Across the country, you can feel summer surrendering. Cooler days. A crispness in the air. And a quiet excitement that seems to settle in as autumn takes over. For nurses, it’s also a great time to travel.
Exciting assignments are almost always available. Facilities seem somehow calmer, slowing from the summer chaos and not yet gearing up for the holiday push.
And then, there’s the travel side. Fall is the perfect time to be a working tourist. The weather is great for any adventure. Tourism slacks off. Crowds are smaller. Discounts are offered at many attractions. There’s an extra energy in the air that makes you want to get up, get out and experience life.
The question is, where do you want to go?
Before you’re too quick to line up for the same locations every other travel nurse is considering, here are some suggestions that might both surprise and delight you. We call these our “hidden gems of fall.”
1. Raleigh, North Carolina
You haven’t experienced fall in the Carolinas if you haven’t visited Raleigh in the fall. To start, you’re talking about an amazing selection of top-notch medical facilities throughout the Raleigh-Durham area. If you’re looking to build your resume, or simply want to work for highly respected facilities, it’s hard to beat their lineup.
As a travel destination, Raleigh offers one of the most well-rounded experiences you could want. It’s the perfect combination of big-city sophistication and small-town charm. It offers a thriving arts community, world-class cuisine, rich history and an extensive collection of shopping experiences and cultural activities.
But Raleigh’s appeal doesn’t stop there. It also serves as the perfect starting point to enjoy the great outdoors. From breathtaking vistas, easy escapes to the beach, and all the adventure offered by the Great Smokey Mountains, Raleigh will turn even the most committed “city-slicker” into a nature lover.
Simply put, it is a spectacular fall travel nursing destination.
2. Baltimore, Maryland
We may be talking fall, but the travel nursing market for highly desired jobs at great facilities is hot in Baltimore. With a wide variety of public and private healthcare systems and facilities, including some of the best-known names in the country, Baltimore provides lots of professional opportunity and growth for travel nurses.
As for a great place to visit, Baltimore comes alive in the fall. Majestic mountains and awe-inspiring beaches make Baltimore one of Maryland’s best attractions. But there is more to the city than Old Bay seasoned crabs and the Orioles. Its rich history, stunning architecture and charming neighborhoods make it both classic and ever-evolving. With farmers markets, festivals, outdoor concerts and a serious commitment to celebrating Halloween right, the city takes full advantage of their almost flawless fall weather.
If you’re looking for a little retail therapy, Baltimore offers something for everyone. Love wandering in and out of small boutiques and shops? Try Federal Hill. Do you have more of a flair for high-end brands? Pop over to Harbor East. Each neighborhood in downtown has its own unique sense of self and style.
3. Washington, DC
Washington, DC is a national center for patient care and medical research. With 16 hospitals inside the District of Columbia itself, there is an abundance of opportunity for travel nurses.
Though spring and summer get much of the glory in Washington, DC, as the leaves turn shades of auburn and red, the nation’s capital remains buzzing with no limit in sights to see and things to do. From witnessing the fall foliage on the National Mall, exploring lesser-known gems like the National Arboretum, to getting spooked at the zoo during Halloween, there’s never a shortage of fun and exciting things to do. And with it being a slower time for tourism, ticket discounts and smaller crowds let you enjoy experiences you might never be able to at other times of the year.
Monuments, famous sites, museums, shopping, theater, scenic parks and so much more make our nation’s capital a fabulous fall travel nursing destination.
We know your time is valuable, so we want to make sure to only deliver content that you want to read. Help us customize your experience by taking a brief survey below.
4. New York, New York
OK, New York City might not qualify as a hidden gem, but how do you ignore the best city in the United States to enjoy fall? It goes without saying that a travel nurse has practically unlimited options across the five boroughs. Name the setting and the position and you can probably find a great assignment waiting for you…though housing can be a challenge.
As for the fall adventures waiting for you in NYC, there’s no limit there either. First, break out your favorite sweater and take in fall, New York City’s coziest season. Feel the leaves crunch beneath your shoes on a leisurely stroll along tree-lined streets or through one of the many city parks. Find a welcoming wine bar, catch the start of hockey and basketball season at the local arenas, or make it your business to watch a few of the world’s more spectacular processions. The Village Halloween Parade, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the New York City Marathon all take place during autumn.
Then there’s the shopping. And the shopping. And did we mention the shopping? From high-end fashion to chic and cheeky, you can find it all. Shopping is more than a hobby in New York -- it’s a national pastime. And at least until you move fully into the holiday season, crowds are thinner and getting around is easier in the city that never sleeps. Once you do get to the holiday season, it’s still the holiday season in New York. A one-of-a-kind experience.
Related Article: Five Steps to Evaluating Your Travel Nursing Job Offer
5. Dallas, Texas
Put a little giddyap in your fall with an assignment in the Big D. Dallas is another market with a top-tier collection of healthcare systems, public hospitals, teaching hospitals and medical facilities. There is an endless need for travel nurses in this amazing city.
By fall, temperatures have finally drifted out of the triple-digit range, and the locals and visitors alike are ready to celebrate getting back outside. The party lineup includes festivals, fairs, sporting events (from high school to the pros, Dallas is a hotbed for football), Oktoberfest celebrations and dozens of other local events to keep you busy. And thanks to the great weather well into the later months of the year, biking, hiking and other outdoor activities abound.
Showing its cosmopolitan side, Dallas offers plenty to do even if ropin’ and ridin’ isn’t your style. Cutting-edge restaurants, historic locations, top-end shopping and a strong arts community make Dallas a must-visit destination during your travel career.
This fall, make your next assignment a true autumn adventure. With some of the year’s best weather, smaller tourist crowds and great bargains, fall just might become your favorite time to hit the road for new travel destinations.