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Travel Series: Tennessee, The Soundtrack to America

Back again with another addition to KPG Healthcare’s Travel Series and this week, we are focusing on Tennessee, aka the Volunteer State.

Did you know Tennessee is home to the one and only Dollywood? Dollywood is named after American songwriter, Dolly Parton, and is a world-class theme park nestled in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains with award-winning shows and fun times for all ages.

We are proud to offer Travel Nursing assignments throughout Tennessee, so continue reading about some of the many awesome cities of Tennessee!

Otherwise known as the capital of country music, Nashville offers visitors once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Nashville

Nashville boasts an incredible music scene from country to jazz, bluegrass to rock, and everything in between, a killer culinary scene (did someone say hot chicken??), and so many great attractions to check out like the Music City Center or the National Museum of African American Music.

Although COVID-19 has closed the majority of businesses, during the summer Nashville is the place to be for music events like the Americana Music Awards and FestivalCMA Festival], and the Tomato Art Fest, just to name a few. If food is more your vibe, some food festivals occur in Nashville like the Food Truck FeastNashville Wine and Food FestivalThe Wizards Beer Festival and so much more. Check out this list of food festivals!

Nashville is more than just food and music events, head over to Cheekwood Estate & Gardens for beautiful gardens and even greater trails for exploration. Cheekwood currently has the Chihuly Exhibits until January 2021, which is comprised of two massive glass art sculptures. If gardens aren’t your thing, there is still plenty to do within the city limits like museums, a wild nightlife scene and art galleries for the creatives. Wherever you go in Nashville, you will find something awesome to do.

Check out these great lists of things to do in Nashville: Free ThingsCOVID-19 ThingsFarmer’s Market ListTravel + Leisure Free Things20 Best Things to Do

Memphis, home to the Blues, Soul and Rock ‘n’ Roll, is the perfect destination.

Memphis

Home of the Blues, Soul and Rock ‘n’ Roll, Memphis is a perfect destination for delicious food (we are talking BBQ galore and more), a glowing nightlife, a rich history of music and plenty of great outdoor activities.

Memphis has an incredible food scene that fuels the soul, but the star of the show is none other than Memphis Barbecue. Did you know Memphis is home to over 100 barbecue restaurants?? Yes, you read that correctly. While every state and region of the United States has its own special take on barbecue, but here in Memphis, they tend to focus more on the pig, more specifically pulled pork and a rack of ribs. In fact, BBQ is so big in Memphis they host a World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest during the city’s Memphis in May festival. Make sure to check out some of these great BBQ joints: Central BBQThe Bar-B-Q ShopCorky’s BBQJim’n Nick’s Bar-B-Q

Memphis has a rich Civil Rights history being home to The National Civil Rights Museum and several memorials including the I Am a Man Plaza. If you’re more into music history, you can head over to Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, or one of the many great music museums like the Rock n Soul MuseumMemphis Music Hall of Fame Museum, or the Blues Hall of Fame Museum.

One of the great services the Memphis Travel and Tourism website offers is a quiz to help determine what you should experience during your stay in Memphis. It’s a great way to help get anyone started on their journey through this great city.

Check out these great lists of things to do in Memphis: Free ThingsCool Things to DoBest Things to DoSummertime ActivitiesUnusual Things

The gateway into the Smoky Mountains and Dollywood.

Knoxville

Nestled along the Tennessee River, Knoxville is the gateway into the Smoky Mountains. Strange enough, Knoxville is known as the “Streaking Capital” for its numerous streaking events that occurred during the 1970s.

If there’s anything to check out while in Knoxville it will have to Gay Street or Historic Old City. Gay Street played a pivotal in the cultural and economic development of Knoxville. Gay Street runs through the vibrant downtown that’s lined with historic theatres, museums, parks, shops, rooftop bars and restaurants all within one square mile. Historic Old City also has a vibrant nightlife scene with over 23 bars & nightclubs, 2 distilleries, a concert hall, retail shops, coffee houses and plenty of restaurants to choose from for those 2am “drunchies”. Did we mention parking in Old Town is always FREE?

If there’s one thing anyone should consider visiting while in Knoxville is the one and only Dollywood! Dollywood is located about an hour southeast of Knoxville and is nestled in the beautiful Smoky Mountains. As we mentioned in the intro, Dollywood is a world-class amusement parkwater park, and entertainment hub for visitors. Since its creation in 1986, Dollywood has had visitors from all over the globe and remains a must-see in Tennessee.

Check out these great lists of things to do in Knoxville: US News Best Things to DoForbes 9 Things to DoFree ThingsUnusual Things to DoOutdoor List

A city shared by two states, Bristol is for outdoor enthusiasts.

