There are many different ways you can get to California but how you do it largely depends on where you're travelling from. If you're travelling from neighbouring states such as Nevada, Oregon, or Arizona then driving might be the best way, especially if you plan on visiting a couple of areas within California. If you're travelling from a state that's further away like Texas, Florida, or New York then flying is probably the quickest and most convenient option.
Alternately, you can also opt to travel to California via public transport with train and bus services running between states.
Driving to California
Driving to California is not only a great way to see beautiful Californian landscapes such as desert expanses and rugged coastlines but it also allows you to get around easily when you reach your destination whether that's in Los Angeles, San Diego, or somewhere else.
The total travel time by driving largely depends on which state you're travelling from and where in California you want to go. Regardless of whether you're traveling from a neighboring state or a state that's further away, the car journey will be multiple hours so prepare yourselves for the road trip of a lifetime. Driving from Oregon to California will take you roughly 12 hours, while a car trip between Nevada and California will take you 8 and a half hours.
The good news is that the freeways in, out, and around California are relatively easy to navigate and are well maintained. Be aware of traffic when you come to well-populated areas as traffic buildup can occur during peak times in cities such as Los Angeles.
Keep in mind that you might be subjected to a border inspection when you're crossing over state boundaries.
Catching a flight to California
Catching a flight to California is the quickest way to get into the state, regardless of where you're travelling from. There are 27 passenger airports scattered throughout the state with 9 of those being international airports as well. This means that you're able to fly into a wide range of regions and cities from Burbank to Fresno, and from Los Angeles to San Francisco.
The cost of flying and how much time you'll spend in the air depends on where you're travelling from with tickets cheaper and flight time shorter the closer you are to the state of California.
To use an earlier example, flights between Texas and California average around USD$160 with the flight time being 3 hours. If you're travelling from further away like New York, the cost of a ticket is approximately around the same price however can be as high as USD$800 or as low as USD$62 depending on the time of year and various sales run by travel agents.
Taking a bus to California
It's relatively easy to catch a bus into California with an excellent bus network that's set up to travel to 141 destinations within the state. In these 141 destinations, there are over 350 stations ensuring you reach your preferred city or region. There are eight major companies that facilitate this including Greyhound, Jefferson Lines, and Flixbus US.
The average cost of tickets is around USD$45 for the more popular routes but can be as little as USD$8 or as high as USD$235.
Some popular routes include Phoenix to San Diego and Las Vegas to Los Angeles.
Taking a train to California
While catching a train from other states into California is relatively easy, it's not the most time-efficient way to travel with day-long and overnight journeys the norm depending on which state you're travelling from.
USA's national train service, Amtrack, offers routes in and out of every region in the country including the South, Northeast, and the Midwest. These services travel to over 500 destinations in 46 states including California with the most popular Californian routes being from Seattle to Los Angeles, Chicago to Los Angeles, and New Orleans to Los Angeles.
Tickets can start from as little as USD$29 but can largely depend on what time of the year you're travelling in, how long you're travelling for, and what section you want to sit in. Generally, journeys that are under 500 miles can cost about USD$40 in the coach section and go up from there.
Read more about getting around Los Angeles
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