Of course you can drive there from L.A. - the 405 freeway south, or from San Diego - the 405 North. But surprisingly there is another option out there for us car loving Californians- the train!
Thank you Nancy (Goner) for suggesting this and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Amtrak has at least 15 trains daily from Los Angeles to San Diego, stopping in Oceanside. Some originate as far north as Paso Robles. The route mentioned is the Pacific Surfliner and it's a double-decker train with food service. A great alternative to the crowded freeways of southern California. We picked up the train in Glendale and further south it rode along the beach!
Tickets can be purchased via the web and be on the lookout for specials besides autoclub and senior citizens discounts. Mutiple discounts cannot be taken so do various searches until you find the best one.
Stations serviced from north to south:
Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Grover Beach, Goleta, Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Ventura, Oxnard, Camarillo, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Chatsworth, Van Nuys, Burbank airport, Glendale, Los Angeles, Fullerton, Anaheim, Santa ana, Irvine, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente pier, Oceanside, Solano Beach and San Diego.
As an alternative to driving, you cab enjoy a ride on the Coaster (a clean and modern train that links Coastal North County to San Diego). Brief stops are made at seven stations heading south from Oceanside (Carlsbad Village, Carlsbad Poinsettia, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Sorrento Valley, Old Town and Sante Fe Depot in downtown San Diego).
The Coaster operates Monday - Saturday (no Sunday service) and offers passengers many recreational opportunities (e.g., eliminate stress, meet new people, sit back and relax while you ride the rails, comfortable seats and beautiful views).
Public Transportation: Amtrak and Coaster commuter train from Oceanside to San Diego, North County Transit District, Oceanside Municipal Airport, Palomar/McClellan Airport in Carlsbad, John Wayne Airport in Orange County, and Lindbergh Field in San Diego.
We left from the Glendale Station on the Amtrak and it dropped us off in the middle of town and just a short walk from the beach.