Sunset views onboard Amtrak Surfliner train along the Californian Coast
Sunset views onboard Amtrak Surfliner train along the Californian Coast
Clockwise from top left: San Diego, Rodeo Drive, Balboa Park and Hollywood sign
Clockwise from top left: San Diego, Rodeo Drive, Balboa Park and Hollywood sign
Start the Amtrak Surfliner from San Diego
Start the Amtrak Surfliner from San Diego
Amtrak Business Class Amenities
Amtrak Business Class Amenities
Amtrak Surfliner along the Californian Coast
Amtrak Surfliner along the Californian Coast
La Jolla, San Diego
La Jolla, San Diego
San Francisco Painted Ladies and Santa Monica Pier
San Francisco Painted Ladies and Santa Monica Pier
Pismo Beach scenery and sea views onboard Amtrak Surfliner
Pismo Beach scenery and sea views onboard Amtrak Surfliner
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Southern California by Rail

11 nights from £1,649 per person Including Flights

Overview

Discover stunning Southern California across 11-nights on this independent rail itinerary, start in San Diego where you can stroll through the Gaslamp Quarters and take in its vibrant district or explore the beautiful Balboa Park. After three-nights, hop on the Amtrak Surfliner rail towards Los Angeles. Explore Hollywood, Universal Studios, and Santa Monica before continuing by train to San Luis Obispo/Pismo Beach. Immerse yourself in natural beauty, historic missions, and vibrant markets. Next, board an Amtrak Coach to San Francisco, where you'll stroll Fisherman's Wharf, tour Alcatraz, and explore diverse neighbourhoods like Chinatown and North Beach. Conclude with a serene bay cruise, capturing the city's charm. Throughout, enjoy comfortable train travel with amenities like Wi-Fi and scenic views. Experience the best of California's cities, culture, and coastal landscapes before flying home. (TM/ AM)

This tour can be tailor-made to suit your travel style! Enquire further with our travel experts.

Highlights

  • Discover the vibrant cultural treasures and picturesque beaches of San Diego, while savouring the rich Mexican culinary influence woven into its dining scene.
  • Experience Hollywood and Universal Studios in Los Angeles
  • Discover historic missions and vibrant markets in San Luis Obispo/Pismo Beach
  • Tour Alcatraz and stroll Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco
  • Enjoy scenic views as you travel along the California Coast connected by rail and dedicated coach

"Taking the Amtrak rail between San Diego to LA was so scenic! Tracks run right along the beach with gorgeous views of the sea and sand - so much nicer to sit back and relax getting into LA. Definitely need to visit Santa Monica whilst you're in town."
- Anna Pearson, USA Product Manager

Itinerary Overview

Fly into San Diego 3 nights - Los Angeles 3 nights - San Luis Obispo 2 nights - San Francisco 3 nights - Fly home

Our holidays include
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  • Accommodation
  • Checked baggage
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  • In resort assistance & 24 hour contact centre
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Day 1 – Day 3

San Diego

Fly into San Diego and independently travel to your hotel, Once settled stroll your surroundings and explore its diverse array of activities, from exploring Balboa Park's cultural gems to enjoying its pristine beaches like Coronado and La Jolla Cove. Dive into history at Old Town, shop and dine at Seaport Village, or catch a Padres game at Petco Park. Explore maritime history aboard the USS Midway Museum or embark on a harbour tour for stunning bay views. Nature lovers can hike in Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. Stay overnight in San Diego for the next 3 nights.

Overnight: Margaritaville Hotel San Diego Gaslamp Quarter or similar. Upgrade to Andaz San Diego or similar

Day 4

San Diego - Los Angeles/ Anaheim

This morning, head out to breakfast at a local restaurant before making your way to San Diego Downtown Station and onboarding the Amtrak Rail Surfliner towards Los Angeles. The journey takes around 3 hours but you’ll have the comfort of your seat, wifi and beautiful scenic views as you travel up the coast. With the Surfliner, you can buy drinks and food onboard at the Market Café and have the option to upgrade to Business Class seats where you will receive, priority board, complimentary snacks and drinks and reserved seating.

Once you arrive in Los Angeles downtown, choose to stay within this area or travel out to the hills of Hollywood or the beach Santa Monica. By staying at The Garland, enjoy complimentary shuttles to Universal Studios, Citywalk and metro station. Alternatively, the Surfliner train stops at Anaheim if you wanted to go to Disney California! Stay in Los Angeles area for the next 3 nights.

Overnight: The Garland or similar. Upgrade to Andaz West Hollywood or Viceroy Santa Monica or similar

Day 5 – Day 6

Los Angeles

Spend the day explore the many attractions Los Angeles has to offer! See Hollywood and the TCL Chinese Theatre and stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a must visit is the Universal Studios or tour Warner Bros Studio tour. In Santa Monica, visit the famous pier and take a ride on the Ferris Wheel. Rent bikes and ride along the seafront taking in the laid-back vibe or how about doing a spot of shopping at Third Street Promenade? There’s so much to explore and easily accessible with subway transportation and taxis/ Ubers.

