Leah Helmbrecht
Leah Helmbrecht
June 5, 2017 - 4 min read

Turn Your Job in to Your Dream Vacation: Minnesota Style

Welcome to Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes, and one of my favorite cities, Minneapolis. A place where you can feel the city with its ever-growing buildings, rooftop bars, and sports stadiums, but are treated with the kind, Midwest hospitality the Heartland is known for.

Minneapolis is often overlooked due to its subzero winters, but take a chance and visit in the spring, summer, or fall and be delighted with all it has to offer.

Here’s the low-down on the major hospitals in the Minneapolis area.

Hospital Level Bed Count Age
Abbott Northwestern Hospital 2 675 Adult
Children’s Hospital of Minnesota 1 428 Pediarics
Hennepin County Medical Center 1 462 All Ages
University of Minnesota Medical Center 1 863 Adult
University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital 1 254 Pediatrics

In the 5 years I have been traveling, Abbott Northwestern Hospital has been the only hospital I have come back to for an assignment after leaving. With 40 operating rooms, it’s a great environment for OR nurses and scrub techs. And while every place has its issues, ANW hospital is the best I have found so far.

Start your adventure now! Travel nurses are in high demand.


Looking for a place to live? I was able to find a corporate housing company that leases all around Minneapolis and gives a 5-7% discount for travel nurses. You can reach Jeff Kanwischer at Fine Associates in Minneapolis for fully-furnished, short-term housing.

Other options include sites like Airbnb, FurnishedFinder, and VRBO. Many travel nurses steer clear of Craigslist because those listings often lack pictures or are just sketchy.



Traveling with a dog? I travel with my highly active dog, Dakota, so doggie daycare is a must. However, it’s always a challenge to find a daycare that is open early and late enough for my schedule.

The best one I have found is Fun City Dogs, located in South Minneapolis. The cost is cheaper than other places and they are open from 6am-8pm and offer boarding as well. My favorite perk is watching my pup play all day on their webcams!

Ok, so now that you’re settled in, let’s get to the fun part:

Things To Do

With so many lakes available, there are endless things to do on the water. You are bound to make friends with someone who has a boat, but if you want to find something solo, head to Lake Calhoun and rent a paddle board or kayak.

Choose your location. We’ll find the jobs!


Professional sports are huge in Minneapolis. Grab a ticket to a game:

Football: Vikings (US Bank Stadium) —— You don’t have to be a Vikings fan!
Baseball: Twins (Target Field)
Hockey: Wild (Xcel Energy Center)
Basketball: Timberwolves (Target Center)
Soccer: United FC (TCF Bank Stadium)

Fairs and Festivals

Each year the city has a number of fairs and festivals:
Renaissance Festival: August 19- October 1, 2017 — Grab a turkey leg, see a comedy show, buy handmade crafts, and more!
Minnesota State Fair: Aug 24- Sept 4, 2017— Known for its wide variety of fair food, try them all and gain 20lbs! Totally worth it!
Here’s a great list of fun fair and festivals coming up!

See A Play or Concert

The Orpheum Theater has 2,203 seats located in Minneapolis or hop over to St. Paul and visit the Ordway Theater.
Xcel Energy Center has upcoming artists coming to perform: Neil Diamond, Lady Gaga, Kings of Leon, Justin Bieber, Enrique Iglesias, and many more.


For those who have read my previous articles on Boston and Charleston, you know food is one of my favorite topics! I love going out with new friends and checking out rooftop bars, steakhouses, and small mom and pop restaurants. There are also a number of breweries to check out too. Here are some of my favorite places to eat, drink, and be merry:

Merlin’s Rest Pub: Located on East Lake Street, it is a British Isles Pub whose owner, Lee, is from England. Co-Owner, Tracie, creates the pie of the week and they hold a British Pie Festival the first week in March that coincides with England’s British Pie Week. You can check out their Wednesday trivia night or see when their next event is being held where they typically will have bagpipers and Morris dancers (traditional English Folk Dancers). Don’t pass up their fish and chips and ask about their Scotch Bible that has around 318 single malt scotches and 130 Irish Whiskeys. You can even schedule a tasting! This is the best friendly neighborhood pub I have found.

Hell’s Kitchen: Located in downtown Minneapolis, is one of my favorite brunch places. It’s a great place to meet up with a friend the day after barhopping to try their walk through bloody mary bar. The food is phenomenal as well (try their Toasted Sausage Bread with homemade peanut butter). You won’t be sorry.

Matt’s Bar: Located in South Minneapolis, is the home of the original Jucy Lucy. What is a Jucy Lucy?!? Take a delicious burger patty and stuff it with cheese and any other delicious goodies you can imagine. The bar itself is usually packed because of its popularity and small size, so it’s best to order takeout.

1029: This is one of my favorite hangouts. It’s a fun Saturday night bar that has amazing chicken wings and lobster mac and cheese along with karaoke, pull tabs, and a “roulette” wheel. I just love grabbing a beer and sitting back with friends.

Seven Sushi Ultralounge Skybar: Located downtown, you can dress to impress for Friday night cocktails on this rooftop bar. The dinner there is spendy, and not my favorite, but I do enjoy their view of downtown from the top.

Up-Down Minneapolis: Get back in touch with your youth. This bar is filled with old arcade games from Pac-Man to Mortal Combat and pinball machines. Order from their list of 60 tap beers and chow down on a piece of pizza.

Find new travel assignments in your specialty here.

Treat Yourself

Working in a field where we take care of everyone else, it’s important to pamper ourselves once in a while. My birthday was coming up and I decided to do something I’ve never done before.

Stay at a luxury hotel and have a spa day. After asking around and doing a lot of research I decided on Loews Hotel and Embury Spa located in the hotel. It was the best staycation I’ve ever had. Soft sheets, comfortable bed, a masseuse that was able to man handle the stress knots we all have from moving patient’s all day and dealing with stressful situations.

No matter where you are, I highly suggest doing this. We all deserve a little relaxation!

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