Bristol

“A Tale of Two Cities” is the perfect summation of this city as its historic downtown sits between Tennessee and Virginia. Besides being a city in two states, Bristol also offers visitors an incredible outdoor recreation scene, a booming music scene with the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, and an awesome downtown district full of shops, food and attractions.

Are you a NASCAR fan? You’re in luck because Bristol is home to the Bristol Motor Speedway, one of the main attractions here in this small but big city. The speedway also offers the option to camp when big races occur, including events like Street Car Takeover, Pinty’s US Short Track Nationals, and more. This speedway also offers a Dragway for those who are into drag racing.  

While in Bristol, visitors should take a trip to State Street, which runs through downtown and is split between Tennessee and Virginia, to find plenty of restaurants, a walking tour, plenty of shops and the historic Bristol sign. The Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is also hosted on State Street and is one of the largest music festivals in the Southeast.

Choose Bristol if you’re looking for a unique city with small-town vibes and an abundance of activities to partake in.

Check out these great lists of things to do in Bristol: 5 Best Things to DoFree ThingsTripAdvisor List

Nestled along the Tennessee River, Chattanooga has attractions and activities for people of all ages.

Chattanooga

Best known for its beautiful natural surroundings, Chattanooga offers visitors an array of activities to partake in. The city offers great outdoor recreation, a 13-mile Riverwalk along the Tennessee River that is scattered with attractions, food, shops and parks, and a thriving nightlife and entertainment scene.

As we said, Chattanooga is great for outdoor recreation with activities like rock climbingparaglidingrope courseskayakingglidingriver rafting, and so much more. If you can think it, Chattanooga will offer it. Lonely Planet names this city the Best in the US for outdoor recreation in 2018. Did you know Chattanooga is also home to the tallest and deepest underground waterfall? Ruby Falls is located deep inside Lookout Mountain and has become of the most popular destinations in the Southeast with cave adventures and ziplining.

Besides a killer outdoor recreation lifestyle, Chattanooga’s nightlife and entertainment scene is growing and glowing with plenty of bars, clubs, distilleries and shows to choose from. If you’re into whiskey, Chattanooga Whiskey is the first distillery to craft whiskey in over 100 years and offers visitors an experience to see the process and, of course, a whiskey flight to sample some of the award-winning whiskey. Don’t worry, there Chattanooga also offers a handful of breweries for those craft enthusiasts like Terminal BrewhouseTap House, and Chattanooga Brewing Co.

Chattanooga is an outdoor enthusiasts dream mixed with good food, a growing nightlife, and plenty of memories to be made.

Check out these great lists of things to do in Chattanooga: US News Best 7 Things to DoTime Out’s 19 Things to DoUnusual Things to DoFree & Cheap ThingsThings to Do

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Tennessee sounds like an adventure of a lifetime with so many great cities and activities to partake in. We only scratched the surface of what the great state of Tennessee has to offer visitors and there is so much more to see, eat, hear and experience. Travel Nurses, you should definitely take one of the travel assignments we offer to fully experience the Volunteer State!

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Travel Series: Indiana, the “Crossroads of America”

Welcome back to KPG Healthcare’s Travel Series!

This week, we are turning our attention toward the American Midwest to one of the eight states that make up the Great Lakes Region, Indiana! Indiana was the 19th state admitted into the United States and, today, it is known for leading the nation in manufacturing job growth.

Indiana’s motto is the “Crossroads of America” due to its central location to four major US Highways: Interstate 65, 69, 70, and 74. There is so much Indiana provides in the Midwest region of the country, so continue scrolling to see what else the “Hoosier State” has to offer!

Indianapolis

Indianapolis, or Indy, is known for its largest single-day sporting event, the Indy 500, but there’s so much more this city has to offer like lush green spaces, the world’s largest children’s museum, an insane food scene, and so much more.

One of the many great attributes to Indy is the Cultural Trail which was established in 2013. The purpose of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail is to “enrich lives and connect people and places through dynamic and beautiful experiences” through the Cultural Trail and the Pacers Bikeshare program. The nonprofit that looks after the Cultural Trail also offers Bike and Food Tours for those looking for in-depth knowledge of Indianapolis!

The food scene in Indy is internationally known for its awarding-winning restaurants, incredible indoor/outdoor marketplaces and plenty of rooftop and garden dining during those Spring and Summer months. Every foodie loves a good marketplace and Indy has plenty of marketplaces to choose from like the International Marketplacethe City MarketGarfield Park Farmers Market and Goose the Market. Each market is different, so make sure to check out the websites to see what each market has!

Indy is the place for world-class sporting events, an award-winning culinary scene, outdoor enthusiasts and plenty of good times.

Check out these great lists of things to do in Indianapolis: Cool Things to do in IndyFree Things25 Most Instagrammable Places in Indy,

Evansville

Evansville, which sits on the southern border between Indiana and Kentucky, is a lot quieter than Indianapolis, but that does not mean this city is a complete snooze-ville.

