Oceanside to Los Angeles
Oceanside has a bustling transit center featuring three main train lines that travel through on a daily basis. Amtrak journeys around the country, the Coaster is mainly around San Diego, and the Metrolink goes as far north as Ventura.
Living here all of these years, you would think I would utilize it more, but I don’t.
One time I went across country on the train, another up north to Santa Barbara, and a few times to San Diego.
Not having anything planned for the weekend, we saw something online about the Metrolink costing only $10 for a round trip ticket for the day. So, we thought it would be fun to jump on and explore up north.
The plan was to go to San Clemente to walk around the shops, visit the pier. and, then stop for lunch at San Juan Capistrano. The train stops twice in San Clemente with one of the stops landing right smack in front of the pier. You disembark and there is no better stopover as you are near all of the action. Besides, the pier, there are shops, places to eat, and of course that beautiful beach. We gave a brief thought about bringing our bathing suits then going for a swim but decided that was for another time.
The next stop in San Clemente was also next to the ocean but about a mile north of the pier. There again, you could get out and go to the beach but with less activity as by the pier.
We stayed on to see one of the next stops in San Juan Capistrano. Arriving in San Juan, the now slowing train, slid by quaint little shops where you could easily get lost browsing for hours.
We were excited to investigate these crafty stores, all filled with eclectic stuff such as out door decorations, antiques, pottery, etc. However, that was not to be as I will explain later.
We also saw cute restaurants with tree-lined shaded patios and ambiance for days. Our goal was to walk to Ruby’s Diner which we knew was close to the widely visited Mission San Juan Capistrano. Honestly, we didn’t know exactly how far away that was, but we knew it was pretty close.
However, we were surprised that the ground was super wet, it was raining, well, actually a hard sprinkle. The train was super cool from a fine tuned air conditioner and sitting in wet clothes didn’t sound like fun.
So, we stayed on to see the next stop in Laguna. After San Juan, the train started to turn away from the beach, it was actually inland Laguna Niguel we were going to, not Laguna Beach.
From Oceanside, right away you are greeted with a wide-open view of the harbor and Camp Pendletons secluded beaches. The ocean is to the west the whole time. In parts it feels like you are right on the beach and almost as if a wave is going to hit the train at any moment.
It is a stunning drive. The ocean was so sparkling clear on this day as you drive by both crowded and uncrowded beaches. On some deserted beaches there were only a few people, so I looked to the west to see where they were possibly parking, there was nothing. I’m thinking that they must have hiked or walked a few miles just to get the place all to themselves.
This part of the trip up north, is worth every penny.
However, as we turned east, there was no more sea, no more beach.
We stopped at Laguna Niguel but it was still wet out and we didn’t see anything we could do so, we stayed put and further north we went.
We passed by a few towns then decided to check the schedule and see when the train travels back to Oceanside. As it turns out, if you got off at each stop at this point, it will be another two hours before the train comes back around south. So, wherever we stopped and disembarked, at this point, we would have to kill two hours.
This meant that, we missed our two stops for lunch and strolling around the quaint shops in San Juan Capistrano. Mainly because the Metrolink did not operate very late on a Sunday.
It was decided that we would go to the Union Train Station in Los Angeles because there are things to do around there. From the gorgeous beaches to industry in Los Angeles, here we come. We were actually OK with the new plans.
We passed by so much, including, Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm although they weren’t that close.
We Googled that you could get a taxi to either for a short six-mile ride or grab a bus. One of the stops landed you right at Angel Stadium. This is where most of the passengers got off as there was definitely a game that day judging by the people we could see in the stadium.