a VirtualTourist member
What's the best way to get from SD to LA?
rent a car and drive?
You should take the Surfliner Amtrak train. It's a breathtaking way to tour a chunk on California. It's a 2+ hour ride in total. From my experience, the ride is pretty smooth. Sometimes the train does get delayed but no problem considering the time you get to relax.
if you don't drive, the next thing is a bus or shuttle bus to LAX 50 usd, or private taxi about 200 usd. Renting a car is best, 25usd plus gas...check this link for the train:::::daytrippen.com/amtrak-pacifi...
cheers tommy x
Depends on the time of day and if you are driving or not driving. Normally driving will be best if done in non commute hours 11-3.
Also depends on what you want to experiece and spend.
Train is fun, provides some great views of the towns between SD and LA, most of which deserve a stop and look-see.
Driving, well, you don't see much besides cars, cars, and more cars; with the exception of the occasional CHP motorcycle.
When do you plan on traveling? That might influence the decision as depending on the date 405 and 5 traffic might me worse than usual. (It's taken me 4 hours from SD to LA in bad times by car).
The most convenient way is to rent a car and drive. You can take the train but LA is a sprawling city and public transport can be spotty. It all probably rests on where in LA you want to visit, if its close to a train station or the new but limited subway, the train is a good option. Also there are bus tours from SD that visit Disneyland or universal & Hollywood. However if you have numerous sights in La that you want to see that are a ways apart then the time involved with public transport and/ cost of taxis make driving yourself cheaper. However as mentioned above its best not to be on LA highways during rush hour so you should plan accordingly.
Are you returning to SD? Renting a car in SD and wanting to drop it off in LA would add extra fees to your rental price. If you're just going up to LA for a few days but will return to SD then it might be better to rent a car in SD.
If not, I would take the train. If you're going to spend some time in LA once you get there (and not, like, fly out the next day or something) then you can rent a car once you arrive in LA but the traffic from SD to LA can be really bad. Besides the usual commuter traffic, which on Friday afternoons starts getting bad even earlier than the rest of the week, there's also a tricky area of the 5 fwy around Del Mar. There's a big race track there and depending on what is going on the day you're driving past the exit for Del Mar the traffic mess can add another few minutes to another hour onto your commute. With the train you don't have to worry about that.
Once you arrive in LA at Union Station, the metro connects through the train station and you can get to a lot of LA and Pasadena from there. There's also a bus that goes to LAX several times a day, which will get you to that side of town.
In Southern California, the car is still the most popular mode of transportation. Main reason being that there is so much to see in such a spread out area. If time is of the importance, then a rent-a-car is the best bet. That is the best way to get from SD to LA. In-between the two cities are some cities or towns to stop in for different scenarios. Taking the I-5 N till you get to the CA-1 N (PCH) near San Clemente/Dana Point and Taking the PCH N will show you some great beach cities like Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Long Beach and then take the I-110 N to Los Angeles and Hollywood. Of course, a direct drive and fastest would be the !-5 N to the US-101 N to the downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood area.