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Sacramento to Santa Barbara train

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Sacramento - Santa Barbara Train Schedule

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Trip Summary

9 trains operate daily from Sacramento to Santa Barbara. The train trip from Sacramento to Santa Barbara is usually about 10 hours and 53 minutes long. However, traveling on the fastest Amtrak train can get you there in as little as 9 hours and 25 minutes.

Distance304 mi (490 km)
Fastest train9h 25m
Lowest price$60.00
Trains per day1
Most frequent serviceAmtrak
Train lines2

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

In the last 30 days, the average cost of a train ticket from Sacramento to Santa Barbara was $61.00. You have the best chances of scoring the cheapest ticket to Santa Barbara if you book your train tickets at least 15 days in advance. Waiting to purchase until the day of your trip could end up costing you an extra $26.71.

Monthly average prices

$75$60$45$30$15JJASONDJFMAM
Ticket prices for the train from Sacramento to Santa Barbara often fluctuate based on the time of year. For the best prices on this route, book in May when the average ticket price is only $64. If you're thinking of traveling from Sacramento to Santa Barbara during August, keep in mind that train ticket prices may be higher than usual, with an average price of $73 during this time of year. The best way to score a cheap deal, even in August, is to book your trip well in advance.

Prices as travel date approaches

$100$80$60$40$203020100

Planning ahead pays off when it comes to booking your train trip from Sacramento to Santa Barbara. By reserving your ticket on Wanderu at least 15 days before departure, you can save around $26.71. Don't miss out on these savings — book in advance!

Which train should you take from Sacramento to Santa Barbara?

2 train services operate from Sacramento to Santa Barbara. Amtrak usually has more trains scheduled, with 8 trips per day. That said, it's still worth comparing the prices and trip durations:

TrainDaily TripsAvg. TimeAvg. Price
Amtrak810h 49m$80.20
Amtrak Coast Starlight111h 24m$98.57
  • 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 8 Amtrak trains from Sacramento to Santa Barbara every day, as well as 7 trips on the weekends, with prices starting from $55.

  • The Amtrak Coast Starlight is a service provided by Amtrak that connects Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles on the US Pacific coast. The full journey winds through the Cascade Mountains, perfectly clipped vineyards, and dense coastal forest, allowing passengers to get a glimpse of the US west coast while enjoying air-conditioned cars, power outlets, complimentary onboard WiFi, and snacks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, there are trains that can take you the entire way from Sacramento to Santa Barbara. 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.

The distance between Sacramento and Santa Barbara is approximately 304 miles, or 490 kilometers. The average train journey between these two cities takes 10 hours and 53 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 9 hours and 25 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.

Trains from Sacramento to Santa Barbara are the most crowded on Monday. 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 Sunday instead, as it tends to be the least crowded day of the week.

The earliest train departs Sacramento at 5:00am while the last train of the day leaves at 7:00pm. 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 9 scheduled trains on most days. There is one direct train, which you can stay on for the entire journey from Sacramento to Santa Barbara. In contrast, taking a non-direct train would require you to transfer trains during your trip.

You can also take a train for your return trip from Santa Barbara to Sacramento.

City Information

Sacramento

As the long-held capital city of California, Sacramento has a rich and vibrant history that is reflected in its historic buildings and quarters. The Old Sacramento Waterfront quarter is the best place to explore the city’s rich heritage. Boasting ages-old constructions and a quaint vibe that is reminiscent of the Wild West, the area allows visitors to travel back in time and relive the Gold Rush era. Among the most interesting destinations in the area is the California State Museum, located at the northern edge of the quarter. It offers numerous restored locomotives as well as exhibitions on the United States’ westward expansion. If history is not really your thing, then the Midtown quarter, which boasts a vibrant and expanding art scene, will be a great alternative.

Sacramento is famous for its vast tracts of farmland, so it makes sense that the best dishes are the ones made from locally-grown produce. Among the best places to try out homemade dishes are The Firehouse and The Kitchen. For a bit of an Asian taste, visit Mikuni in Midtown Sacramento.

The busiest bus station in Sacramento is located right in the heart of the city and offers bus service to Portland, Reno, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, among many other places. The main Amtrak train station is the nearby Sacramento Valley Station, which also serves the Gold Line of the local transit light rail. The principal regional airport is the Sacramento International Airport, located 10 miles northwest of Downtown.

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 Sacramento?

Valley Station - 401 I St  - SACAMT-0

Image credit: rosemarie_mckeon

Link to image attribution
Valley Station - 401 I St  - SACAMT-1

Image credit: Lev Lazinskiy

Link to image attribution

Main departure station: Valley Station - 401 I St

Sacramento Valley Station is the second busiest transport hub in California and is used by more than one million people every year. Originally constructed in 1926, it now serves as a major center for Amtrak trains traveling within California, northwards along the West Coast, and eastwards into the American Southwest. The station also falls along four Amtrak Thruway bus routes and operates as the western terminus for the Sacramento Light Rail network. Located between Old Sacramento and Downtown, the station is within walking distance of several Gold-Rush era historical monuments as well as an ultra-modern retail district filled with shops and restaurants.

All train stations in Sacramento:

  • Valley Station - 401 I St

Where is the train station in Santa Barbara?

Main arrival station: 209 State Street

Santa Barbara has one train station.

All train stations in Santa Barbara:

  • 209 State Street

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