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Re: amtrak to Santa barbara from SFO and drive bac (archive)

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Posted by Jacob on August 11, 1999 at 20:11:46:

In Reply to: amtrak to Santa barbara from SFO and drive back? posted by Railnut on August 11, 1999 at 14:00:25:

I love Santa Barbara and plan to retire there. Of course, I'm biased since I spent my college years there at UCSB. I plan to buy my next car from John Schafer at Cutter, but I've already done my budget stays at Santa Barabara as a student. When I go back, I plan on doing it in the same style that lets me buy a BMW. How about picture this:

Your car comes in, all detailed and ready. You and your significant other take Amtrack down to Santa Barbara and along the way pretend it's the Napa Valley Wine Train. Arrive at Santa Barbara mid-day, completely giddy and lucky as hell to have John or someone from Cutter Motors to pick you up because by now you couldn't ride a bike down DP or Sabado Tarde much less drive.
Try to sign some half legible scrawl to close the deal and drink as much free coffee as you can to sober up. Stay the night in downtown Santa Barbara at the landmark Montecito Inn (built by Charlie Chaplin), take a stroll along Stearn's Wharf and have a seafood-steak combo dinner at The Chart House. Stay up all night rambling along State Street pretending you're as young as you once used to be and try to do the State Street Crawl without having to prove you just turned 21. Then, wake up in the morning, eat a nice breakfast at the hotel, walk along the shops and contribute a little change to the local artists and entertainers. Have some fresh fish for lunch at one of the downtown cafes. Hop in your brand new baby and burn gas to break your last Santa Barbara to Bay Area time record. Drive Hwy 101 the way you never could with your college beater without becoming a yearbook memorial. Just don't stare at the sunset once you hit the bend at Pismo Beach or you'll be using that temporary BMW Roadside Assistance Card
sooner than you like.

Best route to take back to enjoy the scenery would be Hwy 101 North from Santa Barbara all the way back to the Bay Area. You'll get some twisty driving around Pismo and SLO to help break your car in along with all the straight and flats. Back in my college days, the drive back from SB to my house in Walnut Creek was about 5 hours without speeding- can be done in much less if you want to go pretty fast.
I think my record was in the low 4 hour range.

I would expect the time to SFO would be a bit shorter, especially since you're already on the 101 - probably 4.5 hours without speeding.

: I will soon be placing an order with the venerable Jon @ Cutter Motors and am planning on taking Amtrak to Santa Barbara (SB) from SFO. I checked the timings
: and there is one train that arrives SB at 6:30ish PM (dep SFO in the morning).

: My question to folks who have done this before ... how long does it take to drive back to SFO? What is the best route to take?

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