Carlsbad offers several miles of warm, sandy beaches, perfect for swimming, surfing, bird-watching and just relaxing.

Coastal trips from Irvine Station

My trip to Carlsbad

by Ellen Bell

Looking for a summer getaway?

Hop aboard the train at Irvine Station and treat yourself to a ride along the coast. SoCal’s most famous beaches are a short, scenic ride away.

I’m a big fan of the train. It makes me feel like I’m taking a little vacation — just for the day.

The quaint, seaside village of Carlsbad was my most recent destination via the Pacific Surfliner, the sleek, double-decker train that stops at the Irvine Station.

I boarded at 11:14 a.m., found seats on the right side of the train (to see the ocean), and settled in for some fun. A trip on the Surfliner gives meaning to the phrase “the journey is just as important as the destination.”

As soon as we passed San Juan Capistrano, we began to trace the coastline. I sat back and watched surfers in the blue water and sipped my coffee from the club car. I arrived at Carlsbad Village, right in the heart of the downtown shopping district. Antique shops, bookstores, bakeries — so much to do.

Since it was Wednesday, the farmers market was in full swing. I sampled some fresh berries and homemade bread and picked up a few goodies to take home. Then I strolled down Grand Avenue to sit in the warm sand and even spotted a pod of dolphins just past the swells. Amazing.

Because Irvine is at the center of Southern California, I was back in town for a late dinner … thinking about my next destination. Santa Barbara sounds nice.

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