Trains from San Francisco to Santa Barbara
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There are 5 daily trains from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. Traveling by train from San Francisco to Santa Barbara usually takes around 10 hours and 16 minutes, but the fastest Amtrak train can make the trip in 8 hours and 51 minutes.
|Distance||277 mi (446 km)|
|Fastest train||8h 51m|
|Most frequent service||Amtrak|
What is the price of a train ticket from San Francisco to Santa Barbara?
In the last month, $73.78 was the average price of a train ticket from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. You can expect to find tickets at that price or lower if you book your trip at least 26 days in advance. Otherwise, expect to pay around $22.19 more than that for a same-day booking.
Average prices by travel date
Over the next 30 days, the average cost of a one-way train trip from San Francisco to Santa Barbara will vary between C$71 and C$100. Planning a train trip to Santa Barbara within the upcoming week? The cheapest train ticket you can find from San Francisco over the next 7 days is C$74. Make sure to book your trip as soon as possible as train fares tend to go up as you get closer to your travel date.
Monthly average prices
If you are trying to decide when to travel from San Francisco to Santa Barbara by train so you can score the best possible deal, your best bet would be to plan your trip for February. That’s when the average price for a train ticket is expected to be just C$66 – the lowest of the year.
Alternatively, if you plan to travel from San Francisco to Santa Barbara in November, expect to spend more on your train trip, as the average ticket price usually surges to C$76 at that time of year. However, if you book your trip ahead of time, you have a high chance of scoring a ticket at a lower price.
Prices as travel date approaches
If you want to score the best deal, you should plan to book your train trip online on Wanderu at least 26 days ahead of time. If you do that, your train ticket to Santa Barbara from San Francisco will be about C$22.19 cheaper compared to what you would pay if you book at the last minute.
Which train should you take from San Francisco to Santa Barbara?
Amtrak is the one and only train line which connects San Francisco to Santa Barbara. However, there are 5 trains per day to choose from.
|Train||Daily Trips||Avg. Time||Avg. Price|
Amtrak is the largest passenger railroad service in America, offering daily intercity trains to hundreds of destinations across the contiguous United States, as well as several cities in Canada. Every Amtrak train comes equipped with comfortable seats with extra legroom, as well as several four-seat areas with tables in the middle. In addition, each car has a freshly cleaned restroom, free WiFi and power outlets at every seat. There are also snack bars where you can purchase drinks or food during your journey. On average, there are 5 Amtrak trains from San Francisco to Santa Barbara every day, as well as 5 trips on the weekends, with prices starting from $59.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it safe to travel by train from San Francisco to Santa Barbara during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Our train partners have implemented several different policies to keep you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. From limiting vehicle capacity to enhancing cleaning protocols and upgrading air filters, train carriers are committed to maintaining a safe environment. For details on what each company is doing to ensure their fleet remains safe for travel, click here.
In addition, federal law requires all train passengers to wear a face covering for the entire duration of the trip. Please make sure you are wearing a face mask or you may not be allowed to board the train.
Please visit our COVID-19 Travel Guide for more information on all carrier policies and the latest travel advisories issued by every U.S. state, Canadian province, and European country.
Can you take a train all the way from San Francisco to Santa Barbara?
How long is the train journey from San Francisco to Santa Barbara?
The distance between San Francisco and Santa Barbara is approximately 277 miles, or 446 kilometers. The average train journey between these two cities takes 10 hours and 16 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 8 hours and 51 minutes.
Looking for ways to pass the time? Most trains are equipped with Wi-Fi, which means you can stream music, browse social media or get some work done during your ride. That said, in case your train has a spotty signal, or is among the few without Wi-Fi, we also recommend downloading TV shows and movies to your mobile device in advance of your trip. That way the ride will fly by whatever the Wi-Fi situation.
When are trains the most crowded?