Did you know Evansville is home to the Willard Carpenter house? Willard Carpenter was known as Evansville’s “Pioneer of Public Charity,” as his home was one of the first stops of the Underground Railroad for slaves crossing the Ohio River. As mentioned above, Evansville is also home to the Angel Mounds State Historic Site, which was home to a thriving Native American community known as the Mississippians. Here, visitors can explore the 500-acre portion of the site which has been preserved for amazing hiking and bike trails.

There is plenty of outdoor activities like kayaking or camping, you can check out Indiana’s first casino, Tropicana, or check out the University of Evansville for some awesome architecture. Wherever you go in Evansville, just enjoy another lifestyle that is different from yours.

Check out these great lists of things to do in Evansville: 25 Best Things to doUnusual ThingsFree Things10 Instagrammable Places in Evansville

Fort Wayne

Nestled along three rivers, Fort Wayne is a major component in the continued growth and innovation of Indiana. Being the second-largest metropolitan city, Fort Wayne receives accolades like Most Livable City and an All-American City.

Fort Wayne has so much to offer from festivals & fairs, an Amish county, a riverfront, over 100 miles of hiking trails, sporting events, and a great live music scene. Some of the great festivals & fairs that happen in Fort Wayne include BBQ FestBrewed In The Fort Craft Beer FestivalGrabill County FairFort Wayne Pride, and more! There’s always something happening in Fort Wayne.

While Fort Wayne lacks pro-league teams, they do have teams who play in the D-Leagues in hockey (Komets), basketball (Mad Ants), and baseball (TinCaps). Purdue University also has a campus in Fort Wayne for some college sports fans out there. Fort Wayne is a great option for anyone looking for a flourishing metropolitan city with plenty of opportunities to explore this Midwest All-American city.

Check out these great lists of things to do in Fort Wayne: Fort Wayne Bucket ListFree Things to Do24 Hours in Fort Wayne15 Most Instagrammable Places,  

Bloomington

Indiana University was born into existence two years after Bloomington was established and has become such an integral component of growth for this town.

Indiana University is home to the amazing Jacobs School of Music with one America’s greatest performance venues and largest academic music libraries, plus the most expansive university museum collections in the US at the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art. Both university locations are open to the public for a fee, so it’s definitely worth checking out!

Bloomington is also known for its incredible outdoor recreation with the option to do just about anything you want! From camping to golfinghiking to cycling, Bloomington has the opportunity to offer it all for outdoor enthusiasts. Maybe take a bike ride to Downtown Bloomington for breakfast at Bloomington Bagel Company then take a stroll through the local shops until you drop. This is a college town, so enjoy the intimate yet thriving community that makes up Bloomington!

Check out these great lists of things to do in Bloomington: 21 Best Things to DoUnusual ThingsFree Things15 Instagrammable Places in Bloomington

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These are just a few of the many great cities Indiana has to offer out-of-state visitors. Did you know there’s a small town in Indiana called Santa Claus? Yes, Santa Claus. Each year, this town receives tens of thousands of Christmas letters from children dating back to 1914. It’s also home to Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, a combination theme park and water park.

Indiana, am I right?? There’s so much to be discovered in Indiana! We offer Travel Nursing opportunities in the All-American state of Indiana! Send us your resume to travel@kpghealthcare.com to get in contact with a recruiter.

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Virginia, “America’s First Region”

Welcome to KPG Healthcare’s Travel Series. In this series, we are going to highlight different states within the United States where we currently send some of our healthcare professionals for travel assignments. We can’t focus on every city, but we will focus on a couple where we staff and some of the more popular destination cities as well. 

This week, we are focusing on one of the original 13 Colonies of America, Virginia

Richmond

First on our list is the capital of Virginia, Richmond. Richmond is rich in American history with many things to do and see within the city and its surrounding parts. From museums to great outdoor trails, a booming art scene to a beer trail, Richmond has fun for all ages.

Richmond also offers an enormous playground for outdoor enthusiasts with kayaking, bike trails, hiking trails, climbing and a handful of great city parks. The James Park System is one of the only rivers that offers kayaking, rafting classes and rapids in an urban setting. The James River is one of Richmond’s most popular sites where you can kayak or play in the river for the day and pull off to the side for a quick beer or snack break. Come check out this great list of activities by the James River System!

Not looking for nature? There are plenty of other things to hit in this city! If you’re a food and drink enthusiast, Richmond is home to over 30 craft breweries and have dubbed this accomplishment as the infamous Richmond Beer Trail. If breweries aren’t your thing, Richmond offers some free attractions including museums, the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardennature centers, and more! Check out these great lists of things to do in the city of Richmond!

Check out these lists of things to do in RichmondFreeUnusualThings To Do11 Best

Arlington

If you’re looking for a window into American democracy and our nation’s past then Arlington is just the place for you. Home to many national monuments and memorials, Arlington offers an array of activities to partake in during a travel assignment. 