Overnight: The Garland or similar. Upgrade to Andaz West Hollywood or Viceroy Santa Monica or similar

Day 7

Los Angeles – San Luis Obispo/ Pismo Beach

Today, head to Los Angeles Downtown Station as you travel to San Luis Obispo. This journey takes around 5 hours so if you were to upgrade your seat, I’d do it on this one! Continue travelling north hugging California’s coastline as you travel past other coastal towns such as Ventura and Santa Barbara. Stay either inland at San Luis Obispo or stay along the coast and stay at Pismo Beach for the next 2 nights. Grover Beach Station is the gateway to Pismo Beach and a short taxi to your chosen hotel.

Overnight: Apple Farm Inn or similar. Upgrade to The Cliffs Hotel and Spa or similar

Day 8

San Luis Obispo/ Pismo Beach

Nestled in California's Central Coast, the city offers a charming blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and outdoor adventure. Explore the historic Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, stroll through downtown's quaint shops and eateries, or hike the nearby Cerro San Luis for panoramic views. The city's renowned Thursday night farmers' market is a must-visit, showcasing local produce, crafts, and live entertainment.

Overnight: Apple Farm Inn or similar. Upgrade to The Cliffs Hotel and Spa or similar

Day 9

San Luis Obispo/ Pismo Beach – San Francisco

This afternoon you will swap a train for a dedicated Amtrak Coach taking you up to San Francisco, a journey of around 5 hours. All Amtrak Coaches feature onboard toilets, roomy reclining seating with leg rests and individual lighting. Arrive into San Francisco in the evening and make your way to your hotel. Explore the culinary scene by visiting Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown or Union Square! Overnight in San Francisco for 3 nights.

Overnight: Hotel RIU Fisherman’s Wharf or similar. Upgrade to Beacon Grand, a Union Square Hotel or similar.

Day 10 – Day 11

Discover San Francisco's iconic landmarks and vibrant neighbourhoods. Begin with a stroll along Fisherman's Wharf, then delve into the city's history with a tour of Alcatraz. Enjoy shopping in Union Square and immersing in the cultural tapestry of Chinatown and North Beach. How about exploring Golden Gate Park's attractions before delving into the eclectic vibes of Haight-Ashbury and the Mission District. Conclude your trip with a serene sunset cruise on the bay, encapsulating the city's charm, diversity, and breathtaking beauty.

Overnight: Hotel RIU Fisherman’s Wharf or similar. Upgrade to Beacon Grand, a Union Square Hotel or similar.

Day 12

Fly home from San Francisco

Make your way independently to San Francisco airport for your flight home

  • International flights to San Diego flying out of San Francisco
  • San Diego 3 nights accommodation
  • Los Angeles 3 nights accommodation
  • San Luis Obispo 2 nights accommodation
  • San Francisco 3 nights accommodation
  • Economy Coach seats on Pacific Surfliner Amtrak rail from San Diego Downtown - Los Angeles Downtown, Los Angeles Downtown - San Luis Obispo, Amtrak Thruway Coach from San Luis Obispo - San Francisco

What’s not included?

  • Airport and train station transfers
  • Meals
  • Optional excursions
  • Upgraded seats on Amtrak

Best Western Plus Bayside Inn

San Diego

Nestled near the vibrant waterfront of San Diego, Best Western Plus Bayside Inn invites you to experience the perfect blend of comfort and convenience. Wake up to stunning views before embarking on your adventure. Whether you're exploring the lush greenery of Balboa Park, immersing yourself in the lively atmosphere of the Gaslamp Quarter, or simply relaxing by our rooftop pool!

The Garland

Hollywood

Located in North Hollywood just a five-minute complimentary shuttle ride from Universal Studios, The Garland is a cool hotel with a retro Californian vibe. Enjoy delicious sharing flatbreads and cocktails at The Front Yard, relax by the outdoor fireplace, or enjoy a dip in the trendy pool.

Apple Farm Inn Hotel

San Luis Obispo

A great family friendly hotel based in the heart of Downtown San Luis Obispo, perfect for any budget with their variety of rooms. Easy access to downtown restaurants and shops and only a 15-minute drive to Pismo and Avila Beach. A charming all-round stay for couples and families alike.

Riu Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf

San Francisco

The Riu Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf is set in the heart of one of San Francisco's most popular regions. Known for its historic waterfront, delicious seafood and spectacular sights, this is a must for any visitor.

Omni San Diego Hotel

San Diego

Nestled in the heart of the historic Gaslamp Quarter close to the city’s top sites and attractions, The Omni San Diego offers the perfect escape with contemporary accommodation that feature bay, city or ballpark views.

Andaz West Hollywood

Los Angeles

Located in on the world-famous Sunset Strip, the Andaz West Hollywood is a modern hotel with attentive staff, chic dining options and a fantastic rooftop pool with views overlooking the city.

Viceroy Santa Monica

Santa Monica

Viceroy Santa Monica Hotel fuses classic sophistication and contemporary chic to create a thoroughly modern and uniquely luxurious Santa Monica, California boutique hotel.

The Cliffs Hotel and Spa

San Luis Obispo

A boutique, oceanfront hotel situated on the coast of Pismo Beach boasts panoramic views of Avila Bay and beachfront access. This gorgeous property neighbours many golf courses, water-sport activities and is surrounded by California’s Wine Country. Perfect for an idyllic getaway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The St Regis San Francisco

San Francisco

The St Regis San Francisco offers a Michelin Star restauant on-site as well luxurious accommodations and excellent facilities right at the heart of San Francisco.

Inspired travel with our expertise

Kevin Ryan
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