Happy Spring and Happy April! Where is the time going??
Back with another edition of KPG Healthcare’s Travel Series! We are headed back to the East Coast to one of the Thirteen Colonies nicknamed the “Tar Heel State,” North Carolina! KPG Healthcare currently staffs travel nurses, allied professionals and locum tenens throughout the historic state of North Carolina.
While we can’t cover every major city, we are going to give you a glimpse into a few cities we staff in. Ready? Let’s go!
The capital of North Carolina, known as “The City of Oaks,” Raleigh is more than just the state capital of N.C. offering visitors’ access to many free and/or cheap attractions, delicious eateries with barbecue being the star of the show and beautiful outdoor recreation for all ages.
As we mentioned, Raleigh has a variety of free and cheap attractions such as museums, historic sites, outdoor spaces and markets. A must-do is to check out the historic City Market, a district lined in cobblestone with open-air shopping and local dining. There’s plenty of other shopping districts lined with unique boutiques, luxury brands, local goods and vintage. Pre-COVID, the nightlife scene in Raleigh was buzzing, whether that buzz is from the local crafts and cocktails or the bass from the club as you danced away.
One of the unique outdoor activities N.C. has to offer is the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST), otherwise known as “N.C.’s hiking trail,” which stretches more than 1,000 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks. This trail is so long it hits many of the major cities in N.C. including Raleigh. The MST connects to Raleigh by the Neuse River Greenway Trail, which is a 30-mile paved, uninterrupted trail, named one of America’s most scenic bike trails. So, if you’re looking for some outdoor activities, Raleigh has plenty to offer
Last but not least, the food of Raleigh. The food scene in Raleigh has seen a recent boom with award-winning chefs opening doors and paving the way for others to succeed. N.C. has southern influence and being so barbecue is a big deal here. If you’re a fan of BBQ, you’ll know that every region, state and county will have a different way of eating BBQ. Raleigh is no different. N.C. BBQ comes in two forms: Eastern or Lexington style, but Raleigh plays on both combinations and beyond. Check out some of the best BBQ spots in Raleigh.
With that being said, Raleigh looks like a solid place to us!
Things to do in Raleigh: U.S. News 10 Best Things, 30 Can’t-Miss Things, 164 Free and Cheap Things
For some, Durham is known for being the home of the Blue Devils, a.k.a. Duke University, but to others, the city is also known as the “City of Medicine” for being a major hub of medical or healthcare-related companies.
In the 1950s, the Research Triangle Park (RTP) was created that incorporates three surrounding cities – Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill – and its universities to become one of the countries most prominent research and development parks. Since Duke University was founded in 1924, it’s been a major contributor to the economy and medical innovative growth for the healthcare industry. With world-class medical facilities, Durham has become a top destination for healthcare workers of all sectors across the country.
Besides becoming a beast in the healthcare industry, Durham also provides visitors the chance to feast in the bustling culinary scene. Food and drinks are the life and blood, or bread and butter, of this ever-changing city. The New York Post gave Durham “the foodie of the South” title for its exceptional food selections ranging from James Beard Award-Winning chefs to N.C. BBQ, wood-fired pizzas to critically acclaimed international foods. Come hungry because you will be in a foodie’s paradise!
With such a booming city, there’s plenty of other opportunities to partake in fun! Whatever your vibe may be, whether that’s shopping, performing arts, history or just a night out on the town, whatever you seek, Durham provides. With three world-class universities, communities are always transforming with the times and that’s obvious by taking a walk through the streets.
The only thing missing from Durham is YOU!
Things to do in Durham: Planetware 12 Top-Rated Attractions, 132 Free or Cheap Things, Trip 101’s City of Peace and Culture, 21 Best Things in Durham
The state’s main port nestled along Cape Fear River, Wilmington is N.C.’s vibrant coastal city famous for its island beaches, Riverwalk and delicious Southern coastal cuisine.
The island beaches of Wilmington truly are spectacular and what makes this city unique. Wrightsville Beach sits in the northeastern part of Wilmington, while Carolina Beach and Kure Beach hang a few miles south. Sitting in between the beaches is Masonboro Island, an 8.5-mile long coastal preservation island only accessible by boat (or kayak) and is untouched by man. Masonboro Island is a treat to Wilmington and a wonderful place if you’re looking for peace. There’s plenty of other great outdoor activities to choose from like golfing, biking, watersports and more!
A wonderful perk of staying in Wilmington is the plethora of fresh ingredients used in the cuisine, whether be from the farm or the sea. You get the delicious coastal cuisine with a Southern flair, but you also get the delicious beach grub shacks or Riverwalk diners. The city also has a great craft brewery and cocktail scene, including an Ale Trail featuring beach breweries!
While you’re in Wilmington, you must check out the Riverwalk nearby downtown. The Riverwalk is roughly 2 miles lined with a variety of local shops, 40 restaurants and you’ll even get a glimpse of the WWII Battleship North Carolina across the way. Once you’re done here you can head into Downtown Wilmington to find more delicious foods, attractions, nightlife and shopping.
Will you go to Wilmington?
Things to do in Wilmington: U.S. News 7 Best Things, 30 Fun Things to do, Travel & Leisure’s 18 Things to Do
Located at foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is best known for its historic architecture, beautiful natural landscapes and beer.
The city is surrounded by rolling hills and the highest peaks in the Appalachian, so Asheville is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream destination! Remember the Mountain-to-Sea Trail we mentioned earlier? The trail encompasses Asheville and will take you to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is roughly 40 miles West (depending on the trail destination). If hiking is too strenuous, there’s always ziplining, rafting, paddleboarding, horseback riding, or fishing! French Broad River is a great way to partake in some summertime water sports too.
The culinary scene in Asheville is up and coming, they’ve even given themselves a title of “Foodtopia,” which is a celebration of the community of culinary creatives/chefs. A different but fun experience visitors who love food participate in is wild foraging adventures where you pick your dinner. The beer scene in Asheville is second-to-none being the only city in the country with more breweries per capita and nicknamed Beer City USA in 2009. You can always count on Asheville restaurants providing fresh local ingredients, whether that’s produce, meat or fish.
One of the biggest attractions to Asheville is the Biltmore Estate. Biltmore Estate is George Vanderbilt’s 250-room castle, which was built in the 1890s and is the largest home in America, that boasts French Renaissance architecture and is a total of 8,000 acres. You can explore the gardens, stay the night, have dinner or head to Antler Hill Village for wine tasting. Biltmore is something uniquely Asheville.
Asheville seems like a perfect destination for your next travel assignment!
Things to do in Asheville: U.S. News Best Things, TimeOut’s 13 Best Things, 50 Best Things from Locals
North Carolina is one of the original Thirteen Colonies meaning this state has a rich history dating back to when Great Britain ruled. Since then, the state has grown to become a major competitor not only in sports but in healthcare, education, job growth and opportunity. We weren’t able to cover every city in N.C., and we only scratched the surface of what each city has to offer. The next step is to find a job opportunity from our job board and discover the rest for yourself!
Allow KPG Healthcare to help get you to North Carolina for your next travel assignment!
Check our job boards for all opportunities here: