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“Time to Relax”
Review of Pacific Surfliner

Ranked #1,344 of 9,091 things to do in California
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Reviewed 25 March 2014

We caught the train in Anaheim, as we had just done Disneyland. The journey was going to be 2 hours to San Diego. We booked Business and sat in the top part of the train. Glass of wine and a selection of packet crisps, nice gesture. A very entertaining trip down by the crew making comments on all the stops. Great views, we sat left going backwards- Ocean view or you sit right going forward-Ocean view. We are taking the train back to Los Angeles, so sitting on the left going forward. Remember.

1  Thank 625Johnboy1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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106 - 110 of 130 reviews

Reviewed 10 March 2014

WHERE for parking, tickets and departure: In San Juan Capistrano, the train station & parking structure are off Verdugo Street before the tracks.
In the structure, park downstairs and it is $2.00 (March 2014) for the day. For overnight parking, go to the roof level for $6 . The pay for parking machine is at the ENTRANCE of the structure and it accepts credit cards, cash or change (carry ALL of these items in case it is malfunctioning for one or the other). NO need to go back to your car to put the stub in the window.
Allow 15 MINUTES at least to get your tickets because you must walk out of the structure, past Sarducci's AND all the vintage train cars which house another restaurant to the end of those cars to find the ticket place. It was $22 each way -no real need for $11 extra for business class that I could see.
WHERE NOT: Walk back but do NOT go to the opposite side away from Sarducci's where there is a cute little bagel/coffee shack unless you have 15 minutes BECAUSE once the train arrives you canNOT cross back to the side to get on it! You need to be on the correct side of the train to depart BEFORE it pulls in.
WHEN: The train WILL depart at the appointed time on your stub. Don't be late.
VIEW: When you board go upstairs and sit in the direction of S.D. to have a nice beach view down the line.
FOOD: The train has good basics, a Jimmy Dean egg & sausage sandwich, yogurt parfaits, pre-made sandwiches, coffee, beer, wine, on the lower level, but you may have to look for hand-printed signs stuck to poles saying where it is. If you really plan well, get there early to go to the little shack, or phone order a gourmet faire at Sarducci's or nearby Ruby's to go and take with you.
Zoo: At the end of the line is S.D., go out of the station and walk to the #7 bus which many sites (including S.D. Zoo website) will say is off B Street and State Street. We did NOT find that to be true in March 2014. So, again, be calm as the Zoo is going nowhere and you WILL get there. We asked resting bus drivers who were very helpful and found the #7 bus stop off Broadway near State St. It comes every 15 minutes so NICE! Take it to ZOO place and walk across the street to take a picture in front of the S.D. Zoo sign - YAY!
Oh, and the polar bears are much more likely to be active early or late in the day....just a tip!

2  Thank jeri f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 February 2014

Having read previous reviews,, I still went on the surfliner with an open mind. Took the 2/27 1200 train from San Diego to its terminus in San Luis obispo. Spent the extra for business class ( free snacks and drinks) the attendant literally threw a bag of assorted chips and nuts on our table and asked if we wanted anything to drink. I replied I would like coffee . He then pointed to the front of the car and said, help yourself. This was the only interaction I had with him the whole trip except when we were pulling into San Luis obispo. I asked him if there were taxis at the station ( I had a 12 mile ride to our motel). He said there were sometimes, but added that they had reserved one for the crew. He could have offered to have his taxi order another one for us if there were none there, but that never entered his mind. There no cabs but his and we called one from a list on the wall in the station.
On a positive note, the scenery was magnificent, the train clean and had plenty of room. At 8 1/2 hrs, it's a long trip, but we'll worth it.

4  Thank Bob D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2013

Not wanting to change planes in Las Vegas or Denver to get from Tucson to Anaheim, we decided to take the non stop one hour flight to San Diego. It had been too long since we had been on Amtrak (we have traveled nearly all the routes in the US and Canada), so we thought we would finish the trip to Anaheim by train. We flew in late Friday night, stayed in Old Town and took the 8:30 train on a Saturday morning from the Sante Fe Depot to Anaheim. Two hours later we were only minutes away from Disneyland and our hotel. We not only spent time traveling, we had fun. Amtrak seats are very comfortable with lots of leg room. The train car we were in going was a newer car than the one we had returning, but both had the same comfortable seats and trays that pulled down (larger than on a plane). We always enjoy the snack car, and the one on the Surfliner is very similar to what you find on their long distance trains. Our ride felt like a true train ride-not a commuter ride. The scenery was always interesting and living in the desert, it was great to be almost in the ocean at times and to watch the surfers and people on the beaches. The ride went incredibly fast with lots of very short stops. We can't wait to take our 4 and 5 year old grandsons on the same trip. Walking from car to car on a train is so much more fun than sitting in a cramped seat on a plane. Both trains were on schedule.

3  Thank Barbara T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2013

We travelled from LA(Union) to San Diego(Santa Fe) on a Friday at 15:00. Plenty of available places. If you are 3 or 4 you could sit at a table. WiFi, power, very clean, nice large window. Little bit pricy at the restaurant but still reasonable. A lot of stops but for a one time ride it was all right. The 30-45 minutes along the shore were awesome. We used the bus shuttle from LAX (FlyAway)which was easy, you buy your bus ticket at Union after the ride.

Thank R B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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