The Best Cities for Travel Nurses: Summer 2022 Edition

By Jenna Willenbring

Need a new adventure? This list has got you covered for the summer. We featured some of the most interesting and intriguing locations around the U.S. As travel nurses, we know you want to find a new place to adventure and explore. That’s why we also included some hidden gems in our locations that are not well known or are only known to locals. So sit back and decide where your next destination will be for the summer!

Nashville, Tennessee

The best experience is waiting for you when you travel to the hometown of country music in Nashville, Tennessee. Known for its incredible concerts and famous country music hall of fame, Nashville is the perfect summer destination. During the summer Nashville hosts multiple music festivals, including the CMA fest, which hosts hundreds of artists, the Bonnaroo Music Festival, nicknamed an adult wonderland of music and art, and so many more. If you need an idea of how to start your own music festival itinerary just click here. Along with these incredible festivals is the food! Annually, Nashville hosts around 12 separate food festivals, where you can try some signature dishes such as the Prince’s Hot Chicken or the Goo Goo Clusters. But the real diamond in the rough for Nashville is something only known to the locals. A little hole in the wall named “Puckett’s Restaurant and Grocery.” A southern-style restaurant with live music that serves a wide variety of food from fried chicken to whiskey-glazed cinnamon rolls, a beautiful staple of southern cuisine. This is a must-see hidden gem in Nashville!


Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis is most known as the birthplace of the Vikings and major singers such as Prince or Lizzo, but there is so much more to understand from this energizing city. The locals have a tendency to start their warm summer mornings visiting the Mill City Farmers Market down by the riverfront, where you can begin your day with some delicious pastries and coffee while you explore Gold Medal Park. Walking across Stone Arch Bridge, you can get a mesmerizing view of the skyline while you zoom on a scooter past the local downtown shops. After you have explored the city, you can head down to Target Field and watch the Twins swing a home run while you bask in the sun with a beer and hot dog in hand. Passing by you will have to try out some of Minneapolis’s famous restaurants such as Graze, a food truck-themed restaurant with an incredible view of Minneapolis, or descend into Hells Kitchen and see a live band play at the gates of Hell. After having a delicious dinner, you’ll want to culture yourself with a late-night play, or show from the Guthrie Theatre, or you could climb to the top level and peer over the Mississippi River in the Yellow Room. The hidden gem in Minneapolis is just a few minutes away at a small place called Nelsons, and it’s worth the drive. Every beautiful day should end with some ice cream and hidden away in St. Louis Park, you can get a huge cupful of ice cream for only $4. If you think you can finish this on your own, think again.


Washington D.C.

Who wouldn’t want to spend a beautiful day touring our nation’s greatest capital? Not only is Washington DC filled with our nation’s history, but they have beautiful scenery and plenty of outdoor activities to explore. DC has so much to discover, especially in the summer where you can hop from museum to museum for free. Make a pitstop in between the Smithsonian Museums and the National Museum of American History, which are just a few blocks away from each other. As long as you start at the Lincoln memorial, you can make your way down the reflecting pool and take a tour of the Washington Monument, and maybe even ride the elevator 555 feet to see the best views of Washington DC. You can take a shuttle across the Potomac River to Columbia Island and explore the multiple parks as you sit beside the riverfront and take a peek at the Pentagon. If you’re lucky to be there over the fourth of July, you will not find a better place to experience an all-American, patriotic Independence Day. You’ll get to experience the National Independence Day Parade across Constitution Avenue NW, then stake out your position at Columbia Island to watch the fireworks explode above your head. DC is the perfect place for outdoor dining in the summer with rooftop bars, outdoor patios, and even beer gardens to discover. DC’s hidden gem to most locals is enjoying live concerts at their favorite spot, the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden, where performances go on all throughout the summer.


Bellevue, Washington

Need a relaxing getaway? A suburb of Seattle with a little slower pace, Bellevue is the perfect place to chill and relax for a few weeks. With stunning views of mountains and beautiful national parks to explore, you will not have a tough time finding outdoor activities if this is your summer destination. You can rent a paddleboard, canoe, or kayak and explore around Mercer Island before you head back for the Bellevue Arts Festival, the largest and most distinguished art event in the Pacific Northwest. If you’re so lucky to be there, you can experience beautiful sculptures, and artwork from around the country and catch a few national artists passing through. Go on a hike or two or even chase a waterfall while you’re visiting. You can explore some of the most popular hikes such as Twins Falls, Rattlesnake Ledge, or even Poo Poo Point. They all take you through the beautiful scenery of Washington. If you need to cool off on a hot summer day, you can head to these waterfalls: Coal Creek Trail, Snoqualmie Falls, Twin Falls, or Franklin Falls. Bu,t the hidden gem of Bellevue is just 18 minutes north in Woodinville Wine Country, where you can expand your tasting palate through 118 wineries and 14 microbreweries. What better way to relax in the sun than sipping some fine wine.


Chicago, Illinois

Summertime in Chicago looks like hot dogs at Millennium Park and taking pictures by the exotic bean sculpture. Maybe you would prefer a nice cool drink at North Avenue Beach from the Shore Club Chicago instead. Every summer, Chicago’s many boat cruises have a variety of things to do from leisurely dinner cruises to educational architecture tours. These tours explain the history of Chicago and how it came to become the vibrant architectural city that it is today. As a travel nurse, you’ll want to check out the many summer festivals held here such as Lollapalooza, Millennium Park Summer Music Series, and Chicago Friday Night Flights. These festivals are a great place to experience different types of music and meet people from all over. Maybe while you are there, you’ll want to take the Chicago Gangsters and Ghosts tour and learn about the rich gangster crime era from the 20’s and 30’s. Chicago’s hidden gem is for all the history buffs at the Museum of Science and Industry, where they include a full-size replica of a working coal mine and the tourable U-505, a captured German submarine.