20 years ago, my parents, grandmother, and I paid $269 each for a 6000 mile Amtrak vacation of the central and western USA. It was a four week trip: MSP
. It was Superliner service and we reserved two "roomettes" (sleepers) for the whole way. We stopped off for tourist layovers in Glacier Natl Park, Portland, LA
, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Chicago.
The Coast Starlight was the best leg of the trip. Actually, anytime we got to ride along a shoreline, whether it was ocean, river, or lake, was great. The views were magnificent. I still remember the details vividly.
Upgrading to business would be worth it. I'm not sure if Amtrak's Viewliner service has a lounge car. If they do, then you can spend a lot of your time there without upgrading. The seating in a lounge car is better than first class. I know there's a BOB cafe in the Superliner lounge car. There's probably a BOB area somewhere on a Viewliner. There's also a dining car for sit-down menu service.
The nice thing about a train is that you can go on walkabout.
Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Red tail...Damned MSP...Red tail...Red tail