The trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco is one of the great American journeys taking in the sun-kissed and mesmerisingly beautiful Californian coastline. With one of the world’s hottest travel destinations at each end and a route littered with spectacular scenery and inviting beaches, the journey is among the top global travel experiences.
Phot by Audrey AK
Visitors have two main options for doing the journey, by train or by car. Generally the decision will be based on how much time you have to do the journey and with how many travel companions to intend to do it.
The railroad route is known by Amtrak, the American train company, as the Coast Starlight. This exotic name actually covers up one of the main disadvantages of the train which is that it only runs along the coast for a short section of the trip and for the rest runs slightly inland. That said, the views are tremendous and give visitors a feel for California that is often lost in its large cities by offering immediate contrasts between the coast and magnificent Cascade Mountain range.
The main advantage of the train is that the journey can be made in relaxing style. Panoramic windows and comfortable seating cars allow travellers to sit back and enjoy the view, although the luxurious dining cars will almost certainly tempt you at some point during the approximately twelve hour journey.
If you’re choosing to drive then the major advantage is the almost total freedom to decide the itinerary. State Route 1 and US Route 101 is the coast road that gives the best view at the expense of extra length because of all the twists and turns. Make sure to avoide Interstate 5 at all costs since this is in no way scenic and will mean a journey of traffic.
The total duration of the drive between the two cities depends on the number of stops, but a good estimate is at least two days with one overnight stop.
Finally, a growing number of tourists are extending their journey all the way up the west coast and travelling from LA to Seattle rather than stopping at San Francisco. This longer route can be done either by car or train. Since the Pacific Northwest is one of the most unspoilt regions of the US this journey certainly repays the long journey!
Hotels in Los Angeles
The 3 star Hotel Miyako Los Angeles is situated in Little Tokio, in the center of Los Angeles, California.
Guest Rating: 9.4
Shelter Hotels Los Angeles is located in the heart of Los Angeles, close to the Staples Center and MacArthur Park.
Guest Rating: 8