Looking for your next travel nursing destination? If you enjoy the outdoors then you should definitely consider Minnesota. Known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" and that's literally true with 11,842 lakes and a Lake Superior shoreline, Minnesota is an outdoor paradise. But there's lots of culture too.
Sixty percent of Minnesota's population live in the Twin Cities metro area and they host events ranging from the St. Paul Winter Carnival that features giant ice sculptures, an 'Ice Palace' and parades, to the summer's Great Minnesota Get Together (state fair).
On the eastern edge of the Twin Cities area, the St. Croix Valley is just too gorgeous to be called metropolitan, despite being a half-hour or less from downtown St. Paul. The river itself is stunning, with jagged, pine-studded rocks at the northern end, and slow, broad waters further south, before it joins with the Mississippi River.
To Minnesotans, the "North Shore" means Lake Superior, in all its majesty, its shining waters stretching to the horizon. The North Shore is where Superior's craggy shoreline meets Minnesota's forested wilderness. Miniature mountains blanketed by pine and birch stand watch along the shore. Wilderness streams plunge over waterfalls. Harbor towns rest here and there along the shore.
The North Shore Drive, Hwy. 61, runs for about 150 miles from Duluth to Canada. Along the way is some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere. Seven state parks show off the natural treasures of the shoreline, including Gooseberry Falls, the Split Rock Lighthouse, and the state's highest waterfalls at Tettegouche and Grand Portage state parks (list state parks and waterfalls).
Each of the parks have beautiful hiking trails, and the Superior Hiking Trail winds along the wooded ridgeline for 200 miles. Lodge-to-lodge hiking treks can be arranged. For those who want to get out on the big lake itself, there's charter fishing, sailing, kayaking, and excursion boats.
The vibrant Minneapolis and St. Paul areas are the entertainment and cultural center of the upper Midwest. The scenery of this attractive metropolis includes contemporary skylines, historic architecture, and greenways of parks, lakes and the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers.
The Twin Cities is noted for its array of intriguing theater, fine orchestras, art museums and a sculpture garden. There's always a full calendar of visiting performers and Broadway touring shows, as well.
Interesting museums, professional sports, riverboats and a variety of nightspots add to the appeal of the Twin Cities. Along the Mississippi riverfront in Minneapolis are historic mills, the 1883 Stone Arch Bridge, and scenic walkways. Downtown St. Paul is home to a creative children's museum, top-notch science museum and landmark history center (list science & nature centers, tours and excursions).
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