I have always fantasized about traveling across the country by train, so when my boyfriend suggested that we take Amtrak from San Francisco to New York City, I was all in. There have been many conversations around the web about what it's really like to take Amtrak for long trips, so I want to give you the most accurate and true depiction.
We decided to get a roomette for the first and longest leg of our travel on the California Zephyr. We had the small room from Emeryville (the Amtrak station right outside of San Francisco) to Chicago for two days and two nights. After a seven-hour stop in Chicago, we rode the remaining 17 hours of our journey to NYC in coach seats. In total, our tickets for two people came out to $772. Not bad considering we were traveling for three and a half days and our meals were included with the roomette.
To get all the details on what it's like to sleep, eat, and basically live in an Amtrak train while chugging across America, keep reading. There are lots of interesting details that will take you by surprise.