Taking the Train to Santa Barbara

Another belated blog and vlog coming your way: our day trip from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara!

Santa Barbara was one of my favorite places to visit when we lived out in LA. It’s an easy drive, and the little beach town has so much to offer – making it a perfect day trip. And with my brother, Luke, in town, Zack and I thought it was the perfect excuse to visit again and show him around!

Now as easy as it is to drive to SB, you can also take the train – the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner. It goes up and down the coast from San Diego to San Luis Obispo with stops in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara along the way. It’s about a 2.5 hour train ride, and the tickets are incredibly affordable as well. I think we paid $50 each for round trip tickets. (Of course, ticket prices will vary depending on time of day, day of the week, and season.)

Recapping our day below:

9:00am Train from Union Station to Santa Barbara // As I mentioned, we took the train this time which has several pros and very few cons. For one – you don’t have to deal with any LA traffic. Secondly – drinking! No designated drivers needed. And Santa Barbara is known for it’s incredible wine tasting rooms. We even ordered a round of mimosas on the train. And of course the VIEW! The train hugs the coastline for most of the trip so you get stunning ocean views. As for cons – none come to mind!

11:30am Arrive in Santa Barbara // 2.5 hours later and we made it to Santa Barbara. The train station is right on State Street – the main street of Old Town where we spent most of the day. Another perk of taking the train – it’s extremely walkable. There are definitely a few attractions and restaurants that would require a car (but also…that’s what uber and lyft are for), but for the most part you can walk everywhere!

12:00pm Lunch // We grabbed tacos and margs at Sandbar – a little Mexican restaurant on State Street to fuel up for the day.

1:30pm Rent Bikes // After lunch it was bike riding along the beach. Wheel Fun Rentals (again – right off State Street) offers an assortment of bikes, rollerblades, and surries available for rent. We snagged a few beach cruisers and biked along the beach path. I think we’ve rented bikes or rollerblades on every visit to Santa Barbara – it’s one of my favorite things to do.

3:00pm Wine Tasting #1 // Wine tasting in Santa Barbara is a must – and they make it easy with the Urban Wine Trail. Or you can do what we did and just walk into one of the MANY you are sure to pass. Can you really go wrong when it comes to wine tasting in SB? I doubt it. We stopped into Muni Wines first and each purchased a glass to enjoy. The tasting room itself has a vintage vibe with upcycled decor and a great outdoor space to hang.

4:00pm Exploring State Street // We spent the afternoon popping in and out of shops along state street, people watching, and of course, grabbing ice cream at McConnells – a MUST!

6:00pm Wine Tasting #2 // After walking around all afternoon, it was time for another wine break, and our last stop of the day. We settled on Margerum, and the vibes and service were *chefs kiss.* We each did a tasting flight of their sweeter wines and shared a charcuterie board. My love language.

7:00pm Train Home // After a fun and relaxing day, it was time to hop on the train and head home.

If you ever have the opportunity to visit Santa Barbara – I cant recommend it enough! Its such a beautiful and fun little city.

– Courtney

PS – Be sure to check out our youtube video from the trip as well!


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