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San Francisco to Santa Barbara train

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San Francisco - Santa Barbara Train Schedule

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Trip Summary

5 trains operate daily from San Francisco to Santa Barbara. The train trip from San Francisco to Santa Barbara is usually about 10 hours and 11 minutes long. However, traveling on the fastest Amtrak train can get you there in as little as 8 hours and 37 minutes.

Distance277 mi (446 km)
Fastest train8h 37m
Lowest price$66.26
Most frequent serviceAmtrak
Train lines1

What is the price of a train ticket from San Francisco to Santa Barbara?

The average price for a train ticket from San Francisco to Santa Barbara is $85.30, By booking your trip at least 27 days in advance, you increase your chances of scoring even cheaper tickets. But if you wait until the day of your trip to book tickets, expect to pay $35.18 more.

Monthly average prices

$138$110$83$55$28MJJASONDJFMA
You can find the lowest prices on this route during January. This time of year offers the best deals on train tickets from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, with the average price at just $83. Train tickets on this route are most expensive in October, when the average price goes up to $106. You can still score cheap deals below this average price, though, especially if you plan ahead and book your ticket in advance.

Prices as travel date approaches

$104$83$62$41$213020100

If you want to score the best deal, you should plan to book your train trip online on Wanderu at least 27 days ahead of time. If you do that, your train ticket to Santa Barbara from San Francisco will be about C$35.18 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.

TrainDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Amtrak510h 12m$98.98
  • 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 4 trips on the weekends, with prices starting from $66.

Frequently Asked Questions

While the train is the main method of transportation from San Francisco to Santa Barbara, it will only take you part of the way there. Please note that part of your trip will be on a different vehicle, most commonly a bus or express shuttle.

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 11 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 8 hours and 37 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.

On a weekly basis, the greatest number of passengers tend to travel by trains from San Francisco to Santa Barbara on Friday. Tickets for Friday tend to also be the most expensive. For savvy travelers looking for cheaper priced tickets search for travel departing on Monday. Monday also tend to have less passengers which may make boarding faster and let you snag your perfect seat.

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.

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.

City Information

San Francisco

San Francisco, CA - SFO-0

Image credit: Unsplash

San Francisco, CA - SFO-1

Image credit: Unsplash

San Francisco, CA - SFO-2

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

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.

Station Information

Where is the train station in San Francisco?

Salesforce Plaza - SFOBLT-0

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Link to image attribution

Main departure station: San Francisco, California

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:

  • San Francisco, California

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

Get around town with Moovit

Download Moovit to see all of your local transit options in Santa Barbara. Download here

Need a return trip from Santa Barbara to San Francisco?

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