A one-way Amtrak ticket from California to the Big Apple scan be yours for as little as $186.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
March 01, 2018
JuniperCreek/Getty Images

There are many things you can buy for $186. A red coat just like Kate Middleton's. A fancy dinner on the town for two. A few pairs of spring shoes.

How about a 3,397-mile trip across America? It turns out, if you depart from Emeryville, California with a final destination of New York City, rates are as low as $186 on Amtrak.com. (When we checked the site on February 23rd, the earliest departing date for this rate was April 7th, so be sure to book your ticket at least a few weeks in advance.)

A half-hour outside of San Francisco, you'll start by boarding the California Zephyr in Emeryville for a 51-hour-and-40-minute leg to Chicago. The California Zephyr is famous for some of the most scenic train views around, as it weaves its way through the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Rockies, and more jaw-dropping landscapes. Watch the scenery change before your eyes in the Sightseer Lounge Cars, which feature extra-large windows and ceiling windows to enhance your viewing experience.

Next, you'll take the Lake Shore Limited for just under 20 hours from Chicago, passing along the south shore of Lake Michigan, New York's Finger Lakes, and the Hudson River before pulling into Manhattan's Penn Station.

Since this Amtrak fare deal means you won't be spending time in cities along the way (though if you don't experience any delays, you'll have a six-hour-and-forty-minute layover in Chicago), we suggest you bring plenty of reading material.

Who's ready to chug across America with us on this bucket list trip?