That’s not technically correct since we really haven’t traveled by train all that often.
In point of fact. Never.
We did take one completely awesome train trip when we were in Arizona but we have never actually travelled by train where you sleep on the train, eat on the train, and generally…well…travel by train.
But we think we would love it. We love small ship travel like the Un-Cruise Adventures cruise we took and the Blount cruise so the idea of unpacking once in a small but comfortable room and stepping out at destination after destination holds a huge amount of appeal. We are totally open to the idea of train travel.
So when we found out that there was a train you could take from Carlsbad to San Diego on our visit, we immediately worked it into our schedule.
The Coaster is actually a commuter train which runs North and South through San Diego county with eight stops between Oceanside and San Diego. Not only is it extraordinarily cheap ($11.00 roundtrip for adults) and convenient, it’s luxuriously comfortable and the scenery along the way is incredible.
We made one mistake and that was, because we were staying at the Omni La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, we took the Coaster from that station since it was so close. If we had it to do again, we would drive to Oceanside and take the train all the way from there to San Francisco because you see much more scenery and views of the Pacific Ocean that way. The whole trip is only about an hour but it’s the most restful and enjoyable commute you will ever experience.
There is plenty of free parking at every station except San Diego where there is metered parking available. There are even bike areas on the train; just enter the car that has the bike emblem on it and you can safely store your bike for the trip. We got our tickets from a machine at the station that was really easy to use, then waited with several other people for the train.
When the train pulled in, we boarded along with several others who were waiting. There were people of all ages on the train; some looked like they were headed to work or school and many looked like they were tourists like us. We were really amazed at how comfortable the train was; furnished with plush, comfortable seats and nice carpeting. It was not crowded at all since it was the middle of a weekday. I spent most of the trip gazing out the window.
Tom spent most of the trip taking photos. As usual.
We passed by one of the three lagoons in the Carlsbad area.
The lagoons connect to the ocean at some point as this one does here under the bridge.
We cruised by several parks and through towns. It was so interesting to have a different view of the world than the one you see through the windshield of a car. Nobody even noticed the train passing by as it made the trip several times a day.
The best part for me was the incredible views we had of the Pacific Ocean. The train tracks were literally right beside the beach. I don’t think I have seen that any other place.
We passed through Old Town San Diego where a number of people got off, then slowly pulled into the San Diego station.
We spent the day wandering around San Diego, then strolled back to the train station and caught the Coaster back to Encinitas. We relaxed in our cushy seats and may have dozed a little.
Riding the Coaster was truly one of the best things we did on our trip to Carlsbad. If you are in the area, you should definitely consider adding it to your trip plans.
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