A Long Weekend in Los Angeles

A Long Weekend in Los Angeles

When we settled into our new home in the Bay Area a few years ago, it was a bonus to be only two blocks away from an Amtrak station. Having only ridden the commuter lines in Connecticut, I had heard about the Coast Starlight and its scenic coastal journey between Seattle and Los Angeles, and was sure we’d want to try it one day.

We’re big travelers usually opting for epic international backpacking trips over staycations, but after a few exhausting trips abroad we were looking to take on a more leisurely travel weekend for a special occasion–my wife’s birthday. As an early birthday present, I had gotten her an electric skateboard to match my own, and we were finally set to explore LA on four wheels.

After confirming we could bring our electric skateboards aboard the train, we were excited to book two business class tickets on the Coast Starlight. The morning of, we strolled over to the train, climbed aboard, and were off in 20 minutes! It was refreshing not having to get there early like at the airport. No long security lines, no taking off your shoes and belts, no getting scanned. It felt a bit anachronistic in the best possible way.

The 12-hour journey from Oakland to Los Angeles was as leisurely and picturesque as we had hoped. We spent some time enjoying the panoramic coastal and valley views from the Sightseer Lounge car, cocktails and humorous musings from the bartender in the cafe, and chatting with regulars in the communal dining car, but honestly we also spent a good deal of time enjoying the free Wi-Fi from our comfy seats. It’s easy to offset some of the extended travel time with laptop productivity and our 12 hours were up faster than we imagined.

Our long weekend in Los Angeles was a success, and we’re looking forward to our next adventure on the Coast Starlight–Seattle!

About the Author: Mark Ledford is an Oakland based technologist and videographer. You can follow Mark and Jen’s travel exploits on YouTube and on Instagram.