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Trains from San Diego to San Luis Obispo

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Trip Summary

There are 5 daily trains from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. Traveling by train from San Diego to San Luis Obispo usually takes around 9 hours and 7 minutes, but the fastest Amtrak train can make the trip in 8 hours and 3 minutes.

Distance268 mi (431 km)
Fastest train8h 3m
Lowest price€52.12
Trains per day3
Most frequent serviceAmtrak
Train lines2

What is the price of a train ticket from San Diego to San Luis Obispo?

In the last month, €55.32 was the average price of a train ticket from San Diego, CA to San Luis Obispo, CA. You can expect to find tickets at that price or lower if you book your trip at least 21 days in advance. Otherwise, expect to pay around €1.97 more than that for a same-day booking.

Average prices by travel date

€64€43€21OctNov

Over the next 30 days, the average cost of a one-way train trip from San Diego to San Luis Obispo will vary between €52 and €58. Planning a train trip to San Luis Obispo within the upcoming week? The cheapest train ticket you can find from San Diego over the next 7 days is €53. 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

€64€52€39€26€13NDJFMAMJJASO

If you are trying to decide when to travel from San Diego to San Luis Obispo by train so you can score the best possible deal, your best bet would be to plan your trip for June. That’s when the average price for a train ticket is expected to be just €57 – the lowest of the year.

Alternatively, if you plan to travel from San Diego to San Luis Obispo in November, expect to spend more on your train trip, as the average ticket price usually surges to €61 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

€64€52€39€26€133020100

If you want to score the best deal, you should plan to book your train trip online on Wanderu at least 21 days ahead of time. If you do that, your train ticket to San Luis Obispo from San Diego will be about €1.97 cheaper compared to what you would pay if you book at the last minute.

Which train should you take from San Diego to San Luis Obispo?

2 train services operate from San Diego, California to San Luis Obispo, California. Amtrak usually has more trains scheduled, with 4 trips per day. That said, it's still worth comparing the prices and trip durations:

TrainDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Amtrak49h 18m€56.73
Amtrak Pacific Surfliner28h 32m€52.35
  • Amtrak

    Amtrak

    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 4 Amtrak trains from San Diego to San Luis Obispo every day, as well as 14 trips on the weekends, with prices starting from €52.

    AMT-0AMT-1AMT-2AMT-3AMT-4AMT-5AMT-6AMT-7AMT-8AMT-9
  • Amtrak Pacific Surfliner

    Amtrak Pacific Surfliner

    The Pacific Surfliner is Amtrak’s passenger train service that runs along the Pacific coast of Southern California, connecting San Luis Obispo to the north with San Diego to the south. The line is among the most famous Amtrak routes due to the unique scenic views it presents, as the train parallels the coastline for large portions of the 268-mile railroad stretch. The Pacific Surfliner offers first-class amenities like onboard restrooms, free WiFi, seats with extra legroom and power outlets, as well as storage racks for surfboards. On average, the service offers 2 train trips from San Diego to San Luis Obispo every day, and prices for a one-way train ticket start from €52.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to travel by train from San Diego to San Luis Obispo 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 Diego to San Luis Obispo?

Yes, there are trains that can take you the entire way from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. However, there are also some trips on this route that require you to board another vehicle, such as a bus or a shuttle, during your journey. This is worth paying attention to as you book your trip, since a direct train may be preferable for its speed and convenience.

How long is the train journey from San Diego to San Luis Obispo?

The distance between San Diego and San Luis Obispo is approximately 268 miles, or 431 kilometers. The average train journey between these two cities takes 9 hours and 7 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 8 hours and 3 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?

Trains from San Diego to San Luis Obispo are the most crowded on Sunday. Tickets also tend to be more expensive then. If you are looking for a great deal on your train tickets or just want extra room to stretch out, consider traveling on Friday instead, as it tends to be the least crowded day of the week.

When are the first and last trains of the day?

The earliest train departs San Diego at 04:00 while the last train of the day leaves at 16:00. 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 Diego to San Luis Obispo?

There are 5 scheduled trains on most days. 3 of these are direct connections to San Luis Obispo. While direct trains may still make stops along the way, you will not need to switch trains at any point. If you're looking to get to your destination faster, a direct train is the convenient and time-efficient choice.

You can also take a train for your return trip from San Luis Obispo to San Diego. If you're not not set on traveling by train, you could always take the bus from San Diego to San Luis Obispo for €21.45.

City Information

San Diego

San Diego is known as "America's Finest City" for its sunny weather, white-sand beaches, and dazzling attractions from Belmont Park to SeaWorld. San Diego's 70 miles of pristine beaches include such gems as Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, La Jolla Cove, and Coronado Beach. The city's strong surfing culture may even inspire you to rent a surfboard and catch the epic waves, bro.

Visitors can spend days getting lost in Balboa Park, a 1,200-acre cultural hub which features 16 museums, immaculate gardens, and the world-famous San Diego Zoo. The historic heart of the city, Old Town, showcases San Diego's heritage and ties to Mexican culture, while other sights like the USS Midway pay tribute to the city's military and maritime history. Leave time for some evening exploring, too! San Diego is rated the #1 best city for craft beer in America, so don't miss out on the bars in the Gaslamp Quarter: 16 walkable blocks packed with nightlife and young crowds.

Two airports, as well as many bus and train options, mean it is easy to get to San Diego from afar or from nearby cities like Tijuana, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.

Station Information

Where is the train station in San Diego?

San Diego, CA - Santa Fe Depot (1050 Kettner Blvd) - SANAMT2-0

Image credit: Doug Letterman

Link to Creative Commons License

Departure stations

The Santa Fe Depot is the main train station in San Diego and one of the end points of the Pacific Surfliner, the only Amtrak train line that serves the city. The station is also used by the Green Line of the San Diego Trolley light rail transit service and the COASTER commuter rail service that connects the city with the central and northern coastal regions of San Diego County. Opened in 1915, the Santa Fe Depot is famous for its Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture and grand interior space that features natural redwood beam ceilings and ceramic details. The train station is located in the heart of Downtown San Diego, making it easy to reach from all parts of the city.

Train stations in San Diego:

  • 4005 Taylor St

Where is the train station in San Luis Obispo?

Arrival stations

San Luis Obispo receives travelers from San Diego at its two active train stations.

Train stations in San Luis Obispo:

  • 1 Grand Avenue, Building 113

Need a return trip from San Luis Obispo to San Diego?

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