I am an Aussie and have booked two tours next year in North America. The first ends on 31 May in Vancouver and the second commences on 8 June in Los Angeles, about 2000km away. Rather than flying directly from one city to the other, I have time to see some of the sights along the way. As a solo female traveller, I do not want to drive. I have done quite a bit of research on the internet, including the very difficult to follow Amtrak website. I have come up with a tentative itinerary, on which I would like any comments from people who may have travelled these. Any costs quoted are in a variety of currencies, but since US$ and AU$ are around the same, I have left them as they are.
Vancouver to Victoria: 9am BC Ferry (about 1.5 hours)
Victoria to Seattle: 11.20am Clipper Ferry (about 2.5 hours)
Night(s) in Seattle
Seattle to Portland: 11.25am Amtrak Cascades train (about 4 hours)
Portland to San Francisco: This is the 1000km section I am most unsure about. There is a train, the Amtrak Coast Starlight, which takes around 19 hours, including a 1 hour bus transfer, to get into SF. Since the train leaves Portland at 2.25pm, I would not make it the same day I arrive there from Seattle so would have to spend the night in Portland. This train travels mostly through the night and costs around $350 for a sleeper. Alternatively I can get a one hour plane ticket for around $100 from Portland to San Francisco, probably the same day I arrive from Portland on the Amtrak Cascades.
Night(s) in San Francisco
There is a train that travels directly from SF to LA, but it takes a less scenic inland route. The Pacific Coastliner takes a coastal route but does not go any further north than San Luis Obispo.
San Francisco to San Luis Obispo: Amtrak bus which travels via the Pacific Coast Highway (about 4 hours).
San Luis Obispo to Los Angles: Amtrak Pacific Coastliner (about 6.5 hours).
I would appreciate any comments from anyone who has travelled any of these sections.