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“Fun Trip” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Pacific Surfliner

Ranked #1,317 of 8,585 things to do in California
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The Pacific Surfliner travels 351 miles through a six-county coastal region in Southern California. Amenities include power outlets, free WiFi, comfortable seats, a cafe car, bike racks, onboard restrooms and more. Complimentary snacks, drinks and newspapers are available in Business Class. The route offers breathtaking views of the ocean, beaches, rolling hills and canyons. Station stops include: San Luis Obispo, Grover Beach, Guadalupe, Surf, Goleta, Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Chatsworth, Van Nuys, Burbank, Glendale, Los Angeles, Fullerton, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Sorrento Valley, and San Diego.
Asheville, NC
Level Contributor
566 reviews
60 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 234 helpful votes
“Fun Trip”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2013

We had A day to spare in San Diego so Ibooked this train tip to L.A. Being from L.A. I was very comfortable doing so. We took the train from Old Town to Union Station in L.A. And spent the day wandering around Chinatown and Olvera St. Lots of fun.

Visited February 2013
4 Thank iamstoked22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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106 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
St. Petersburg, Florida, USA
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Holiday traffic beware”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 24, 2012 via mobile

We traveled after looking forward to it on a bad day The day before thanksgiving. We had 2 reserved seats but when we got on realized thaT that didn't guarentee us a seat. It was super busy and standing room only. After pacing the 6 cars and hovering we got a pair of seats. Once sitting down it was the best! I highly recommend it to travel the pacific coast just go on an off day or be patient.

2 Thank bigbriza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
64 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Unexpected fun in a train ride”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2012 via mobile

We took a amtrak pacific surfliner from van nuys to downtown san diego. No need for business class since the coach is really comfortable. We were seated in 2 rows facing one another. Amtrak cafe food was okay with oriental noodles and mexican burrito! Toilets are clean. Wi fi on board is free and there is even electric outlet. So we were connected all the way. And oh yes, the pacific coast was breathtaking with surfers and sunbathers waving as we passed by. A witty and humorous pilot/driver was a bonus. My daughtet could run around inside even when the train is moving!

3 Thank hor_heManila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
445 reviews
203 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 178 helpful votes
“A Not Too Bad Trip”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2012

I took this train as the second part of my journey from Sacramento to San Diego. I transferred at Los Angeles, so I was only on this particular train for the last 2.5 hours. I ended up buying a business class ticket since seating is not reserved otherwise and I didn't want to end up stuck in LA overnight (I was on the last train of the night). I was a little disappointed in the business class - I expected more comfortable seats and some extra amenities. You do get a small snack and complimentary coffee, but that is it. If you can afford extra time in your schedule and are not worried about getting to your destination right on time, I would suggest just buying a regular ticket and saving yourself about $20. I'm not sure what the views are like since I was traveling at night, but I'm sure they're nice. LA's train station is a little sketchy, especially late at night. As well, beware of the taxis in San Diego late at night. The one I got from the train station only took cash and no credit cards (he offered to drive me to an ATM - maybe a little extra cost). Overall, train is a more humane and relaxing way to travel, and I would do it again.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank PsychRN12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Beach, California
Level Contributor
40 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Great Alternative to Driving”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2012

The Pacific Surfliner is awesome and is my most preferred way of travel to San Diego or Santa Barbara. The cost is comparable to driving these days and you don't have to deal with traffic. The route is very picturesque and runs along the beach, at least once you get past Dana Point.

The trains are relatively comfortable. There is a snack car with all the essentials including beer and wine. The have the standard selections, Bud Light, Coors Light, Corona, Heineken, and of course Arrogant B---- Ale. The food is OK, standard microwavable fare. You'd be better off bringing your own snacks (and alcohol if you're low key about).

The only downside is when you ride during peak times, such as holidays, because it can get crowded. There was one time where I had to stand in the loading area, but this is rare. Always try to board closer to the origin point, if you can. I also noticed that if you board on the furthest car from the engine, there are more seats available.

Visited June 2012
4 Thank LBPurnell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amtrak O, Public Relations Manager at Pacific Surfliner, responded to this review, October 25, 2012
Dear LBPurnell,
We're so glad you love to travel on the Pacific Surfliner. We apologize for any trouble in the past, and we appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback with us.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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