The United States is vast, containing a dazzling variety of landscapes and cultures. Its major cities are world-renowned centers of commerce, arts, and entertainment.
However, our nation’s roots lie in its smaller towns, where the patterns and cultural traditions of American life were born and still carry on, day by day. If you love the thrill of travel, why not experience the US in all its glory?
Read on for our first list of “hidden gems” to consider for your next travel nursing assignment!
Lafayette is the fourth largest city in Louisiana. It’s the perfect place to visit to discover the unique culture and personality of the state, and has also been named “the Happiest City in America.”
You may be surprised to hear that Lafayette offers one of the most unique and delicious cultural and culinary scenes in the nation. It is located in the heart of Acadiana, the name given to the area settled by Cajuns and Creoles in the 18th century.
Countless restaurants, music venues, and local residents carry on the cultural traditions of the past. You’ll find hundreds of restaurants that serve authentic Cajun and Creole dishes, and many local events with Cajun and Zydeco music.
Nearby, you’ll find the stunning Atchafalaya Basin, the nation’s largest river swamp, containing nearly one million acres of beautiful swampland and forests.
Meridian is Mississippi’s sixth-largest city. It has a rich history and beautiful Southern scenery, full of great outdoor recreation and attractions.
Meridian offers many attractions honoring its musical history. The city is the birthplace of many blues and jazz legends, as well as Jimmie Rogers, the “Father of Country Music. Visit the Jimmie Rogers Museum in famous Highland Park to learn about his career, and enjoy exhibits detailing early 20th-century life in the American South.
In 2018, the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience opened in downtown Meridian. The museum highlights Mississippi artists and entertainers of all kinds, educating visitors with fascinating interactive exhibits throughout its 58,500 sq. ft.
Outdoor enthusiasts will love city-owned Bonita Lakes, a 3,300-acre park open year-round. Bonita Lakes offers hiking, biking, watersports, golf, camping, and much more.
Home of Route 66, America’s “Mother Road,” Tulsa is the second-largest city in Oklahoma. It offers a slice of classic American culture, containing elements of the Southwest, Midwest, and Southern United States. Tulsa has a lot to offer, including world-class museums, state-of-the-art parks, and a great selection of restaurants.
The Philbrook Museum of Art is a beautiful 72-room mansion surrounded by 23 acres of grounds, and has been named one of the top 50 fine art museums in the world.
The Gathering Place is a brand new, 66-acre park located along the Arkansas River near the center of Tulsa. Visit The Landing for incredible views of the park’s Wetland Gardens as well as and Tulsa’s sunsets. Mist Mountain is specifically designed to help guests cool off, featuring public mist areas and interactive water fountains.
Tulsa’s deep history of cattle farming makes it an excellent place to eat meat. The Mahogany Prime Steakhouse and Prhyme Downtown Steakhouse are at the top of the list, but there are plenty to choose from. If you prefer lighter fare, try Salata, Stonecreek Kitchen, or check out this list of favorites.
With a population of just 6,600, Pikeville is the smallest city on our list. But don’t let its size fool you – Pikeville is a fantastic place to live as a travel nurse.
Pikeville’s landscape is stunningly beautiful. The Appalachian Mountains soar over the city, and surrounding forests provide amazing views of wildlife year-round. It’s also a prime location for all sorts of outdoor activities, including hiking, skiing, fishing, zip-lining, and much more.
Pikeville is a country music fan’s paradise. Take US 23, the Country Music Highway, and experience the culture that birthed Eastern Kentucky’s “mountain music” as well as many country music legends.
The most unique feature of Pikeville is the Pikeville Cut-Through, a historic engineering feat that has been called “the eighth wonder of the world.” The Pikeville Cut-Through is a human-engineered channel, blasted through Peach Orchard Mountain from 1973 to 1987. The project remains one of the largest civil engineering projects in the world, many visitors marvel at the astonishing views it provides of the majestic Appalachian Mountains.
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