The Coaster is North County Transit District's comuter train getting people into downtown San Diego in the mornings and retuning them to the North County in the afternoons. It also offers evening returns after ball games at Petco Park.
While staying in Carlsbad, this transportation is ideal for day trips to Old Town and downtown San Diego. The one way fare is $3.50 to $5.25 and worth the price. Check the website for specifics if you'd like to take advantage of this convenient public transportation.
From Legoland, I took bus #344 to Carlsbad Village Station. At the station, I got a ticket for the Coaster train to San Diego. It's all very covenient. Carlsbad Village Station is both a bus stop and a Coaster train station.
Coaster trains have two stops in Carlsbad: Carlsbad Village Station and Carlsbad Poinsettia Station. There are also stations in Oceanside, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Sorrento Valley, Old Town, and San Diego. You'll probably see lots of beaches on your train ride--the train is named "Coaster" for a reason.
Travel time from Carlsbad Village Station to Santa Fe Depot in San Diego is a little less than an hour. Fare for this trip, which is the maximum, is $4.75. If you have a bus transfer or a day pass, you pay only $4. Note that you need to have your ticket validated. There are several trains plying each direction of the route from Monday to Saturday.
If in LA and you want to some daytripping to Carlsbad, find your way to the Amtrak at Union Station and take the Amtrak Surfliner to Oceanside, then transfer to the new (2008) San Diego Sprinter train. From Union Station to Oceanside is up to a 2hr trip (depending on the schedule).
From Oceanside to either Carlsbad Village or Poinsettia stop (the Village one recommend since it's close to tourist shops, restaurant and beach), it is only 5-10 min to reach Carlsbad.
I suggest to leave as early as possible from LA to enjoy the day by the beach in Carlsbad.
The roundtrip cost to Carlsbad on Amtrak is about $50 and hopping on the SD Coaster or Spinter is $2.00 each way, but pay $4 for a pass.
Plan to leave Carlsbad on the way back to LA Union Station around or before 6 PM.
Check schedules for exact times on Amtrax and SD Commute for SD Sprinter:
Call for Amtrak service using featured #
You can take the Coaster from Oceanside all the way down to San Diego for $5.50 one way. There is also a senior discount available. The Coaster is a 3 decker train that runs from about 6:30am to about 6:30pm. It makes stops in Carlsbad, Encinads, La Jolla, and a few others. Be sure to validate your ticket as soon as you purchase it (their is a validation machine right next to the machine where you purchased your ticket). For some odd reason, if you do not do this, it is not valid. One other note, once your ticket is validated, it is only good for 2 hours. We noticed security guards at each stop. It was a pleasant & easy mode of transporation- it takes you out of the freeway mess. They even have a bathroom.
Once in San Diego, you can get off in the Gas Lamp District or Old Town. You can catch one of the many trolleys (not the Tourist Trolley) to many different places for $2.50 (including transfers). The only place we could not access with the trolley, was Coronada Island. The people in the stations are always more than helpful to answer any questions you may have regarding the routes.
Oceanside to San Diego are the two main junctions the train travels. Carlsbad Village stop is just on of those stations it stops at. The station is equiped with a information center, snack bar and restrooms with some parking. I did notice that they do have a security guard on duty. Please checkout the website because it gives you so much information in planning a trip on the train. It located on Carlsbad Village Drive off of the I-5 exit west. It is on the right hand side.