San Diego to San Luis Obispo trains

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San Diego - San Luis Obispo Train Schedule

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Trip Summary

There are 6 daily trains from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. Traveling by train from San Diego to San Luis Obispo usually takes around 8 hours and 48 minutes, but the fastest Amtrak train can make the trip in 8 hours,

Distance268 mi (431 km)
Fastest train8h 0m
Lowest price$60.70
Trains per day4
Most frequent serviceAmtrak
Train lines2

Price trends for trains from San Diego to San Luis Obispo

Average prices by travel date

$75$50$25SepOct

Monthly average prices

$75$60$45$30$15NDJFMAMJJASO

Prices as travel date approaches

$75$60$45$30$153020100

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

2 train services operate from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. 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
Amtrak48h 51m$65.41
Amtrak Pacific Surfliner28h 39m$61.05
  • 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 8 trips on the weekends, with prices starting from $61.

  • 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 $61.

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.

Although masks are no longer required on public transportation, we stand behind CDC guidelines that encourage passengers to wear a mask over their nose and mouth while on the train or in stations.

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 8 hours and 48 minutes, although the absolute fastest you could get there is 8 hours,

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 departing from San Diego to San Luis Obispo tend to have the most passengers on Saturday. With higher demand ticket prices also tend to be higher on Saturday. If you are trying to snag a cheap train tickets or just want an emptier train you'll have better luck by booking travel departing on Sunday as the least number of people tend to travel then.

When are the first and last trains of the day?

The earliest train departs San Diego at 4:00am while the last train of the day leaves at 4:00pm. 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 6 scheduled trains on most days. 4 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.

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.

San Luis Obispo

San Luis is a remarkable city known for accommodating travelers with different intents - those looking for nightlife, a laid-back experience, or a healthy mix of both. It is also known for its outstanding farmers' market with some of the best fruits and veggies in all of California. The historic Spanish Mission, art galleries, museums, wine, craft beer tasting room, and great restaurants can provide any type of fun you're looking for in the Sunshine State.

Want a truly unique experience? Swing by Bubblegum Alley, with walls lined with chewed bubblegum. Leave some yourself to make your mark! Or, for more traditional art, visit the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, with galleries displaying work by contemporary California artists.

SLO has two major bus and train stations in San Luis - 1011 Railroad Ave and Grand Avenue, Building 113. FlixBus and Amtrak Thruway buses both service the town for bus transport, and Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner and Coast Starlight provide train options. There is also a county airport that lets you fly in from wherever you are in the world and is located just two miles from the main city.

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 image attribution

Main departure station: Santa Fe Depot - 1050 Kettner Blvd

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.

All train stations in San Diego:

  • Santa Fe Depot - 1050 Kettner Blvd

  • 4005 Taylor St

Where is the train station in San Luis Obispo?

Main arrival station: 1011 Railroad Ave

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

All train stations in San Luis Obispo:

  • 1011 Railroad Ave

  • 1 Grand Avenue, Building 113

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