Traveling to Santa Barbara by train is fast and efficient, thanks to the infrastructure in place to make this possible. There are two train stations in Santa Barbara serving all the trains coming from neighboring cities. The Santa Barbara Train Station is the main station located in downtown Santa Barbara, blocks away from the city’s pristine beaches and promenades to the south.
The Santa Barbara Train Station offers daily trains to Los Angeles, Oregon, San Diego, and Washington, with some lines extending to San Luis Obispo. The station is fully staffed and offers ticketing services, checked baggage, and package express services. There is another train station in Goleta, and it’s a more convenient location for north county residents and people visiting the University of California, Santa Barbara. You can take the Pacific Surfliner from Goleta, which has stops in San Diego and Los Angeles. The Omio app is the easiest way of booking a train to either station in Santa Barbara.
Amtrak is the main train provider for trains to Santa Barbara. Amtrak trains are famous for their cozy travel conditions and the many amenities they offer onboard. Two main Amtrak trains regularly serve Santa Barbara - Pacific Surfliner and the Coast Starlight. The Pacific Surfliner sticks to the southern California coastline, running from San Luis Obispo to San Diego, with several stops in Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, and San Diego counties.
If you’re aboard the pacific Surfliner, you can stop either in Goleta or Santa Barbara Train Station. The Coast Starlight is the other Amtrak train serving Santa Barbara. The Coast Starlight runs from Seattle to Los Angeles, and it goes through several regions, including Portland, Sacramento, Paso Robles, San Francisco Bay Area, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara. Unlike the Pacific Surfliner, the Coast Starlight only has its stop at the Santa Barbara Train Station. You can book both the Pacific Surfliner and the Coast Starlight using the Omio app for your trip to Santa Barbara.
There are two main train stations in Santa Barbara: the Santa Barbara Train Station and Goleta Train Station. The Santa Barbara Train Station is the main train station and handles both trains that serve the Santa Barbara route, while Goleta Train Station only serves one. The train station is located in downtown Santa Barbara and is only blocks away from the beach. You’ll find plenty of restaurants, shops, and Hotels in downtown Santa Barbara, and all are within walking distance of the station.
The station is fully staffed and offers a checked baggage service, a comfortable waiting area, restrooms, payphones, free short-term parking, and most areas are wheelchair accessible. QuickTrak kiosks and vending machines are also available at Santa Barbara Train Station. Goleta Train Station is about 12 miles (19 km) from downtown Santa Barbara and is the main station serving north county residents and people visiting the University of California, Santa Barbara. You can also easily connect to downtown Santa Barbara with local Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District buses. Most of the station is wheelchair accessible, including the ticket offices, restroom, platform, and parking lots. The station offers complimentary short-term parking, and overnight parking is also available.
The Pacific Surfliner and the Coast starlight are the two trains tasked with making regular trips to Santa Barbara. Since both are long-distance trains to Santa Barbara, you can expect a plethora of services on board. Onboard the Pacific Surfliner, passengers are treated to comfortable reclining seats with a fold-down tray, individual reading light, and a power outlet. There’s free Wi-Fi to keep you connected and large picture windows allowing you to take a few snaps of the beautiful scenery along the way.
Luggage racks are provided for carry-ons and bike racks for those traveling with bicycles. Onboard the Pacific Surfliner, you’ll find a market-style café offering fresh food, snacks, and beverages. You also have the option of upgrading to business class for extra perks such as complimentary snacks, a dedicated attendant, and guaranteed seating. You can expect the same accommodations on the Coast Starlight since the same provider (Amtrak) offers the trains.
However, on the Coast Starlight, you’ll find the Sightseer Lounge, where you can take in spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean shoreline. Service animals are welcome on both trains, but pets need to stay at home for the trip to Santa Barbara. Moreover, both trains are wheelchair accessible, and there are reserved seats for people with limited mobility. If you have your bike with you, you’re welcome to bring it on board, but ensure you first make a reservation since there is limited bike space available on either train.
Santa Barbara Downtown. Source: Shutterstock
The Omio app is the most convenient way of booking a ticket for trains to Santa Barbara. Using the Omio app is fast and easy, and you can store all your tickets in your account. You can either have the printed or electronic tickets for your train journey to Santa Barbara. All passengers must ensure that they have their tickets with them at all times, as ticket checks are completed periodically.
Booking your ticket with the Omio app allows you to have your ticket with you at all times and saves you from the hassle of having to print your ticket. All passengers over 18 and all unaccompanied minors (15 and over) must have with them a government-issued photo ID, such as a passport, military ID, or driver’s license when boarding trains to Santa Barbara.
The name on the ticket must match that on the ID, and if a passenger doesn’t have a government-issued photo ID, they can use a secondary form of identification, but it must be accompanied by a government-issued document without a photo. Remember, booking your ticket with the Omio app is fast and easy, and you can store all your train tickets in one account.
Santa Barbara has great public transportation. The local buses are owned and operated by the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (MTD), and you’ll have many other options of getting around, including taxis, open-air trolleys, bikes, and rental cars. The public bus is the cheapest means for getting around, and the MTD buses operate around 25 routes that crisscross the city. They should easily get you from downtown or Goleta Station to most attractions in the city. There’s also the open-air trolley, which you can get a two-day pass, and it provides services to the most popular tourist destinations in Santa Barbara. If you’d like to stay active, you can rent a bike as this is one of the most bike-friendly cities. Uber and Lyft are also readily available, while local taxi companies, such as American Taxi, Crown Cab, and Santa Barbara City Cab, should also get you to most destinations.
Santa Barbara Train Station. Source: Shutterstock
Santa Barbara is the land of plenty. You’ll have plenty of things to do, and whether you’re looking to relax by the beach, take a stroll through the city, or participate in high-adrenaline activities, there’s something for you in this city. Santa Barbara is famous for its wide and pristine beaches, and there’s also a lot more to enjoy inland. If you love fresh air and outdoor fun, start at the many public beaches in Santa Barbara. East and West Beach are popular for volleyball games, sunbathing, and picnics, while Butterfly Beach in Montecito is a great place to surf.
No trip to this city is complete without a good dose of shopping. State Street, the main artery of Santa Barbara, is where you’ll find most chic boutiques, shops, and showrooms. Here you’ll find most brands you know and already love, and it also hosts the entrance to Paseo Nuevo Mall, one of Santa Barbara’s most famous open-air malls. Stearns Wharf and the Santa Barbara Harbor are other great places where you can pick up a souvenir or two to remind you of your visit to this region.
The restaurant scene in Santa Barbara is buzzing, and it’s a must-visit for any tourists in Santa Barbara. From the freshest, locally sourced ingredients come works of art designed to thrill your palate. In Santa Barbara, you’ll find farm-to-table meals, critically acclaimed wines, and craft beer like you’ve never seen before. Plan a food trip through town and try out some of the most unique and creative dishes available in Santa Barbara.