Is it feasible to get from downtown LA to Dana Point (or close to) by public transportation/train?
Take the train from union station to san Juan Capistrano. takes about an hour. You can go either Amtrak or metrolink. From there its about a 10 minute cab fide to the Ritz Carlton. There would also be a bus route.
Just to add - Union Station is a short taxi ride from most of downtown LA. Most of the downtown LA hotels are also in easy walking distance to stations for the Red / Purple line subway which also run to Union Station.
Perfect! It looks like Amtrak Pacific Surfliner will give me the most time options. Thanks so much.
Metrolink commuter trains are nice, and less expensive than Amtrak (e.g., for today, $12.75 vs. $21), but are aimed at commuters and have more limited schedules, especially on weekends. www.metrolinktrains.com You get them at Union Station, too (and the station is worth walking around; you may recognize it from many movies filmed there over many years).Edited: 12:46 pm, February 08, 2014
Metrolink had only one train at 8am going south. Then it was later afternoon.
If I rented a car, how bad would the drive be on a Thursday, mid-morning, from LA to Dana Point? I live in Atlanta so I'm not afraid of traffic. But if it would take a lot longer, then I will put up with the metro to Amtrak to taxi to get there.
I think you are misreading the Metrolink timetable.
From San Juan Capistrano they have trains heading into LA at 5:09AM, 5:48AM, 6:18AM and 7:06AM.
Where are you looking to go in Downtown LA?
I would be inclined to cab to Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo if the times at SJC are too early and then use public transportation in DTLA including the DASH bus.
I probably would not rent a car. By the time you add up the cost of the car and parking in DTLA, it isn't any faster or cheaper to drive yourself.
Hey Scott, I'm traveling the other direction: LA to Dana Point. Based on your link, there is a gap between 8am and 2:25pm on a Thursdays outbound.
Yeah, I was thinking you were in Dana going to Downtown.
Are you going for a whale tour or Catalina? If so, there are ones closer/easier than DP.
No, we're spending the weekend in Dana Point. We're staying in downtown LA one night and my husband needs to spend the next day there too. I thought I would head down to the resort and start relaxing! I was looking at whale watching though, from DP. Can they be seen from shore or do we need to be on a boat?
From Dana Point, basically no for seeing Whales from the land. The best on land viewing point in the area is Point Vicente in the Palos Verdes area of southern Los Angeles County. Not accessible using public transit, so basically a boat is your only option.