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Los Angeles, Santa Barbara

Need advice on traveling between Santa Barbara and LA

Visiting California and I need help on transportation. I'm wondering what's the best way to get to Los Angeles from Santa Barbara?

5 Answers

top answer by
John from Carlsbad (California)

I would take Amtrak.  Los Angeles Union Station is in the downtown LA area, and it is an enjoyable 2.5 hour trip to Santa Barbara.  If you are on the west side of LA, there is an Amtrak bus that will take you from Westwood to the Van Nuys Amtrak Station in about 40 minutes, and it's just over two hours from there to Santa Barbara.  The train also services Glendale Amtrak, Burbank Airport Transportation, and Chatsworth Station.  The Metro lines will also get you to Union Station from various points in the LA Area.

The Amtrak Station in Santa Barbara is conveniently located adjacent to State Street and about a 5 minute walk to to the beach area and within 10 minutes of many places to stay.  There are very convenient shuttle buses that run up and down State Street and along the beach, so you can easily see a lot without a car.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Los Angeles Union Station (attraction)
  2. Santa Barbara (city)
  3. Westwood (attraction)
  4. Van Nuys Amtrak (attraction)
  5. Glendale Amtrak (attraction)
  6. Burbank Airport Transportation (attraction)
  7. Chatsworth Station (attraction)
5 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Kristal from San Francisco


I totally agree with Polly. There are other ways of getting there I'm sure, but those are the best. The cheaper solution would be Amtrak, but it may take long and then you'll have to factor in bus or taxi costs when you're in Santa Barbara. It's not super spread out, but it's also not all walking accessible. If you prefer not to rent a car, the local buses are very inexpensive and will get you places relatively quickly. You can also use a bus to get from wherever you're staying in LA to the train station. However, keep in mind that LA is much larger with much more traffic so allot enough time to get to the train station by bus because depending on where you're staying you may have to transfer. 

Enjoy your trip!



4 thankscomments (1)

answered first by
Polly from Washington, DC

In the US, driving is almost always the simplest way to get between one place and another. But if you don't want to rent a car, Amtrak provides service between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara for about $30. Just be aware that a cab ride from wherever you are in LA to the train station can easily cost more than your train ticket!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Los Angeles (city)
  2. Santa Barbara (city)
4 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Carol from Olympia (Washington)

The Amtrack Surfliner takes about 3 hours. You can also try Greyhound which is also 3 hours.

1 thanks

answered by
Breanna from Los Angeles

I agree with the other answers - the Amtrak is the only way to go! Pack a picnic and enjoy the 2+ hour ride. No traffic, no stress, beautiful views of the coast, it's the only way to make the journey from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles. Plus Los Angeles Union Station is absolutely gorgeous and easy to navigate.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Santa Barbara (city)
  2. Los Angeles (city)
  3. Los Angeles Union Station (attraction)
1 thanks

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