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Los Angeles - San Diego by Train, Bus, LAX Airport Transportation, California Driving

Things to do / Travel Guide

Amtrak Train from Los Angeles to San Diego

Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner runs frequent service on the San Diego to Los Angeles route. At about 3 hours, taking the train from Los Angeles to San Francisco takes longer than the drive, but avoids LA traffic and offers some excellent views.

Of interest to tourists, Disneyland in Anaheim and Legoland in Oceanside are served by the Pacific Surfliner. The train connects to Metrolink at the Orange, California station and to the San Diego Coaster Commuter Train and other lines at Oceanside.

Los Angeles Public Transportation

Drivers and commuters that travel around southern California do not rely on public transportation. In other words, most people drive themselves around rather than travel by bus or train. There is, however, a recently-built subway system in Los Angeles that offers some train connections between various points of the city, like North Hollywood (in the San Fernando Valley), downtown Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Santa Monica. Despite this, most visitors to the area will most likely be inclined to rent a car to get around.

Airport Transportation from LAX to Los Angeles

Many LAX passengers are not aware that there is good public airport transportation to several Los Angeles area destinations. For under $10, the LAX FlyAway bus offers service to Union Station in Downtown LA, Van Nuys in the San Fernando Valley and Westwood, near UCLA.

LAX offers free shuttle service to several nearby public transportation facilities. A shuttle is available to the Metro Green Line (at the Aviation/LAX station) and to the Metro Bus Center where there is bus transportation from LAX to Los Angeles destinations.

Shared Ride Vans are another option, much less expensive than a regular taxi. Due to the distances involved, taxi fare may be quite high.

Airport Transportation from SAN to San Diego

There is a single bus serving the airport, bus # 992, which heads to downtown San Diego and is about a 10 minute ride to Amtrak and other rail lines.
Several companies provide shared rise shuttle service, as well. A taxi may be the best SAN airport transportation option to San Diego. Taxi fare from the airport to downtown San Diego is about $20.

LAX to SAN flights – Flying from Los Angeles to San Diego

One look at Los Angeles traffic from a few miles up may convince you that the 1 hour flight was a good idea. United and American Airlines run commuter planes on the LAX to SAN route, with flights throughout the day.

While it is unlikely that all the overhead involved in flying will turn this into a time-saving experience, these flights are relevant to passengers arriving in LAX who need to get to SAN.

Los Angeles, California Driving Directions

The Greater Los Angeles area is very spread out and connected by a grid-like network of freeways that can sometimes get a bit confusing. Despite the miles and miles of paved roads and freeways in the Los Angeles area, the sheer amount of vehicles means that traffic congestion may appear at any given time. Therefore, planning a primary route coupled with a selection of alternative driving routes is the most advisable option for visitors to southern California. In Los Angeles, get driving directions.

The Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) runs along the coast of the Golden State, through the posh neighborhood of Malibu, and is a very scenic drive.

Interstate 10, called the Santa Monica Freeway (westbound) and the San Bernardino Freeway (eastbound) traverses great sweeping sections of the Los Angeles basin.

Interstate 405 Freeway is an artery that runs north-south from San Diego through Orange County, Long Beach, west L.A., and the San Fernando Valley and then joins with the Interstate 5 Freeway heading to all points north. U.S. Highway 101 (also known as the Ventura Freeway) runs almost parallel to the scenic alternative of the Pacific Coast Highway and can take you from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara, via Ventura County. Be advised that some parts of the 101 Freeway have speed limits as low as 45 miles per hour.

There are lots of (no exaggeration) highways, freeways, and expressways crisscrossing southern California, and visitors planning to drive in Los Angeles should get an accurate, up-to-date road map before setting off on the roads. Also, if you're planning on driving on the southern California freeway system, be prepared for six-to-eight lane highways and bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Some wise tips to abide by for the visitor to southern California are to plan driving routes carefully from one attraction to the next, and to rent a car with a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) guidance system just in case you get lost.