Emily Bryant MSN, RN
Emily Bryant MSN, RN
July 25, 2023 - 6 min read

8 Best Places For Travel Nursing In The Summer

With the summer heat picking up, dreams of mountain escapes, warm beaches, and late nights fill my dreams. One of the most beautiful things about traveling, and clearly one of the biggest perks, is being able to choose your location during any season. This allows you to live near ski resorts in the winter if you enjoy the snow, or live in extremely hot temperatures in the summer. My preferred climate includes warm days full of activity and adventures, and temperate evenings with friends by a campfire.

Based on my personal experiences and preferences for an active lifestyle, the following states have been my favorite places to spend my days off.

1. Washington State

Most commonly known as the rainiest state in America, Washington absolutely comes alive in the summer. The abundance of rain during the other 9 months of the year feeds the land and makes it one of the most beautiful places in the country. If you enjoy hiking, biking, boating, rural life, or vibrant city life, Washington State has it all.

From national parks to state parks, Washington state is bursting at the seams with day trips for the outdoor enthusiast as well as the backseat observer. The coastline provides so many opportunities to have cooler summer days full of activities that might be new to the traveler, and the exquisite islands just a ferry ride offshore can lend to some of the most memorable overnight trips. Seattle also takes full advantage of the warmer, sunnier months and has many outdoor music festivals, events, and farmers’ markets galore! Due to the huge appeal of the summer months, travel contracts can be more competitive, so make sure you plan ahead!

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2. Colorado

One of Colorado’s many perks is that it is an absolutely incredible place to live regardless of the season. Famously known for its winter ski resorts, the summer months in the mountains have a short window of some of the most incredible scenery and landscapes you can imagine. As the snow begins to melt off the Rocky Mountains, it uncovers serene valleys, wildflower-filled meadows, and crisp, turquoise mountain lakes and streams.
You can join other active enthusiasts on the hunt to “peg” off as many 14ners (mountains with a summit of greater than 14,000 feet) as possible, or take it easy and float down some rivers in a tube.

The World renowned Red Rocks Amphitheatre outside of Denver hosts headliner artists, has outdoor movie nights, and even some workout classes. If seeking thrilling adventure is your speed, rafting or kayaking down the Colorado River is always an incredible time. But, if you are looking for a more relaxing day, you can also rent out a mountain cabin, hang a hammock, and enjoy some of the most incredible views in the country.

3. Montana

Montana is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, including the majestic Rocky Mountains, vast plains, pristine lakes, and picturesque national parks like Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park. The summer season showcases the region’s beauty at its peak, with vibrant wildflowers, clear blue skies, and abundant wildlife.

Montana is a paradise in the summer thanks to the moisture that wet winters bring. In the summer, you can indulge in a wide range of activities such as hiking, mountain biking, fishing, kayaking, river rafting, camping, and horseback riding. The pleasant weather and longer daylight hours make it ideal for exploring the outdoors and enjoying the numerous trails and waterways.

Summer in Montana brings a lively atmosphere with a plethora of festivals and events. From music festivals and rodeos to art fairs and cultural celebrations, there is always something happening throughout the state. Even if participating in outdoor recreation isn’t your version of fun, you can still enjoy the insane beauty of this state by car in some of their scenic drives like the Going-to-the-Sun-Road or Beartooth Highway.

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4. Oregon

For a more mild summer, Oregon is another state that seems to be able to offer just about anything you could be looking for. With a temperate coastline with hundreds of miles of immaculate beauty, there is always an option to escape the heat and play in the cool Pacific Ocean.

The Cascade Range also runs through the state and has created many volcanic peaks that are free of snow in the summer months that create a way for hiking, biking, camping, fishing, or kayaking. There are also many rivers that run through the state that many people will do rafting trips down, and Oregon is even known for great locations to fly fish.

Oregon is famous for its wine production, particularly its pinot noir. The state boasts several picturesque wine regions, such as the Willamette Valley, where you can take wine tours, visit vineyards, and indulge in wine-tasting sessions. Oregon hosts a variety of festivals and events during the summer months. From the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland to the Portland Rose Festival and the Oregon Brewers Festival, there’s always something happening to cater to diverse interests. Oregon truly has something to offer for everyone, regardless of your interests.

5. Michigan

Michigan is abundant in natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities and can provide you with the quintessential “summer on the water” season. The state boasts more than 3,000 miles of shoreline, offering numerous stunning beaches and opportunities for water activities such as swimming, boating, fishing, and kayaking. Popular beach destinations include the beaches along Lake Michigan, such as Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Enjoy going to events like the Cherry Festival, taking trips to Mackinac Island, and hopping from one unique brewery to the next. Although particularly buggy and warm, the beauty and unique experiences on the water make Michigan such a fun place to be in the summer months.

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6. Maine

Summer provides the perfect weather to explore and appreciate the dense forest, charming lighthouses, lovely beaches, and fun cities that Maine has to offer. Acadia National Park, located on Mount Desert Island, is particularly famous for its breathtaking views and outdoor adventures.

Maine’s coastline is dotted with charming coastal towns and villages. Places like Bar Harbor, Kennebunkport, and Portland offer a unique blend of history, culture, and seaside charm. The coast also allows you to explore picturesque harbors, indulge in fresh seafood, and experience the vibrant local culture. Summer is an excellent time for whale watching along the coast of Maine. Hire a boat and tour guide and observe the Humpback Whales, Finback Whales, and Minke Whales on one of your days off. If you enjoy seafood, Maine in the summer will definitely indulge your culinary pallet. With events like the Lobster Festival, you will never be in want of a delicious seafood treat.

7. Alaska

If you are searching to escape the heat during your summer months, then Alaska might be the state for you. With mild temperatures, you can enjoy time outside the whole time the sun is out, which is a lot! In some regions the sun remains above the horizon for 24 hours a day, a phenomenon known as the Midnight Sun. 

This extended daylight allows you to make the most of your time – explore the stunning landscapes and engage in various outdoor activities even late into the evening. This state is huge, and one summer will only allow you to scratch the surface of all that it offers, but you can visit iconic locations like Denali National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park, and Glacier Bay National Park to witness stunning vistas and natural wonders. There are many different options in Alaska to explore: you can go by boat, train, car, foot, and even take private helicopter rides to see untouched land.

8. Vermont

Last but not least, Vermont is a great place to go if you value slower living, tight communities, and a wide variety of outdoor events to do. The state is full of lush green landscapes, rolling hills, picturesque lakes, and charming small towns. The vibrant colors and blooming flowers make it an ideal destination for nature lovers. Vermont is renowned for its thriving farmers’ markets, which are particularly vibrant in the summer. You can find fresh produce, locally made crafts, delicious food, and a lively atmosphere.

Farm to Table style food is around every corner, and friendly faces are sure to welcome you into their local lives. Vermont is such a fun and easy place to spend your summers, and you will have such a memorable and sweet time that you’ll dream about returning to for years to come.

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