Forget the Traffic Jams and Use This Guide for Where to Stop When You Take the Train From LA to San Diego Locale Magazine Editors December 18, 2018 Spread the loveHere’s What to Do, See and Where to Stay Along These Three Southern California Stops Written By: Kaitlynn Labit Photography Provided By: Amtrak Pacific Surfliner Train LA to SD ‘Tis the season for green and red lights, blinking bulbs and the sound of horns. The holiday traffic in Southern California truly rings in the Christmas season. It’s the busiest time of year, and there are people to visit and places to see, and crawling along I-405 or the I-805 isn’t a part of any of those plans. Take the better alternative this season and travel with Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner to your next destination. With several stops between Los Angeles and San Diego, here’s what to do, see and how to make your holiday travel as cheerful as the season by taking the Pacific Surfliner—Mickey Mouse, San Diego coastline views and travel hacks included. Train LA to SD LA Day Get Off At: Union Station What to Do: If your final destination is Los Angeles, step out of the Pacific Surfliner, into the historic Union Station and order an Uber to take you Downtown LA. You can still feel Christmas in the city by lacing up a pair of skates at the Pershing Square Holiday Ice Skating Rink located in the middle of DTLA. To cap off your day in LA, make sure you take some time to visit Grand Park’s Winter Glow where you’ll find yourself surrounded by over 12 acres of a holiday-themed immersive light display. Pershing Square Holiday Ice Skating Rink 532 S Olive St Los Angeles, CA 90013 Grand Park’s Winter Glow 200 N Grand Ave Los Angeles, CA 90012 Train LA to SD View this post on Instagram A post shared by El Cholo Restaurants (@elcholo1923) on Nov 13, 2018 at 6:10pm PST Where to Eat: Since 1923, El Cholo has been serving up authentic Mexican cuisine and throughout the month of December, they’re taking orders for their Holiday Tamales that are only being served at their original Los Angeles location. ¡Feliz Navidad! El Cholo 1121 S Western Ave Los Angeles, CA 90006 323.734.2773 Train LA to SD View this post on Instagram A post shared by Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles (@acedtla) on Sep 4, 2018 at 10:27am PDT Where to Stay: Book your night at the ACE Hotel. This Los Angeles staple serves as the place to stay. With its industrial-modern look, rooftop pool (because it’s still sunny even during the holidays) and Instagrammable decor, you can end your LA day right. ACE Hotel 929 S Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90015 213.623.3233 Native Knowledge: Skip the crowd! Fridays and Sundays are the busiest travel days of the 700 series trains that run from LA to SD. Instead, book your ticket for one of the 500 series trains—same destinations, just without the crowd—during midweek or midday. Pro tip: buy the unreserved Coach ticket and travel with leisure. You can choose to take an earlier or later train without charge if your plans change throughout the day! A California Adventure Get Off At: Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center What To Do: The Pacific Surfliner is ready to take you into the Christmas spirit. Your next stop? The Happiest Place on Earth. Sport your new Mickey Mouse ears and spend a day at Disneyland eating churros and pickles (not at the same time, obviously), grab a seat to watch A Christmas Fantasy Parade and take your funniest ride photo. We’ll see you in the FastPass line! Disneyland 1313 Disneyland Dr Anaheim, CA 92802 View this post on Instagram A post shared by Anaheim GardenWalk (@thegardenwalk) on May 17, 2018 at 7:00pm PDT Where To Eat: Take a little stroll from Disney over to the Anaheim Garden Walk and enjoy a good burger and good tunes at Anaheim House of Blues. The location is spacious and has tables that surround a mini stage which means you could have lunch and a show on the right day! Anaheim Garden Walk 400 Disney Way Anaheim, CA 92802 Anaheim House of Blues 400 Disney Way, Ste 337 Anaheim, CA 92802 714.778.2583 View this post on Instagram A post shared by TXDisney (@txdisney) on Dec 10, 2018 at 3:08pm PST Where To Stay: Where else is there to stay while in Anaheim than Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa? End your day by feeling the holiday magic as you kick back and relax in front of the fireplace in the cabin-themed main lobby. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa 1600 S Disneyland Dr Anaheim, CA 92802 714.635.2300 Native Knowledge: Once you arrive at the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center, show your Pacific Surfliner ticket when you get on the Anaheim Resort Transit Route 15 and get a free ride to the gates of Disney! Day At The Bay Get Off At: Santa Fe Depot View this post on Instagram A post shared by Hilton San Diego Bayfront (@hiltonbayfront) on Dec 10, 2018 at 1:16pm PST What To Do: It’s no wonder why you’re heading to America’ Finest City—-we would too! Get off at the Santa Fe Depot stop and slide into the holiday spirit through a 100-foot ice tubing slide at Holiday by the Bay at Hilton San Diego’s Bayfront. There’s something for everyone in the family! Cookie decorating, “iceberg” bumper cars and an interactive light show? Count us in. Once you’ve had your Christmas cheer, get an uber and head downtown where you can take the ferry across to Coronado where you can spend the rest of the day riding bikes, Instagramming views and relaxing! Hilton San Diego Bayfront 1 Park Blvd San Diego, CA 92101 619.564.3333 View this post on Instagram A post shared by el Roy’s Tequila Bar + Kitchen (@elroyssd) on Dec 9, 2018 at 3:01am PST Where To Eat: Make a reservation at El Roy’s Tequila Bar + Kitchen! Get your table started with their housemade guacamole, indulge in their beef short rib tacos or their grilled prime flat iron steak and sip on a jalapeno pineapple margarita! El Roy’s Tequila Bar + Kitchen 1201 First St Coronado, CA 92118 619.537.0195 View this post on Instagram A post shared by Loews Coronado Bay Resort (@loewscoronado) on Jul 3, 2018 at 12:22pm PDT Where to Stay: After a day in the San Diego sun, check in at Loews Coronado Bay Resort. The luxe beach vibes are carried throughout the entire resort. You can take your pick from their Sea Spa massages or spend the rest of the evening going back and forth between your poolside cabana and the jacuzzi. Loews Coronado Bay Resort 4000 Coronado Bay Rd Coronado, CA 92118 619.424.4000 Native Knowledge: If you’re traveling to San Diego, make sure to grab your seat on the west side of the train and have your phones charged. With these ocean views, you don’t want to miss the opportunity for the perfect time-lapse videos and boomerangs!