What makes travel to the west coast for your next assignment so attractive? If you love food, sunshine, and outdoor activities, you will love it out here! While they each have their own culture, Arizona, California, and Nevada offer desert landscapes, hiking, fun, and national park experiences so there is something for everyone. Grab your National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass and let’s see the west!
Located within five hours of Phoenix, Grand Canyon National Park offers hiking and stellar views of the Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The National Park Service recommends day hiking on trails at the North or South rim rather than overnight, especially if you’re inexperienced at this location, because of the terrain and limited emergency services. No permit is required for non-commercial hiking trips but you will need to pay to access the park or use your National Park Pass.
Just 11 miles from the Colorado River near Grand Canyon National Park is Supai, Arizona, home to the Havasupai Tribe. The area includes hiking, waterfalls, and camping but you will need a reservation.
Learn more in our article Supai, Arizona for Medical Professionals.
If you’re looking for authentic Mexican food, head 90 miles east of Phoenix to the small copper mining town of Globe, Arizona. Local favorites include La Casita and Guayo’s on the Trail.
Lastly, when you think of skiing and snowboarding, most people don’t think of Arizona but when the weather is right, you can head to Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff or Sunrise Park Resort near Pinetop for fun, winter activities.
While we could write for days about what to see in California, we recommend starting with one of many national parks – Yosemite, Sequoia, Joshua Tree, and Kings Canyon – for the views and hiking and to get away from work. Nothing like nature to clear the mind!
Head north to the Napa Valley to visit the finest vineyards in the country. Schedule wine tasting tours that include transportation with the likes of Napa Valley Tours and Transportation and enjoy the escape from city-living for a few hours. Head back to San Francisco with your National Park Pass and check out Alcatraz Island, home of the infamous federal prison.
If you’re looking for beach weather year round, head to San Diego where you can experience surf culture and sunshine. Visit Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld San Diego, or head to the beach for shopping and seafood. Let’s not forget it’s just an hour from Mexico so the Mexican food is about as authentic as you will find this side of the border.
Grab that park pass and head to Cabrillo National Monument to explore the area where, in 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo became the first European to set foot on what is now the West Coast of the United States.
If you’ve never experienced Las Vegas, it might be time for a weekend trip. A couple of days and nights is all it takes to explore this mecca of Americana. Take your photo by the famous lighted sign. Stroll the strip. Throw a couple bucks into a slot machine. If you’re looking for a relaxing activity, we recommend heading to the pool and spa at your hotel for a day of pampering and make reservations at one of the restaurants of world-renowned chefs like Gordon Ramsey, Bobby Flay, and Guy Fieri.
For a quieter day, head to the Great Basin in Baker, Nevada and the 13,0000-foot summit of Wheeler Peak where you can see the stunning beauty of the desert and surrounding area. East of Las Vegas is Lake Mead, another national treasure, where you can hike, boat, and camp. Check the national park website for information about permits and weather-related closures.
Choose the West Coast for Your Next Travel Nurse Assignment
Our Recruiters at AB Staffing strive to place travel nurses and medical professionals in jobs and locations they will enjoy. Travel to the west coast for your next assignment and see what Arizona, California, and Nevada have to offer.