Southern California has plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. If you’re looking for a quick getaway that will provide a memorable experience, consider riding the Pacific Surfliner to one of our amazing destinations. Here are some of our top picks:
Twice a year, thousands of blue whales, humpbacks and orcas migrate along the Pacific Coast between Mexico and Alaska, making whale watching a very popular activity for locals and tourists alike. Check out our blog post on the best destinations to witness this incredible migration — just step off the train and join a whale watching excursion for a whole different kind of sightseeing.
Downtown Santa Barbara is home to dozens of tasting rooms and working wineries. And just 45-minutes outside the city is a world-class wine country featuring more than 100 thriving vineyards and family-owned wineries. Thruway bus service connects Santa Barbara Station and Solvang, in the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley . See Santa Barbara’s guide to must-try spots and can’t-miss tours. Head further north to Paso Robles wine country, which can be accessed by Thruway bus from San Luis Obispo – it’s one of the state’s most popular destinations for wine tasting, with 40 varieties of wine and more than 200 wineries.
Surround yourself in nature and wide open spaces in San Luis Obispo. Many trails offer panoramic views of green hills, vast canyons, and more. Check out this article from Visit SLO with the top 15 views from local hiking trails. Another popular destination for hiking is Balboa Park in San Diego, home to 65 miles of trails intertwined with world-class museums and the San Diego Zoo.
Stop in San Juan Capistrano and stroll through the Los Rios Historic District, the oldest neighborhood in California. Walk along tree-lined streets and appreciate the quaint cafes and restaurants and adobe homes on the way to the Mission, which offers self-guided audio tours.
Add a free bike reservation to your Pacific Surfliner trip and pedal your way along scenic trails to the beach or hidden pathways in the hills from many of the train stations we serve. Read our bike tips blog article to read about our top picks for bike adventures.
Make your way through the vibrant neighborhoods of Downtown Los Angeles, such as Olvera Street and Hollywood. San Diego’s downtown also has lots to do and see, from Little Italy to the Gaslamp District.
Basking in the Sun
The Golden State is known for its many sandy beaches, and a number of Pacific Surfliner stations are a short walk to the best beach towns, including San Diego, Oceanside, Ventura, and Santa Barbara. Pack a picnic and enjoy splashing in the waves, or make plans to rent a kayak or paddleboard and get out on the water.
We hope these ideas have inspired you as you're planning your next trip!