California Travel Tips

Mountains to Beaches – Amtrak Connects SOME of California

Published on: October 21, 2012

Shown is Amtrak train’s Pacific Surfliner at San Clemente pier and beaches. This train line stops at some beaches between San Luis Obispo and San Diego. We fondly call it the Beach Train (not to be confused with Santa Cruz beach train.)

Except for a few cities such as San Francisco where over 90% of residents are within five blocks of public transportation, much of California longs for options to let someone else do the driving. Amtrak in California offers many routes and though the beach service is spotty at best, you can go to some beaches and some mountain destinations such as Yosemite National Park where the connecting shuttle bus drops you off at the popular hotel, Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. If Amtrak trains  go to your destination in a cost effective manner or offer places you would visit and explore at the right price, give them a try. It’s a different way to travel and we like it! See:


  • Bay Area & Sacramento – Capitol Corridor line – Up to 32 daily trains between Sacramento, the Bay Area, and San Jose. Direct connections to BART at Richmond and Oakland Coliseum Stations. Stops: Auburn – Sacramento – Emeryville  – Oakland – San Jose
  • Central Valley – San Joaquin line – Multiple daily departures from Bay Area and Sacramento to Fresno and Bakersfield along with Amtrak Thruway connections (buses) to Los Angeles and numerous Southern California points.
  • Central Coast, L.A.,  San Diego – Pacific Surfliner line – 12 daily round-trip services between San Diego and Los Angeles,  Santa Barbara and San Diego, and as far north on the Central Coast as San Luis Obispo.


  • Coast Starlight–  West Coast daily service from the Bay Area to Seattle, Portland, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles.
  • California Zephyr – Bay Area (Emeryville) daily to Reno, Salt Lake City, Denver, and Chicago.
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