How can I go from Dana Point, CA to San Diego on the cheap?
August 8, 2007 9:27 PM   Subscribe

What is the quickest/cheapest way to get from Dana Point, California to San Diego?

This month I'll be spending about a week in Dana Point and my girlfriend lives in San Diego. I cannot rent a car during this week.

Rather than have her drive an hour each way, what's the best way for me to travel between these two cities?

I live in Canada normally so forgive me, but is there train service? A ferry perhaps, anything else that I might consider?

I know most of this question can be answered by Googling, but I was hoping for a few bits of insight, things I might not have considered.
posted by geodave to Travel & Transportation around San Diego, CA (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: There's an Amtrak from San Juan Capistrano to San Diego. San Juan is a little to the east of Dana Point, but doable by taxi or bus. In the San Diego area, the train stops in Solana Beach (northern beach community) and downtown. Some trains on the weekends stop at Old Town, which is about 5 miles north of downtown.
posted by LionIndex at 9:34 PM on August 8, 2007

The basic difficulty you'll face in finding alternative means of transit is that OC and SD are separated by a giant military base with only one road through it and non-intermingling transit systems. Metrolink goes south through OC from LA and stops at Camp Pendleton, while the Coaster (both of these are local trains) picks up on the other side of the base and then goes south from Oceanside to downtown. It's basically Amtrak or some mode of vehicular transit on Interstate 5.
posted by LionIndex at 9:37 PM on August 8, 2007

When you live in SoCal, driving an hour is no big deal.

This is pretty true. One caveat I meant to add to the train suggestion is that it's entirely possible that, depending on where your girlfriend lives, she'll spend an hour driving you to and from the train station, rendering your whole plan of saving her effort sort of moot. We have a trolley system that you can hop on after the train, but the routes for it are pretty limited. If your girlfriend lives somplace like Mira Mesa or Poway, it's probably a lot less of a hassle to just drive to Dana Point.
posted by LionIndex at 9:42 PM on August 8, 2007

Response by poster: Perfect, I can't thank you guys enough. I naively looked for "Dana Point" on the Amtrak website and found nothing, so this was hugely helpful.

And, a gift is definitely the way to go here, when the train doesn't pan out.
posted by geodave at 9:46 PM on August 8, 2007

Best answer: non-intermingling transit systems

Both Metrolink and Coaster (LA/OC and San Diego's commuter rail systems, respectively) go to Oceanside. So you don't have to worry necessarily about Amtrak as your only option.

You can also get Metrolink and Amtrak at San Clemente Pier, but not every train stops there.

OCTA bus lines for Dana Point/San Clemente/San Juan Capistrano are here.

(And welcome to OC!)
posted by mdonley at 10:32 PM on August 8, 2007

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