How do I affordably get from LAX to Santa Barbara?
June 25, 2010 10:27 PM   Subscribe

How do I get from LAX to Santa Barbara on Sunday?

I land in LAX on Sunday at 1:30 pm and I need to get to UC Santa Barbara by 4 pm. Is there any way to do this affordably? Ideally, I'd like to not take a cab... but I don't know what the alternatives are...
posted by perpetualstroll to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total)
That's a 2-hour trip by car, no other method of transportation is going to get you there within your 3-hour travel window.

Gmaps directions

Rent a car at LAX and pray the 405 isn't a parking lot.
posted by carsonb at 10:38 PM on June 25, 2010

You need to rent a car and drive. The Santa Barbara flyer and train (which leaves from downtown LA not LAX). Take easily 3 hours. You'll be cutting it close even driving but should be ok without traffic. I would look into flights from LAX to Santa Barbara if you can't drive. I can't even fathom how much a 100 mile cab ride would cost.
posted by whoaali at 10:39 PM on June 25, 2010

Oh and if you drive take the PCH through Malibu. Less traffic usually.
posted by whoaali at 10:40 PM on June 25, 2010

Yeah, whoaali is probably right about the PCH. Here's a modified route by car.

If you can use Google Maps to check traffic on the 405/101 as you leave LAX, I'd do that and then decide which route to take. If it's green most of the way on the major freeways, there you go. Otherwise, PCH is an awfully nice drive through Malibu (but can be really slow on the weekends too).
posted by carsonb at 10:44 PM on June 25, 2010

Whoops, there was a bit of a turnaround in that modified route link.

Here's the right alternate map.
posted by carsonb at 10:46 PM on June 25, 2010

There's also the air bus, which leaves LAX at 2 pm and arrives at 4:15. And this shuttle is about $100, but who knows how busy they'll be.
I checked flights from LAX, there's one that leaves at 1:30 pm but nothing for a while after that.
posted by acidic at 10:53 PM on June 25, 2010

I would NOT get on the PCH on Sunday afternoon in the summer- it will be a parking lot. The 405 will be bad too- but I would still take it- or else Sepulveda north to the 101.

At any rate, if your flight lands at 1:30 and you have to get off the plane and to the rental car lot, I don't see any chance of getting to SB by 4, sorry. I would make arrangements to be there closer to 5, honestly.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:02 PM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

Definitely need to rent a car and drive, but I strongly disagree about Malibu, just because it's Sunday afternoon. Sunday afternoon traffic in Malibu during the summer is truly horrendous. The 405 and 101 should be better at that time.

Here's a traffic map. If the 405 and 101 are yellow/red all the way from LAX to Oxnard, then consider PCH. I doubt they will be, though.
posted by equalpants at 11:07 PM on June 25, 2010

There's a very real chance you are not going to make it. Sunday is less likely to be terrible traffic than Saturday, but there will still be nasty traffic, particularly on the 405 headed north, the 405 transition to the 101, and possibly just outside Santa Barbara as well. Google Maps says "about 1 hour 58 mins (up to 3 hours 10 mins in traffic)" which is cutting close, and in my experience (used to live in LA, and Ventura County, and used to work near LAX) it could be even worse. If the traffic doesn't mess you up then you might have already been messed up by a delayed flight or getting a rental car to start with.

Also, I agree that Malibu is not the way you want to go. It is scenic though. ;-)

You might try calling RoadRunner Shuttle Santa Barbara Airbus, and ask for a guarantee about when they can get you there, that'll help you make a decision.

If adjusting the flight you take or the appointment is not an option, maybe consider a helicopter charter? Given the geography, it seems like there would be a boat or ferry or something you could take, but I couldn't find one googling.

Normally a LAX to Santa Barbara question I'd consider recommending a train, but there's even less chance of that working out well for you on a Sunday and with your time pressures.

If your appointment in SB is important, I'm imagining a nerve-wracking trip on SoCal freeways.
posted by artlung at 5:42 AM on June 26, 2010

Mind you that UCSB is on the other side of SB, adding 20 minutes to your trip. As a SBian, I'd say that your chance of making this happen is extremely slim.
posted by k8t at 5:58 AM on June 26, 2010

Hmm, so I just realized that you're landing at 1:30, as opposed to leaving LAX? And if your profile location is up-to-date, you'll have to go through customs when you arrive? If that's the case, you're not going to make it, unfortunately. The drive itself will be 2 to 3 hours. If there's any way at all to reschedule things, I think you should.

Good luck; hope it all works out!
posted by equalpants at 6:52 AM on June 26, 2010 [1 favorite]

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