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Seattle is brimming with markets, coffeehouses and attractions. After living there on your travel nursing assignment for a few weeks, though, you may want to explore beyond the city limits and see what the surrounding area has to offer. On your next day off, take a trip to see these diverse, exciting areas around the Emerald City.
Driving time from Seattle: 1.5 hours
Whidbey Island is “a great antidote to big city pressures.” Once inhabited by Native American tribes, this island is located 30 miles north of Seattle and is the northern boundary of Puget Sound. Think small, beautiful homes and lots of delicious mussels.
Its farming and fishing heritage pack a lot into a small space and the island is now home to a vibrant arts community. With the inspiring surroundings and close proximity to Seattle and Vancouver, it’s no wonder this area is thriving.
Driving time from Seattle: 50 minutes
If you have ever watched the show “Twin Peaks,” you will be familiar with North Bend, WA, which is the filming location for the series. It is located along the foothills of the Cascade Mountains just east of Seattle. You can hike the Rattlesnake Mountain Trail or Mount Si and visit Olallie State Park.
Only three miles from North Bend is Snoqualmie, which is a small community home to the beautiful 270-feet-high Snoqualmie Falls. This view alone is worth the trip.
Driving time from Seattle: 1 hour
On the edge of the Swinomish Channel is the historic town of La Conner. This is a great place to take in the beautiful farmland of the Skagit Valley. Full of shops and art galleries, it has a quaint population of 891. The Rainbow Bridge is connected to Fidalgo Island, which includes the Shelter Bay community and the Swinomish reservation.
The center of the town is bounded by a historic district, which has a museum and a waterfront boardwalk edging downtown shops, which have an up-close view of the salty channel with fishing boats, log rafts, sailboats and yachts on their way to and from San Juan Islands.
Olympic National Park
Driving time from Seattle: About 2.5 hours
Olympic National Park & Forest is the ultimate go-to with everything you need to forget the city for a while: hot springs, rainforests, mountains and beaches. If you love to swim, ski, camp, boat, hike or just hang out, this is the place to go. If you want to enjoy a truly great view, take a boat tour of Lake Quinault.
Choosing an assignment in Seattle puts you in the midst of the rich natural surroundings of Washington state. You are not far from green spaces, expansive parks and small towns, which are great escapes from the buzz of the populous city of Seattle. On your next day off, pack up your car, fill up your gas tank and get ready to explore – experiencing somewhere new may be exactly what you need.