Predominantly known for the Arlington National Cemetery, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Pentagon, Arlington offers more than just an ode to American history. With an array of dining experiences, fantastic shopping districts to choose from and, of course, plenty of free things too, Arlington is the next stop shop to Washington D.C.

If Arlington is not your cup of tea, Washington D.C. is right across the Potomac River! Although Washington D.C. is not part of the state of Virginia, Washington D.C. is our nation’s capital and there is always something to do. Did you know you get to go into all of the museums in Washington D.C. for free? Check out Arlington and see how great it is for yourself!

Check out these lists of great things to do in ArlingtonUnusualDining GuideFreeTop 8 

Newport News

If you’re looking for a quiet, coastal city with a selection of local goodies and the charm of a small town, Newport News is just for you! Nestled between the James River and the Chesapeake Bay, Newport News “played an important role in establishing the Virginia Colon and our nation.”

Visitors are allowed to take a step back in time through a handful of attractions, Civil War reenactments and historical sites dating back to 1607 with the landing of Jamestown. Not a fan of history? Visitors also have the option to go camping at Newport News Park, which is minutes from Williamsburg, a beer, wine and shine trail known as the Toast the Coast Trail, and a shopping district with local merchants. Who doesn’t like free things too!

If you can’t find what you’re looking for in Newport News, you will most likely find it in one of the neighboring cities or towns. You’re in a good location, take advantage of it! 

Check out these lists of things to do in Newport News15 BestFree

Virginia Beach

Where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, Virginia Beach is flourishing with an impressive local culinary scene, a history rooted in America’s core, a thriving arts and entertainment sector, an abundance of outdoor activities and plenty of sunshine in the summer.

Virginia Beach has seven major sectors: OceanfrontSandbridgePungo, and Town Center, to name a few. Each sector has its own charm ranging from strictly ocean views and attractions to nightlife full of breweries and entertainment. There’s also a huge agricultural community in Pungo, minutes from Sandbridge, where you can even pick your own strawberries during the Spring or enjoy an incredible culinary scene where produce is always in supply.

Another cool district worth checking out is the ViBe Creative District within the Oceanfront District where you can see some great local artists displaying their pieces during First Fridays, Second Saturdays and VB Flea. There’s also Old Beach Farmers Market that takes place on specific Saturdays, so make sure to check their website.

If you’re in Virginia, you might as well head on over to Virginia Beach for a much needed and well-deserved break! 

Check out these lists of things to do in Virginia BeachBeach CampingZip-liningFree ThingsWater Activities

Charlottesville

Charlottesville, like all of Virginia, is deeply rooted in American history being home to some of America’s first presidents including Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence. 

Beyond history, Charlottesville can be seen as a more outdoor city with nearby orchardsvineyardsballooninghiking, camping, kayaking, and so much more. Shenandoah National Park is about 20 miles from Charlottesville and here you can find the famous 100+ miles of the Appalachian Trail. There’s still plenty to see within the city limits like the City Market, a producer-only market of farmers, food vendors, crafts and artisans since 1973, which is held every Saturday from 7 am till Noon. 

Charlottesville is definitely the city to check out for some awesome grub, an abundance of outdoor activities and plenty of opportunities for creating memories. 

Check out these lists of things to do in CharlottesvilleFreeFree Trolley Map12 Best Things to DoUnusual AttractionsUltimate Weekend Guide to Charlottesville

Alexandria

Home to George Washington, our nation’s first president, is just south of Arlington and is well-known for its rich history and preserved historical 18th- and 19th-century architecture. 

Old Town is a one-of-a-kind area with King Street, which is home to centuries-old buildings lined with 200+ independently owned restaurants and boutiques, is a must-see in Alexandria. The Old Town Farmer’s Market also occurs every Saturday year-round and after you’ve finished checking out the local goods, head down to some of the river parks that run along the Potomac River. If you’re up for it, you can take on the Mount Vernon Trail that runs 18 miles from George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate all the way up to Washington D.C. memorials. 

The waterfront is another beautiful spot for a bike tour, delicious local ingredient restaurantspublic art installations and the Torpedo Factory Art Center, which is nationally recognized as one of America’s Top Art places. The nightlife scene in Alexandria may be small but there are plenty of clubs to catch some live music

Check out these lists of things to do in AlexandriaFreeUnusualThings to do Now

Virginia is rich with American history, which has grown into one of America’s greatest states through a flourishing culinary scene, a canvas for creatives, an adventure for outdoor enthusiasts and a providing opportunity to learn about our nation’s past and where we are headed.

We hope you found some of this information insightful on deciding whether or not you should take an assignment in Virginia. Regardless, please be safe and remember to wear a face mask! 

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