All aboard the Pacific Surfliner for another fantastic journey around the sun! Here are some of our recommendations for every sort of trip you could ever want to embark upon in 2024. Ride on, and cheers to a new year of adventure!
Trips for Foodies
California Avocado Festival - October (Dates TBD)
The motto of this beloved celebration for everyone's favorite (unfruitlike) fruit is "Peace, Love & Guacamole." Need we say more? Every October, the California Avocado Festival in Carpinteria offers visitors a chance to enjoy avocados in every form. It also happens to be one of California's largest free music festivals!
How to Get There: The festival is less than a 5-minute walk from the Carpinteria station.
California Strawberry Festival - May 18-19
Did someone say strawberry fields forever? The California Strawberry Festival (our state loves celebrations of fruit, what can we say) in Ventura delights people from far and wide every May with strawberry-inspired treats, dozens of food vendors, an obstacle course, incredible beachside views, and so much more.
How to Get There: The Ventura station is just a few steps away from the Fairgrounds and Event Center.
Trips for History Buffs
History lovers can delight in the birthplace of Orange County at Mission San Juan Capistrano, a historic landmark and museum that's almost 250 years old. Beyond its architectural significance, the site is a poignant symbol of California's rich multicultural history, making it a fascinating stop for anyone who loves uncovering a bit of the past.
How to Get There: The San Juan Capistrano Station is a short 2-minute walk from the Mission.
For a blast from the more recent past, Simi Valley's Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum offers fascinating exhibits, interactive displays, and unbeatable views of the Pacific coastline. Explore their collection of artifacts or enjoy a guided tour of the museum from one of its knowledgeable docents, and get ready to rewind some history (shoulder pads optional).
How to Get There: Hop off the train at the Simi Valley Station and take a 20-minute Uber or Lyft over to the library and museum.
Trips for Shopaholics
We've got a special challenge for any self-proclaimed fashionistas out there: head to Camarillo Premium Outlets and try NOT to buy something. Hint: it's literally impossible. Explore over 160 stores and counting, and don’t forget to chow down with dining options that will keep you fueled up while you shop.
How to Get There: The Premium Outlets are a 5-minute Uber or Lyft ride from the Camarillo Station.
The trendy Cedros Avenue Design District is a collection of local boutiques, home goods stores, and galleries that showcase a treasure trove of unique finds. From handmade jewelry to one-of-a-kind art pieces, this hip art district packs a ton of fun into just a few blocks.
How to Get There: The Design District is just a 10-minute walk from the Solana Beach Station.
Trips for Imbibers
Sip back and relax as you explore over 20 wineries and 4 neighborhoods of Santa Barbara during the Urban Wine Trail, a chance to see the city while enjoying some award-winning, fun-filled wine tasting. The trail also takes you through the Santa Barbara Funk Zone, a favorite local arts enclave with 13 blocks of artists, winemakers, chefs, boutiques, creative collectives, and more.
How to Get There: The Funk Zone is a 5-minute walk from the Santa Barbara Station.
SLO Craft Beer Fest - February 24
Calling all beer lovers! We know just the place for you. The San Luis Obispo Craft Beer Fest, held every February, is a brew-tiful celebration of craft beverages featuring amazing breweries from around the United States, with selected ciders, spirits, and kombucha available as well. And, since you'll be catching a ride on the train, you won't need to worry about being the Designated Driver.
How to Get There: The event is a quick 10-minute Uber or Lyft ride from the San Luis Obispo Station.
Trips for Beach Bums
With a slogan of "Spanish Village by the Sea," there's nowhere better to capture the essence of a Mediterranean vacation than San Clemente. Enjoy Spanish Colonial-style architecture, specialty shops and restaurants, and unmissable beachside views at San Clemente State Park or the San Clemente Pier.
How to Get There: The beach is a 10-minute Uber or Lyft ride, or a very scenic 1-hour walk, from the San Clemente Pier Station. You can also take the free San Clemente Trolly for a fabulous transport experience.
In Oceanside, California you'll find a place where laid-back vibes meet rolling tides. After all, it's not a beach day; it's a lifestyle! Head to Oceanside City Beach, also known as The Strand, and laze to your heart's desire on pristine sandy beaches while soaking up everything that makes a relaxing California beach vacay so enticing.
How to Get There: The Strand is a 15-minute walk away from the Oceanside Station.
Trips for Artsy Souls
As if San Luis Obispo couldn't get any better, the town also has a giant 15-foot high, 70-foot long alley of chewed bubblegum! With thousands of pieces of gum clinging to the wall, this is an excellent stop for anyone looking to experience some fun, weird history while getting the photo op of a lifetime.
How to Get There: Bubblegum Alley is a 15-minute walk from the San Luis Obispo Station.
Santa Barbara International Film Festival - February 7-17
Roll out the red carpet for this 11-day celebration of film in Santa Barbara, where industry professionals and film lovers come together to watch some truly incredible works of art. Enjoy a diverse lineup of films, tributes, and galas, and brush up on your film knowledge at seminars with directors, writers, producers, and more.
How to Get There: The film festival is a 30-minute walk, or a 10-minute Uber or Lyft ride, from the Santa Barbara Station.
Trips for Ones With Nature
Oceano Dunes Natural Preserve is a place where the possibilities are as endless as grains of sand. Whether you're casting a line into the Pacific waves, catching the perfect wave on your surfboard, or taking a leisurely swim in the ocean's embrace, this preserve offers a waterfront adventure like no other.
How to Get There: The preserve is a 7-minute walk from the Grover Beach Station.
Feeling like a break from the mainland? We got you. Channel Islands National Park, encompassing five islands and a wealth of significant biological and cultural resources, is the perfect place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Camp, boat, hike, fish, picnic, dive, kayak, snorkel, surf, or photograph your way through this haven of natural beauty.
How to Get There: The Oxnard Station is a 15-minute Uber or Lyft ride away from ferry transportation options to the Channel Islands.
Trips for Animal Lovers
No journey to SoCal is truly complete without a stop at this world-renowned zoo, where visitors can step into the fully realized ecosystems of animals from across the world. Your visit is not only a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see nature's wild side with up-close exhibits, interactive shows, and more, but also a great way to support the conservation of all your favorite creatures and critters.
How to Get There: The Zoo is a 10-minute Uber or Lyft ride away from the Santa Fe Depot.
If you simply can't resist the urge to touch your favorite animals, we recommend heading over to Zoomars in San Juan Capistrano, the only petting zoo in South Orange County. Pet animals like horses, sheep, pigs, llamas, an emu, and more, or delight the kiddos (or your inner child) with various family-friendly attractions and activities.
How to Get There: Zoomars is a 5-minute walk from the San Juan Capistrano Station.