Recently in this space, we wrote about planning your next travel assignment to ‘Escape the Cold.' Well, what about those of us who enjoy the brisk air and lovely blanket of white that covers the ground during the winter months. When you are adventurous, you can find plenty of activities to fill up your days off in your travel city. Let’s take a look at five locations where there are plenty of assignment opportunities for travel nurses, therapists, and other allied staff in locations that are known for winter fun. As you plan your winter assignment, keep in mind this old Scandinavian saying, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing!”
Minnesota. If you have never really been one to spend time outdoors in the winter, but are now ready to give it a try, you can make no better choice than the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”, Minnesota. Did you know that Minnesota has over 22,000 miles of groomed trails for snowmobiling and there are enough cross-country skiing trails to equal a trip from St. Paul to Los Angeles. If you’re not into winter sports, fear not, Minnesota is home to winter festivals across the state. The St. Paul Winter Carnival has been delighting visitors since 1886, and features ice sculptures, parades, music, and plenty of food!
Colorado. If you are ready to experience winter in all its glory, plan an assignment in Colorado. While it is a great place to visit year-round, wintertime has an added charm. If you love to ski or want to learn, you can find 26 ski resorts in every corner of the state. If skiing isn’t your thing, ice skating is a popular winter activity with rinks in Fort Collins, Denver, Breckenridge, Vail, and Beaver Creek. On those nights you find yourself just wanting a relaxing evening out to see the sights, book a horse-drawn sleigh ride and enjoy the crisp air and the tinkling of the jingle bells as you glide down the lane. Colorado is also home to many fine craft breweries and restaurants that cater to the winter revelers.
Nebraska. Just because it’s winter, there is no reason to pass up an opportunity to visit a Great Plains state, like Nebraska. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing opportunities are abundant and make sure you bring your camera while on assignment. Nebraskans experience many beautiful species of birds in the winter months, like brilliant red Cardinals and majestic Sandhill Cranes. Nebraska is also home to many museums and historic sites where you can spend hours indoors learning about the history of the early prairie settlers and the pioneers who braved the weather as they headed west.
Wyoming. Don’t sleep on an opportunity to work an assignment in the surprising state of Wyoming. Winter is celebrated throughout the state from the Ice Climbing Festival in Cody to the Sierra Madre Winter Carnival in Saratoga. How about learning to dogsled in the Teton and Shoshone National Forests, or enjoying one of the many hot springs locations throughout the state. If you are near Jackson Hole, spend some time at one of the luxury resorts and hit the slopes in White Pine.
Illinois. Once the winter wind begins to blow in the Midwestern state of Illinois, outdoors enthusiasts bundle up and take advantage of all of the fun activities. Each winter, the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago is decorated with thousands of lights and magically animated displays. Visitors are enthralled by the brilliant displays and music while they sip hot chocolate and stroll through the winter wonderland. State Parks throughout Illinois all have planned winter activities, and visitors can take advantage of the opportunity to bird watch, including bald eagles. Make the trip to White Pines Forest State Park and stay in a cozy log cabin, enjoy horse-drawn sleigh rides, and tinsel covered Christmas Trees.
Don’t spend your winter hibernating. Embrace the cold and plan an assignment to a cold-weather site. Between cozying up by a crackling fire with mulled wine after a day spent on the slopes to experiencing a real-life winter wonderland, your travel assignment in the snow may just be the trip of a lifetime.
What are your favorite winter activities? Have you ever had a winter assignment in a cold weather location? Tell us about your best winter experiences in the comment section below or drop us a line on our Facebook page.