I have spent most of the last week going to a new city each day by Seat 38-B style domestic air travel. Not a way to feel better about the process of transportation! But here is a happy exception: Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner.

Its route runs from Paso Robles, well to the north of Santa Barbara, down to San Diego; I took the Los Angeles->San Diego leg and (if possible!) will never drive it on the interstate again. Comfortable; cheap ($28, or $14 extra for business class); great view. The conductor on this leg even sang Vegas lounge-style ballads over the loundspeaker, about the beach scenes passing outside the windows. Sounds as if that could be painful, but wasn't. Give it a try.