Many medical professionals have similar reasoning when asked why they chose their career path: I want to help people, I want to bring people comfort, I want to make people feel better. Noble reasoning, but why should we deny ourselves simple pleasures as we fulfill our desire to do good?

One of the greatest pleasures in life is loving where you live, and you can make it happen with a career as a traveling healthcare professional through LRS Healthcare. But is there truly one place where you can both live and work to your greatest potential?

The answer may lie in California: the land of fun in the sun. While tourism ads paint a picture of endless movie sets, golf courses and beaches, that’s only a small portion of the myriad of activities that may pique your interest. It seems like the only thing California doesn’t have to offer is Nurse Licensure Compact participation, but don’t worry, LRS offers a Licensure Reimbursement program so you can update all your certifications at no cost to you. Whether you’re cruising the Pacific Coast Highway or shredding the slopes, Cali’s got something for everyone. Here are some highlights from a few of our favorite cities to show you the state’s not all bare feet and bro tanks.

For the Culture Vulture

Some of the most vibrant, culturally diverse cities in the United States are found in California. San Francisco, for example, is home to one of the nation’s oldest and most historic Chinatowns. Take a picture by the Dragon Gate, grab some dim sum or hit up the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory to see how the Chinese-American treat is made. Don’t forget to attend the Chinese New Year Parade—the annual spectacle is a tradition to behold.

Chinese New Year Dragons

If Chinatown seems old hat, check out Koreatown! LA is home to a K-town that’s rich in shopping, spas and delicious Korean BBQ. Besides boasting the best karaoke bars in town, K-town is also home to Aroma Spa & Sports, a Korean spa and fairway where you can practice your swing and pamper yourself at the same time!

Fresno’s Shinzen Friendship Garden is another Cali cultural gem. Visitors can explore walking paths through the garden, which was built to honor Fresno’s sister city of Kochi, Japan, while surrounded by waterfalls, koi ponds and a sprawling bonsai garden. One of the bonsai is nearly 1,000 years old!

For the Outdoorsman

View of YosemiteFresno and Modesto are two perfect cities for the outdoorsy type. Their close proximity to Yosemite National Park means a hiking, camping and fishing getaway doesn’t have to be far from home. Whitewater rafting down the San Joaquin River is a favorite pastime for Modesto residents, but if cold weather sports are more your speed, check out the China Peak Mountain Resort in Fresno for the best slopes around.

If you’re in LA, take a horseback ride by the Hollywood sign for an outdoor adventure that gets you up close and personal with one of the city’s most historic landmarks. Paddleboarding and paddleboard fishing are fun for people who want to test out their sea legs, but biking the boardwalk is just as fun if you’re more land-lover than sea captain.

The Bay Area is a top destination for kayaking and sailing trips, but if you’re looking to kick up the thrill, take on the rope swing at Billy Goat Hill. The view makes it look as if you’re launching yourself straight off a cliff!

For the Animal Lover

Whale watching is a fun activity to try out from SoCal to NorCal, but the Bay area boasts some of the best expeditions on the coast. Whales, dolphins, seals, otters and even sharks are visible for large portions of the year, but the best times to watch for Gray Whales runs from mid-December through April when they’re migrating south.

If you’re more interested in the watch-from-afar version of exotic animal spectatorship, both San Diego and Fresno have zoos that attract visitors from across the country. The Chaffee Zoo in Fresno opened their African Adventure expansion in 2016—a $56-million project home to ostriches, African elephants, lions, zebras and other animals native to the continent.

For the Thrill Seeker

LA is a thrill seeker’s dream home. Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios may have the market cornered on roller coasters, but they’re not the only ones making Californians scream with joy. The SkySlide—a glass-enclosed slide built outside the US Bank Tower—lets daredevils drop from the 70th to the 69th floor with a full view of the city around them while the Santa Monica Pier allows adventurers seaside roller coaster access.

For a wet and wild thrill-seeking experience, head to the largest water park in Central California: Wild Water Adventure Park in Clovis, CA! Just 15 minutes outside Fresno, this water park has a ride called the Sidewinder that drops park goers a full three stories. The Black Hole, another attraction, winds riders through a dark, high-speed tube that keeps you guessing all the way down.

Golden Gate Bridge and a HangliderYou might think rent prices in San Francisco are high, but they’ve got nothing on hang-gliding! And while LRS has both private housing and housing stipend options available to help our travelers with rent, we can’t do anything to slow your racing heart as you fly over the Bay. If roller coasters and 70-story slides just aren’t enough, one of the multiple hang-gliding experiences San Francisco offers is sure to get your blood pumping.

 

For the Historian

Image of AlcatrazAlcatraz is one of our favorite historic spots in San Francisco, and it makes for an especially eerie outing if you opt for the night tour. The entire Bay area is dotted with multiple other historic sites and museums that impress such as the Old United States Mint and the Walt Disney Family Museum.

Fresno and Modesto have their fair share of historic monuments and events as well. The McHenry Museum is a fun stop for people who love local history in Modesto while Fresno’s Tower Theatre for the Performing Arts—a mixed-use theatre and nationally recognized historic site—will celebrate its 80th birthday in December of next year.

One of the most recognizable historic sites in the state is the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but a walk through the lesser-known Venice Canals Walkway makes for an equally interesting stroll—plus it’s a nice escape from the more tourist-laden areas of the city.

Important Notes

To transfer your nursing license to California, you must hold a current and active RN degree in another state, U.S. territory or Canada. You must also have an educational background that will meet California requirements and pass either the State Board Test Pool Examination (SBTPE) or the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN®). For more information, head to the California Board of Registered Nursing website.

Certifications for specific allied health professions come from a number of agencies—either national or via California’s state government. For example, surgical technicians can gain certification though the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting (NBSTSA), where CRT permits are issued through the California Department of Public Health – Radiologic Health Branch (CDPH-RHB).

If this blog has you California dreaming, LRS can help make those dreams your new reality!