The full route of the Coast Starlight is a
spectacularly scenic 1,390-mile (2,237km) journey from Los Angeles
to Seattle in Washington. On our Las Vegas & the Golden West
tour we travel just a section of this route: the journey of just
under 8 and a half hours from Los Angeles to Salinas.
LA to the Pacific Coast
On leaving Los Angeles Union Station mid-morning,
the Coast Starlight heads north through the city
and its suburbs. We pass through the famous Forest Lawn Memorial
Park, the final resting place of many of Hollywood's famous names,
including Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn and Walt Disney, before
continuing to Burbank. The city of Burbank is most famous for being
home to many of the biggest film studios including Warner Brothers,
Disney and Columbia, which line the Santa Monica Mountains.
The Coast Starlight enters the Simi Valley,
taking us past the Santa Susanna Mountains and the Simi Hills. We
then head west towards the coast, passing through the city of
Oxnard and Ventura. From Ventura we hug the Pacific coastline,
partially following the Pacific Coast Highway. As we continue north
to Santa Barbara we enjoy spectacular views of the ocean and the
long stretches of golden, sandy beaches as well as the islands of
Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa.
Santa Barbara to Salinas
After making a stop in the popular resort of Santa
Barbara, the Coast Starlight carries us along
this scenic stretch of coastline past the Point Conception
Lighthouse and over the high trestle at Jalam Beach Park. We cross
the Vandenberg Air Force Base before travelling alongside the
famous Pismo Beach and then heading inland to the city of San Luis
Obispo. From San Luis Obispo we travel across the Stenner Creek
Trestle and begin an ascent of over 1,000 feet in 11 miles to the
Cuesta Pass. We pass through cattle ranch country to Paso Robles
and continue through the 18th century mission towns
of the Salinas Valley and the impressive Diablo Mountain range.
The Coast Starlight arrives at our final
destination, Salinas, in the early evening.