Soaring mountains, sandy beaches, unique wineries, fresh seafood, and exciting city attractions—put simply, Washington has it all. When you take a travel nursing job in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll discover a wealth of things to see and do in your free time. Our Washington-focused recruiters dive into just seven reasons to take an assignment in the Evergreen State.
1. SHOPPING AT PIKE PLACE MARKET
Working in or near downtown Seattle, you’ll have easy access to America’s oldest and top public market: Pike Place Market. Opening over a century ago, this is no tourist trap. Here, locals and tourists mingle, purchasing elegant flower bouquets, fresh produce, seafood, handcrafted goods, and more. Just wandering through the market makes for a good time with the talented buskers, outstanding people-watching, and fishmongers who toss the fresh catch of the day back-and-forth while cracking jokes to entertain the crowd.
2. GENE COULON MEMORIAL BEACH PARK IN RENTON
Just southeast of Seattle in Renton, Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park is a fabulous place to enjoy recreational activities on beautiful Lake Washington. You’ll find a swimming beach, walking trails, picnic areas, volleyball and tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and a fishing pier where you can fish for the region’s famously-tasty coho, chinook, and sockeye salmon, along with other species.
3. WINE TASTING, WHALE WATCHING, AND MORE ON WHIDBEY ISLAND
Whidbey Island is a short and scenic ferry ride from Mukilteo, just north of Seattle, providing an easy escape from the city with a laid-back island atmosphere. Discover charming towns with historic buildings that house book stores, interesting boutiques, antique shops and restaurants, and visit one or more of the multiple wineries for tastings and tours. This is also one of the best spots in the area for whale-watching, including orcas, humpbacks, and grays that can sometimes be viewed from shore.
4. STATE CAPITOL TOURS AND THE FLIGHT MUSEUM IN OLYMPIA
In Olympia, you can tour Washington’s State Capitol and its picturesque grounds. The impressive structure stands out with its nearly 300-foot-high dome, the tallest free-standing masonry dome on in North America. Completed in 1928, the Legislative Building also boasts the largest Tiffany chandelier in the world. Nearby at Olympia Regional Airport, the Olympic Flight Museum offers a fascinating experience with the chance to view over 20 vintage helicopters and airplanes, from World War II aircraft to plants that flew in Vietnam and Korea.
5. FUTURE OF FLIGHT AVIATION CENTER & BOEING TOUR
Fascinated with flight? You’ll find lots more to explore, with the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour in Everett an absolute must. This is the only public tour available in North America of a commercial jet assembly plant, offering the chance to watch 747s, 777s, or 787s being assembled. Learn more about aviation through a variety of displays and exhibits.
6. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH NORTHWEST WILDLIFE
While adventures into Washington’s wilderness might bring encounters with the region’s abundant wildlife, you’re guaranteed to see many of the area’s animals at Northwest Trek. Located in Eatonville (about an hour southeast of Olympia), Northwest Trek hosts over 40 native species, including free-ranging animals like moose, bighorn sheep, bison, Roosevelt elk, woodland caribou, and deer.
7. HIKING IN MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK
On a clear day, 14,411-foot-high Mount Rainier towers over the Puget Sound region and beyond. While it can be seen from many vantage points, you may want to spend at least a few of your off days hiking this iconic mountain. If you’re up for a big challenge, you can climb to the snow-capped summit, though there are numerous trails in varying lengths that wind through wildflower-dotted alpine meadows, passing huge glaciers and cascading falls.