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Amtrak from LA to SFO ?

Travel Forums North America Amtrak from LA to SFO ?

1. Posted by jo9 (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y

Hi All ,

Need your help with taking some decisions.
My husband and I are considering travelling from LA to SFO by Amtrak because we do not want to drive.
Was wondering is that a good option?
Also during our stay at LA ,we have booked at Sheraton at the Airport.Is that a convenient place to travel by metro to
visit Universal ,hollywood and some beaches around ?

Thanks in advance.

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4942 posts) 8y

Quoting jo9

Also during our stay at LA ,we have booked at Sheraton at the Airport.Is that a convenient place to travel by metro to visit Universal ,hollywood and some beaches around ?

Not really - though it's doable. The green line stop is nearly two miles away along a busy road and then right past the end of the runway (with an airplane museum across the road), before finally crossing underneath a highway overpass to get to the stop. Not really the nicest scenery for a walk of that length. I did it four times (twice there, twice back) back when I was staying at a neighbouring hotel in 2003, and can't recommend it. (Maybe your hotel can arrange transport to the green line stop to make it more manageable?)
Anyway, with the green line you travel into the city, and then transfer to the other lines to get to hollywood. Afaik the only seaside place you can get to with the metro is Longbeach, but I'm not certain about that.

3. Posted by Calcruzer (Moderator 2000 posts) 8y

Actually, the key here is to spend a day down by the beach, but not at the Sheraton at the Airport (which is literally a stone's throw from the airport and the planes fly directly overhead).

Get a shuttle to either Santa Monica or Huntington Beach or Newport Beach. If you go to Santa Monica, then you can get a taxi or bus to Universal Studios and/or the Getty Museum. If you go to Huntington or Newport, then you can get a taxi or bus to Disneyland. (Don't try this the other way around--distances in LA are huge, and the taxi from Huntington Beach to Universal would cost you more than a flight round trip to Chicago--and take about the same amount of time).

It's better if you can get a rental car and drive around LA--and then only take the train/plane to go to San Francisco if you have to, since the cost is so high to get these shuttles and things, but lots of people get lost, so I understand your apprehension.

I still think the best part of California is the area between SF and LA, though--so taking a train (and missing out of beautiful and interesting towns like Malibu, Santa Barbara, Solvang, Morro Bay, Cambria, Paso Robles, Carmel, Monterey, and Santa Cruz) is a mistake in my view--but then I've only lived in California for 48 years, so what do I know?

I hope you enjoy trip to California--and that your transportation problems are few.


4. Posted by nics26 (Budding Member 55 posts) 8y

Hi Jo9,

I did LA last summer and car hire is defo the best option for time and money reasons, and even as a virgin to driving abroad I found the roads in LA so easy to negotiate ... just get sat nav! Car hire cost us about £120 for a 4X4 for 4 days with a drop off at an alternative destination.

Do you already have your flights booked?

We stayed on Hollywood Blvd for our entire LA bit and we managed to reach everywhere needed from here inc. beaches and studios!!! Like mentioned earlier because LA is so vast using public transport will really eat into your time.

I totally agree with Calcruzer with regards to travel from LA to San Fran, Ideally you should start in San Fran and do the coastal road down to LA ... This is a totally amazing road ... and you must do it by car!!! The sights along the way are breath taking and some of the most beatuiful I have ever seen.

PM me if you have any questions ... I'd be more than happy to help.


5. Posted by Roadcrew (Budding Member 18 posts) 8y

The coast IS awesome. If you do do it be sure to check out Big Sur and maybe kick around old John Steinbeck's stomping grounds around Monterey. In Big Sur there are a couple of good places to camp. You'll probably need at least two days and more would be better.