On a weekly basis, the greatest number of passengers tend to travel by trains from San Francisco to Santa Barbara on Thursday. Tickets for Thursday tend to also be the most expensive. For savvy travelers looking for cheaper priced tickets search for travel departing on Wednesday. Wednesday also tend to have less passengers which may make boarding faster and let you snag your perfect seat.
When are the first and last trains of the day?
The earliest train departs San Francisco at 6:00am while the last train of the day leaves at 11:00am. To see all scheduled departure times, use the search function on this page to get the full schedule for your specific travel dates.
Is there a direct train from San Francisco to Santa Barbara?
There are 5 scheduled trains on most days. Unfortunately, none of them are direct connections, so you will need to disembark from your original train and board a connecting train during your journey. Don't forget to bring your carry-on luggage when you switch trains. In some instances, you may also be responsible for transferring your own checked baggage.
You can also take a train for your return trip from Santa Barbara to San Francisco.
Image credit: Unsplash
Image credit: Unsplash
Image credit: Unsplash
Located in the heart of Northern California's Bay Area, San Francisco is a geographically small but culturally huge city known for its historic cable cars, active waterfront, and the eclectic mix of hippies and techies who call it home. While it might be one of the most expensive U.S. cities to live in, San Fran can actually be very cheap to visit, and there is no shortage of unique sights to see.
If the city's omnipresent fog (nicknamed "Karl the Fog" by locals) takes a break, the best views and Instagram photo ops of the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge are found in Golden Gate Park. Stroll through the oldest Chinatown in North America to find the perfect dim sum, or if you and your boo prefer a little Full House moment, try a romantic picnic at Alamo Square Park in front of the Victorian "Painted Ladies." After all, San Francisco is one of the best vacation destinations for couples.
Since the city is condensed onto a small peninsula, exploring by bike is an efficient and scenic way to get around. When you’re ready to travel beyond city limits, San Francisco is a convenient hub for trips throughout Northern California. It's actually the first stop on Wanderu's West Coast Wine Tour, with the next stop, obviously, in Napa Valley. Whether traveling by bus, train, or through either of the two nearby airports, San Francisco is a can't-miss destination.
Santa Barbara is a major travel destination along the southern coast of California. Dramatically situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara offers incomparable scenery with a comfortably warm climate year-round. White stucco buildings with Mediterranean-style architecture, gorgeous beaches, and upscale local cuisine give Santa Barbara the nickname "The American Riviera."
There are many kinds of vacations to enjoy in Santa Barbara. You can spend days on the soft sand of Leadbetter Beach, surfing in the swells at Rincon Point, or shopping for trinkets along Stearns Wharf. Or embrace the area's history by visiting the Mission Santa Barbara, a Spanish mission founded in 1786. Highlights from the mission include Spanish architecture, a rose garden, a museum, and even crypts.
Santa Barbara Airport, only a few miles from downtown, serves passengers to the region. Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner stops in Santa Barbara on its way from San Diego to San Luis Obispo, with plenty of connections to other SoCal hotspots. Intercity buses, including FlixBus, offer routes from Santa Barbara to destinations like L.A., San Diego, and Las Vegas.
Where is the train station in San Francisco?
Main departure station: Salesforce Plaza
Behind a modern curved façade lies San Francisco’s commuter hub, the Salesforce Transit Center. This gateway to downtown San Francisco and the entire Bay Area welcomes tens of thousands of passengers every day. Finding your way around is easy thanks to more than 270 digital displays with transit information. The Salesforce Transit Center serves as a bus station for Greyhound and Amtrak Thruway buses, as well as several public transit options for convenient connections. A standout feature of the Salesforce Transit Center is a public five-acre rooftop park which gives travelers an open space to relax. Rotating food trucks, cafés, carts, and pop-up retail make this a dynamic and vibrant destination in itself.
All train stations in San Francisco:
Where is the train station in Santa Barbara?
Main arrival station: 209 State Street
Santa Barbara has one train station.
Train stations in Santa Barbara:
209 State Street
Need a return trip from Santa Barbara to San Francisco?Search Train Tickets
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