Day Trips for Travel Nurses in Phoenix

Health Carousel Travel Nursing
November 30, 2017
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At Health Carousel Travel Nursing, our team understands that you want to make the most out of your travel assignment. For many travel nurses, that means not only having a good experience at the healthcare facility, but also exploring the local area around you.

A popular destination for many travel nurses looking for sunshine and warmth, Phoenix has something for everyone. The Arizona-focused recruiters at HCTN have assembled information on entertaining day trips and local attractions to help you enjoy your assignment both in and out of the hospital.


Phoenix is surrounded by about 10 cities with a population of 100,000 or more, all of which are considered part of the Phoenix Metro Area. Surrounding those larger cities, about 35 smaller towns also boast almost 300 days of sunshine a year and less than 10 inches of rainfall annually.

Phoenix can get hot, but if you’re from a more humid climate, you might not notice the heat as much as you would think. The vast amount of natural beauty and fun activities offset the high temperatures and make the area a popular place to live and visit. Many restaurants and shopping centers have water misters which lightly spritz you with water as you walk outside.


The Phoenix Metro Area is known for golf, hiking, fabulous happy-hour food, casinos, beautiful resorts and spas, antique car shows, horse shows, Spring Training baseball, and architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home, which you can tour.


September through May, take advantage of outdoor activities; during the intense summer heat of June through August, visit museums and do indoor activities. Given that the Phoenix Metro Area encompasses almost 15,000 square miles, you can travel from one side of town to the other for day trips. Day trips further outside of the metro area include breathtaking scenes at Sedona and the Grand Canyon.

Sedona is about a two-hour drive from Phoenix. There aren’t many restaurants along the way, but it’s worth a stop at Rock Springs Cafe for a slice of pie. Once you get to Sedona, check online review sites to find unique vegetarian, Paleo, and ethnic food along State Route 89A and avoid the sometimes-overpriced downtown restaurants. If you want to stay overnight, nearby Cottonwood is more affordable than Sedona hotels. Take a detour on the drive home to Jerome, America’s largest ghost town with quaint antique stores and restaurants.


The Desert Botanical Gardens gives you a wonderful overview of the diversity and beauty of desert plants, especially in the springtime when the cacti are flowering. The gardens turn into a wonderland if you’re on assignment near Phoenix during Christmastime with Zoo Lights. Nearby is the iconic Papago Park.

The Farm at South Mountain features three wonderful restaurants and is a beautiful, hidden gem that most locals have never seen. Definitely get the apple pie if you go for lunch. Nearby, you can tour a one-of-a-kind Mystery Castle.

If you need to decompress after a long shift, there are many resort and spa staycation options. Look online for coupons and deals, especially in the summer. Almost all of the resorts allow you to spend the day at the pool, enjoying the amenities with the purchase of a service (such as a manicure). Alternatively, you can usually buy a daily guest pass for about $25.


The Musical Instrument Museum is a one-of-a-kind, world-class attraction that you don’t want to miss. Think you know what a guitar or a flute looks like? Think again! You’ll see instruments from all over the world and hear sounds like never before. Allow at least three hours to feel like you’ve even scratched the surface of what the museum has to offer.

Make sure to visit Cafe Allegro, one of the best-kept secrets for lunch in Phoenix.

The Phoenix Art Museum offers wonderful exhibits throughout the year. Check their site for times and days when admission is free. The Pollack Tempe Cinemas is also a fun, one-of-a-kind, discount theater with a movie memorabilia museum in the lobby.


If you’re ready to lock down a travel assignment in Phoenix or one of it’s surrounding cities, reach out to the Arizona-focused recruiters at HCTN today. Your recruiter will act as your local guide during your stay, ensuring that you get the most out of your travel nursing experience in the Grand Canyon State.

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Interested in how the pay stacks up in other states not on this list? Our trusty Super Nurse sidekicks are standing by to answer any questions you have. Click below to get information on opportunities in other states!

Woman standing with suitcase looking out at the city