reviews: 20
4. Re: Traffic driving from Santa Barbara to Burbank on Sunday?

When it comes to catching a flight I like to be ultra conservative.

The winter drive is nothing like summer so to be on the safe side, I'd leave around 4:30. IF you hit heavy congestion or accidents you'll have alternative routes- 126 to the 5 OR 23, 118 to the 5. The 126 is rural and scenic but it wouldn't be my choice during the dark! Three hours should be plenty of time to get you to Burbank by 7:30. Burbank airport is a breeze!

Santa Monica, CA
Destination Expert
for Santa Monica
posts: 6,938
reviews: 159
5. Re: Traffic driving from Santa Barbara to Burbank on Sunday?

Santa Barbara is a weekend get-away for us Angelinos, so on a Sunday, it could be a busy drive, but I'm with socalbeachbum, it probably won't be this month, but leave early enough "just in case."

6. Re: Traffic driving from Santa Barbara to Burbank on Sunday?

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