Orange, CA–Driving along the coast during summer can lead to frustration with busy freeways, frequent pit-stops, and crowded downtown areas. Experience the beauty of Southern California without the hassles of driving when you take the train instead.
The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner carries 3 million passengers each year to top destinations throughout San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties. Onboard amenities such as a market-style café, Wi-Fi, power outlets, and spacious seating offer a comfortable ride that will have you arriving refreshed and ready for summer fun.
Here are some insider tips to make the most of a train trip:
1. Beat the Crowd and Plan Ahead Fridays and Sundays are typically the busiest travel days on the Pacific Surfliner, especially on the 700-series trains between Los Angeles and San Diego. Consider choosing one of the 500-series trains instead, which are typically less busy, or if your travel plans allow, ride midweek or midday when it’s less crowded. Unreserved Coach tickets provide you with the flexibility to take an earlier or later train, or even ride on a different day, at no charge, which comes in handy if the train you were planning to take is expected to be crowded.
Pro Tip: If you are traveling between stations with luggage service, check your bags (the first two are free) instead of carrying them with you. Passengers are also allowed two free carry-on bags, up to 50 pounds and 28” x 22” x 11” each.
2. Take Advantage of SoCal Savings California Everyday Discounts offer year-round savings on Pacific Surfliner travel for children, students, seniors, riders with disabilities, and U.S. military veterans. Save 15% or more on Pacific Surfliner trips when you book with a promotion code. Visit PacificSurfliner.com/discounts for more details.
Pro Tip: Check the website for additional offers and trip ideas, including upcoming events, special service, and deals: PacificSurfliner.com/promotions
3. Upgrade to Business Class Travelers in Business Class receive a guaranteed seat as well as a complimentary snack and drink, service from a dedicated attendant, priority boarding in Los Angeles and San Diego, and bonus Amtrak Guest Rewards points. Business Class tickets provide a seat on a specific train, so if travel plans change, call 1-800-USA-RAIL, visit a staffed Amtrak station or go online to modify your reservation in advance.
Pro Tip: The number of Business Class seats on each train is limited, so it’s best to book early before they sell out.
4. Enjoy Fresh Food and Delicious Drinks The onboard Market Café offers a variety of carry-out style foods including fresh sandwiches and salads, pizza, snacks, and beverages, locally sourced from along the Pacific Surfliner route.
Pro Tip: Riders ages 21 and up can also enjoy local craft beers, California wines, and mixed drinks, including Bloody Marys, mimosas and more.
5. Don’t Miss the Ocean Views Much of the Pacific Surfliner route hugs the coast, with views of beautiful beaches and rugged bluffs between Solana Beach and San Clemente on the south end, and between Ventura and Grover Beach on the north-end. Seats on the west side of the train provide the best opportunities for photos, time-lapse videos, and general sightseeing.
Pro Tip: The train switches directions after stopping in Los Angeles. If you are facing forward on the left side when you arrive at this station, you will find yourself traveling backward on the right side once the train continues its journey! Keep this in mind if you are traveling through Los Angeles and are trying to get an ocean seat.
6. Stay Connected Follow the Pacific Surfliner on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for news, trip ideas, photos, and more. Once onboard, browse social media and your favorite websites thanks to free Wi-Fi, and keep your devices charged by plugging into the power outlets at every window seat.
Pro Tip: While the trains feature free basic Wi-Fi for general web browsing activities, the Wi-Fi does not support high-bandwidth actions such as streaming music or video. Instead, download content before-hand and stream offline!
With daily service to San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties the Pacific Surfliner is a great way to experience the best of Southern California. Plan ahead and keep these tips in mind to make the most of your trip.
For train schedules, special offers, and more, visit pacificsurfliner.com.