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California, San Diego, Los Angeles

What is the best way to travel from Los Angeles to San Diego for 3 people?

We're a group of 3 people coming from India for a small photo-shoot. We will have few equipment like Camera, tripod etc. with us. What would be the best mode of transport to travel from Los Angeles to San Diego. We are considering road ways most likely. Will a bus ride be cheaper or renting a taxi? Is renting a car good option for us?

18 Answers

top answer by
Jorge from San Diego

Hello Praveen,

There's a few good options; following is my suggested ranking (1 is the most preferred, 5 the lowest):

1. Train (Pacific Surfliner Los Angeles Union Station)

2. Rental Car - Southern California is made for cars (like it or not)

3. Bus (not as pleasant but cost-effective) - about $30/person roundtrip

4. Taxi-like service: quotes this trip for as low as $109 one way

5. Taxi - not sure how much it'd be but likely the most expensive of all options.

I hope this helps and safe travels !


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Los Angeles Union Station (attraction)
8 thankscomments (3)

answered by
Cindy from San Juan Capistrano

You can take a train out of downtown LA - Union Station, that can take you to downtown San Diego.  Cheap and convenient!  Depending on what and where you need to go in San Diego, you can grab a cab to your destination.  And, consider downloading the Uber app, less expensive than a taxi and normally nicer cars.

Good luck!

6 thanks

answered by
Katherine from San Diego

Renting a car would probably be your best and least expensive option.  Another good option would be to take the train and use taxis to and from the train.  Taking a taxi the entire way would be very expensive.  You could also probably find a shuttle, which would also be cheaper than a taxi.

5 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Anita from California

I would suggest renting a car or passenger van and drive to San Diego. Try to avoid the rush hour traffic on the 405 freeway in the morning or in the afternoon. So mid-morning, mid-afternoon or after 6pm is better on the freeway. BTW, if you guys get stuck in traffic and if you are hungry for Indian food, you can stop by Little India on Pioneer Blvd

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Pioneer Blvd (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)

answered first by
Jeff from Los Angeles

Renting a car would be easiest, giving you a lot of flexibility. Check the cost on A taxi would be out of the question due to the cost. Greyhound buses run between the two cities, but they are not a nice way to travel. The AmTrak train would be much nicer than the bus. Go to the AmTrak and Greyhound websites and compare prices. Renting a car, splitting the expense between three, may be the most cost effective.

4 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Matthew from Copenhagen

The coolest by far is by train. You will get some of the best views of the coastline and it's super comfortable, but the most convenient is by car.

3 thanks

answered by
Rick from Buffalo, New York

Hi Praveen, 

I would take the Amtrak Surfliner, this is a train that leaves LA's Union Station and goes all the way to downtown San Diego along the beautiful coast. There are multiple trains running during the day and evening. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Union Station (attraction)
  2. San Diego (city)
4 thanks

answered by
Linda from Nashville

Rent a car. You have equipment to cope with and a taxi would be much more expensive. Bus limits options when you arrive. How will you get around.? There are limited public transport systems.

2 thanks

answered by
D from California

there are shuttles between the airports- check into that. Taxis are very expensive. Renting a car is an option, but the freeways can be confusing.

2 thanks

answered by
Praveen from Mumbai

Thank you so much everyone! I had a great time riding a Red Mustang all over California! Instead of hiring directly, I first tried and, and then got the best deal!Thank you so much everyone here at Trippy! My trip was a full of fun and a great success! Cheers.

2 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Kevin from Ho Chi Minh City

My friends and I have taken Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner from Fullerton, CA down to San Diego. You could alternatively take the train from Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles to San Diego. There's a nice stop off in Solana Beach but I'm not sure whether you can disembark and then take the next train that passes through. The trip ends right in the heart of San Diego. You don't have to hassle with traffic and just watch the world go by on the train. Here's a link to Amtrak:

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Fullerton (city)
  2. San Diego (city)
  3. Union Station (attraction)
  4. Downtown Los Angeles (metro area)
  5. Solana Beach (city)
1 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Jonathan from Montreal

Los Angeles International Airport, you can find shuttle from $60 to $99 per person. But I definitely suggest a rental car, this is a 2 hours drive.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Los Angeles International Airport (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Ashley from New York City

Renting a car would be the best way and give you flexibility. You can get rates as low $16 per day. Plus, you might need the car once you are in San Diego as well. Definitely don't take a taxi -- it will be super expensive.

1 thanks

answered by

Rent a car or mini-van.

1 thanks

answered by
Louise from Los Angeles

Gas is SUPER cheap right now. Rent a car. Split the cost. Split the gas. Easy peasy. 

answered by


answered by

take the train.

answered by
pamela from Los Angeles

I would recommend renting a car. The drive from Los Angeles to San Diego is easy and can be enjoyable once you get out of the greater Los Angeles area. It should take you no more than 2.5 hours, unless there is traffic. If you feel uncomfortable driving on the freeways then you can easily take a bus or even go to Union Station and catch the train.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Union Station (attraction)

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