The Pacific Northwest is home to a few of North America’s coolest cities and some of the most magnificent scenery on the planet, with everything from soaring mountain peaks to jewel-like islands.
Taking a travel nursing job in the PNW gem of Bellingham will put you in the heart of it all, with the opportunity to experience many of the region’s highlights over a 13-week (or longer) assignment. Here are four great things about taking a Bellingham travel nurse job.
Less than 90 miles south, Seattle is an easy day trip, though with so much to see and do, you may want to stay longer. The “Emerald City” is surrounded by lush forest, glistening water and mountains in nearly every direction, something that’s best seen by heading to the top of its iconic landmark, the Space Needle. Visit famous Pike Place Market where nurses can pick up fresh seafood and flowers, dine on gourmet cuisine, or just enjoy the street performers and the entertaining fishmongers who toss the fresh catch of the day while cracking jokes. Nearby, stroll the waterfront and take a spin on the Great Wheel, or catch the a game with the NFL’s Seahawks, the MLB’s Mariners, and the MLS’ Sounders all playing their home games here.
You can also discover a wealth of museums, explore the Seattle Zoo, and take advantage of the thriving music and arts scene.
Venture across the international border and you can be in the beautiful city of Vancouver, British Columbia, in just an hour and 20 minutes. The largest city in Western Canada is enveloped by towering snow-capped peaks and dense waterfront forest that truly make it one of the most stunning places on Earth. Marvel at the sea-to-sky vistas in Stanley Park, stroll beaches on the West Side, and shop and dine your way through artsy Granville Island. Only minutes from downtown and you can be hiking Grouse Mountain, taking in jaw-dropping views of the city, mountains and the water.
The San Juan archipelago can easily be reached from Bellingham, with the ferry departing from Anacortes less than a 40-mile drive southwest. Its two most popular destinations are San Juan and Orcas Islands. The former is the most populous, home to the historic seaport town of Friday Harbor, featuring art galleries, unique shops, museums and lots of outstanding restaurants serving dishes made with local ingredients, including fresh produce, herbs and seafood. At Lime Kiln Point State Park, you may be able to spot orca whales that swim just offshore during the summer.
Orcas Island is a green paradise with tranquil beaches and winding roads that meander through dense forest, passing old apple barns and art studios. Rent a kayak and paddle the shoreline or hike Mount Constitution, the tallest mountain in the San Juans, or enjoy more relaxing pursuits like wine tasting at the Orcas Island Winery.
One of the least-visited national parks in the country, North Cascades National Park is only about 70 miles west of Bellingham and sees an average of less than 27,000 visitors per year, yet it offers some of the most remote and breathtaking wilderness scenery in the continental U.S. It’s home to the most glaciers outside of Alaska, with over 300, and boasts one of the world’s most diverse ecosystems. Bald eagles and osprey can often be seen in the skies and perched in the trees, while more elusive creatures may be spotted too, like moose, black and grizzly bears, gray wolves and cougars.
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