Escape From L.A.: Pacific Surfliner to San Diego

— by Caroline on Crack

Flickr Shot by Sosidesc

Flickr Shot by Sosidesc

The big weekend is coming up: Labor Day Weekend, the end of summer. Le sigh. Wanna get out of town without having to deal with airline hassles or freeway gridlock on your last beautiful weekend? Have you thought about taking a train?

The one time I took AmTrak (and I’ve been meaning to take it again) was on its Pacific Surfliner from Union Station to San Diego and, yes, it wasn’t a romantic private car for two but a rather public coach car for many. It was still all good. Because there’s nothing like traveling down the beautiful SoCal coast on rails.

Sitting on the rightside of the car traveling south you can skim the beaches and watch surfers, sunbathers and family picnics. On the leftside, you can point and snicker at all the people stuck in traffic on I-5.

It’s also kinda cool to walk up and down the cars and even visit the snack car for the simple selections. Grab a sandwich, a bag of chips and a soda and enjoy the ride. It’s all about that window, its scenery and the novelty of not having to worry about airline restrictions, gassing up your car or sitting in rush-hour traffic.

The trip takes under three hours, depending on which schedule you pick. And a roundtrip ticket costs $74. Take the train to San Diego not Old Town and catch a bus to the Gas Lamp District. It makes for a quickie, stress-free holiday. Enjoy Labor Day without the labor.