Welcome back to KPG Healthcare’s Travel Series! We are in the summer season now, which means your next travel assignment should be in a state we think is a top contender – Washington!
Otherwise known as the “Evergreen State,” Washington is located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States nestled along the US-Canada border. Washington earned its nickname for its abundant evergreen forests with three national parks, seven national forests and over a hundred state parks.
Washington is a perfect destination for summer for its cooler temperatures, outdoor recreation, delicious food, famous coffee and more. We are highlighting five cities we currently staff healthcare professionals – take a look!
Better known for its coffee culture, Seattle is a bustling city full of opportunities to dine, explore, partake and relax in what is also known as the “Emerald City.” Seattle has everything from major sports teams to breathtaking natural beauty, a thriving arts scene to delicious freshly caught seafood – there’s something for everyone.
A famous market and one of Seattle’s most iconic landmarks is the Pike Place Market located along Elliot Bay near downtown. This must-see market has a wide variety of fresh seafood to choose from including some of the best clam chowder west of the Mississippi with a handful of retail shops to check out as well. Seafood is the name of the game in Seattle, but the city also offers visitors delicious brunch options and unique bars with killer views of the bay.
And then there’s coffee. Seattle is lined with coffee shops and cafes from the iconic Starbucks and its first Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room to more local vibes, coffee is never in short supply here. But if coffee is not the answer, the city also has an emerging tea scene with some local cafes offering over 250 loose leaf tea blends to choose from – hot or cold!
After all the food and drinks Seattle has to offer, there is still so much to see and do like visiting the Space Needle, exploring Chihuly Garden and Glass, embracing Pioneer Square’s history, museums and more. Plenty of opportunities to walk off all that delicious food and enjoy the scenic greenery surrounding the city.
Located along Washington’s Puget Sound and 32 miles southwest of Seattle is where you will find the city of Tacoma, otherwise known as the “City of Destiny.” Tacoma is a mid-sized urban port city known for its renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly, surrounding natural beauty and a meld between the old and new.
Tacoma has a rich industrial history being the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad in the late 19th century and the result of this – glassblowing. Glass and glassblowing are the chosen art form of Tacoma and two museums are highlighting this feat – Tacoma Art Museum and Museum of Glass. Make sure to check out the Dale Chihuly Bridge of Glass, which is a 500-foot pedestrian bridge that holds three Chihuly glass installations.
Tacoma is also known for its natural wonder including the surrounding Puget Sound and Mount Rainier National Park. The Puget Sound is known for its outdoor recreation, which provides sightseeing, hiking, kayaking, boating and more. Mount Rainier, an active volcano standing 14,400 feet above sea level along the Cascade Range, is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S. located 60 miles southeast of Tacoma. A must-see and do for those visiting the surrounding Tacoma area.
Time to book your next travel assignment in Tacoma!
Washington’s most eastern city, Spokane is best known for its outdoor recreation offering visitors nearby mountains, forests, lakes and plenty of golf courses to choose from (including a nationally ranked course).
The city itself sits along the Spokane River, which even has a waterfall and pedestrian suspension bridges, and is said to be sacred for Native Indigenous communities in Washington. There is a lot of history in the Spokane River and every August there is a Gathering at the Falls Powwow to celebrate culture, food, dance and community. The Spokane River is such an iconic aspect of the city being nearby parks, viewpoints and even a sky gondola! It is a must-see when visiting the city of Spokane.
Spokane is a popular destination year-round offering visitors skiing and snowboarding in the winter and rafting, kayaking, hiking and biking during the warmer months. Take a day trip to Mount Spokane State Park, which spans over 13,900 acres, for beautiful panoramic views and over 100 miles of trails to explore. Don’t pass up on the award-winning golf courses in Spokane with nine courses to choose from – 4 within the city limits and five in the surrounding areas – each with different vistas to enjoy while hitting 18-holes.
Spokane County is home to thousands of farms ranging from fresh eggs to beef, and countless amounts of fruits and vegetables – expect plenty of farm-to-table restaurants. The city is also known as one of the best cities for beer and wine connoisseurs offering over 35 breweries and 20 wineries. Come hungry and thirsty!
East of Seattle, across Lake Washington, is where you’ll find the city of Bellevue! Best known for its shopping, technological hub, cultural attractions and natural landscapes.
The city sits between two lakes – Washington and Sammamish – offering visitors the chance to swim, kayak, paddleboard, fish and canoe. If National Parks spark your interest, The North Cascades, Mount Rainier and Olympic are within an hour’s drive from the city. If you want to stay more local, the city has its 53-acre botanical garden featuring nature trails, a Japanese garden and nine other gardens to explore. No matter which direction you go, the natural landscapes are going to be breathtaking.
If you’re looking for something cool to check out, head to Old Bellevue for dining, drinks and local retail shops. You can find Old Bellevue in downtown right next to the Bellevue Downtown Park and a block away from the popular Bellevue Square shopping center. You’ll find all kinds of cuisine in the downtown area including fresh seafood, Thai, Japanese, Mexican, American, Italian, Brazilian, desserts and so much more. In 2019, the city was named “Best Suburbs for People Who Love Food” by thrillist highlighting its seafood, mom-and-pop shops and diverse culinary scene.
Not Vancouver in British Columbia, we are talking about Vancouver, Washington located right on the Washington-Oregon border!
Vancouver sits between Mount St. Helens, Columbia River Gorge, the Pacific Coast and Portland, Oregon, making this city a top destination for travelers. There’s plenty to see outside of Vancouver but within its city limits, visitors can find historic sites, a thriving arts district, breweries and tasting rooms, a waterfront and more. The Waterfront Park is a 7.3-acre urban path that has playgrounds, open lawn areas and unique art displays. Just a short walk from the Waterfront Park you’ll find downtown Vancouver with the oldest public square in the entire state.
The Vancouver tourism site describes its food as “laid-back, friendly and downright delicious” offering award-winning restaurants, bakeries, coffee and eateries. One of the cool things about the Vancouver food scene are the colorful but delicious food trucks and pods that roll through. Food trucks are so popular in Vancouver there are over 20 trucks all rotating in the community. It’s a must-see and eat.
With that is said and done, it’s time to book your next travel assignment in the beautiful Washington state! Check out the Travel Nursing job board, Allied Professionals job board and Provider Services job board to get started!