AMTRAK Los Angeles to Santa Barbara  |  California  |  So here is a funny story. After a week of work in Los Angeles for Rubin’s Special Appearances for Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills, we were invited by the new Orient-Express property El Encanto, to visit them in Santa Barbara. So we book our car to drive along the Pacific Coast on last Saturday morning, enjoying the lovely views and the amazing weather. Well not quite so. !!!!! A week before our trip, we realize that both of our Driver’s Licenses were expired. This shows we are both, although non of us are born in the United States, that by now we are two true New Yorkers – who needs to drive when you live in the heart of Manhattan right ?

So the questions was ? How to get from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, in time, not to miss our relaxing weekend at El Encanto.  We both knew that the drive was an experience itself, with all the lovely views of the Pacific Coastline… so we were disappointed to miss that. Luckily we found the right option, Amtrak Pacific Surfliner. If you have read my previous reviews on Amtrak, I have not been one of their fans in the past, but I must say that this time, they brought the European Rail service flashback to us. Connecting San Luis Obispo and San Diego through Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, the Pacific Surfliner offers a unique vantage on the Southern California seascape. To get a closer look, you’d have to be on a surfboard.
So went online and USD 95 Business Class Round Trip after, we were at the beautiful Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles, ready to board our train, for our Hitchcock style weekend at El Encanto in Santa Barbara.
The ride was smooth, enjoying during the second half of the journey, lovely views of the Pacific coastline. The train did approximately 7 stops before reaching our destination, Santa Barbara, on time.
Onboard, you may enjoy some basic snacks – trust me, more than some airlines offer you these days, complimentary WiFi, bathrooms  and comfortable seats. reclining 45 degrees. The perfect, hazard free to driving, which in the end would have been useless, since all we did in Santa Barbara was sleep, eat and drink, therefore… no room for driving.
Trains, most of the times in the United States, are synonym or low class or ghetto. Although I can relate to that in some way, if compared to trains services in Europe, here is what I have to say about the Pacific Surfliner – practical, comfortable, punctual, quick, hazard free and with lovely views. We arrived to Santa Barbara in approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes, right to head to El Encanto and enjoy our lunch out on the Terrace overlooking Santa Barbara from our view on the hills, on a stunning sunny day. CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends

(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email or phone # 917.754.5515. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of MLGTPP, IGLTA, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network.

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