to Santa Monica
From Amtrak, Greyhound, & LAX
Tips for southern California visitors
Santa Monica makes an ideal base of operations
for most travellers in southern California, but getting there without
a car takes a bit of planning.
If possible, try to avoid arriving at the
Los Angeles Amtrak Union Station or the Greyhound downtown Los
Angeles terminal by bus or train late in the day or at night,
so that you do not have to stay in this marginal area or have
to use a very expensive taxi to reach Santa Monica.
If you must arrive in the late evening or
at night, when public transportation does not operate frequently
or even perhaps safely, you may may have to stay in downtown.
Do not walk around this area at night, and
be cautious during the day, although walking the very short distance
between the train station and hotel should be okay. If at all
possible, however, try to avoid arriving at night.
Also, try to avoid really cheap hotels in this area.
You can also take the MTA Red
Line underground train from
Union Station to the Hollywood and Highland station.
This puts you within easy walking distance of hostels and hotels.
Learn more about these hotels and their areas on the Enjoying
Los Angeles page.
Amtrak Union Station to Santa
Monica - Santa Monica Hostel
Travellers going to Santa Monica from Amtrak
Union Station downtown should first check out the Los Angeles
State Historical Monument, across the street from the station.
This was the site of the first European settlement in what is
now Los Angeles, and it includes the first buildings in Los Angeles
and little shops.
For a description of the Santa Monica Hostel,
a great place to stay in a super southern California location
near the beach, check out Enjoying Los Angeles,
Santa Monica Transit's Big
Blue Bus route 10 offers the quickest transfer to Santa Monica
from Union Station (across the street from the front entrance).
Check out its Internet site for the schedules for Route 10.
Daily, the Metropolitan
Transit Authority links by a slow but interesting route via
Beverly Hills. From Union Station, take red line subway to Wilshire
and Western. Then take any Wilshire bus marked "Santa Monica"
westbound on Wilshire toward Santa Monica. Get off at Ocean Avenue.
Those coaches marked "UCLA" do not go all the way.
Daytime service is super frequent.
The Downtown Greyhound Terminal
to Santa Monica.
The area around the downtown Greyhound terminal
is not completely safe at any time of the day or night, and avoid walking or using
local bus transportation in this area is not recommended.
Use a taxi between the
Los Angeles Greyhound and Amtrak Los Angeles Union Station or instal the Uber app and book a car and driver from your smart-phone. The latter lets you track the vehicle as it comes for you. It also tells you the price you will pay. I love it.
Once at Union Station follow the Union Station to Santa Monica directions above.
Because the Amtrak and Greyhound stations are fairly close together you should not expect a high fare. If will use a taxi get an estimate before getting in.
Los Angeles International
Airport (LAX) to Santa Monica
For shuttle information from LAX to Santa
Monica and other areas, see the "Getting Around" section
of the Santa Monica Convention
& Visitors Bureau site, which includes an overview of
Otherwise, for a budget transfer check out
the route 3 schedule of Santa Monica Transit's Big
From in front of the arrival areas of the LAX terminal
buildings, take the free transfer coach to "Parking Lot C",
and then transfer to the Big Blue Bus. Get off at the Third Street
Promenade in centre city Santa Monica (the driver will tell you),
where you will find the Santa Monica Hostel and most hotels.
For fun things to do in the Santa Monica area, see Dr. Voyageur's
"Enjoying Los Angeles, Part I."
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