Locums for a Small World Blog

6 striking U.S. Virgin Islands locales and experiences you’ll want to escape to this winter

Posted by Everett Fitch

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We’re sure you’re well aware that winter is coming in the Northern Hemisphere. So it’s either time to start throwing on those layers and prepare for the cold season ahead, or if you’re more inclined, you can skip the winter clothes shopping and take a locum tenens assignment in the U.S. Virgin Islands where the warm days never go out of style.

Now we’re not diminishing winter by any means. In fact, we love winter. Just check out these top ski resorts in the Rockies we wrote about recently. If that doesn’t get you excited as ever about the upcoming ski season then we don’t know what will. However we do know there are plenty of people out there who’d opt for year-round, sunny Caribbean weather instead. The following list of top locales and experiences in the U.S. Virgin Islands is for anyone who’d rather be sipping a piña colada on the beach than carving the slopes in the Rockies.

Magens Bay – St. Thomas

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We’ve written about Magens Bay more than once. And it’s for good reason. The whole area is magical. It tops many lists as far as beautiful beaches the world over are concerned. The waters are calm, too, which means the bay is perfect for tons of sea-based activities.

Great pastime: To top your Magens Bay trip off we suggest you rent a kayak and venture out into the serene waters where you can catch sublime seascapes and landscapes from not too far offshore.

Secret Harbor Beach – St. Thomas

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Just as poetically beautiful as Magens Bay but with less crowds is Secret Harbor Beach. Maybe because it’s a secret? Nah. It’s not as busy as Magens but it’s definitely no secret. You can’t keep locals and tourists away from scenes with humming Caribbean waves and rolling green hills for too long.

Great pastime: Ask around town and most people will tell you to head to Secret Harbor on a clear day and plan an afternoon of snorkeling. Diving is superb along these rocky coastlines.

Coki Point – St. Thomas

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You’re catching on that tropical beaches and bays will permeate most of this list, aren’t you? You’d be right in that inference. Point is that’s what makes up these islands. They’re diverse but only insomuch that an impeccable tropical island can be diverse. And Coki Point is as eclectic as it gets. Much like Secret Harbor this small yet lush bit of coastline is fantastic for snorkeling. Plus there are plenty of activities and booths around as well as food trucks to keep you entertained and well fed on this stretch of coast for an entire day.

Great pastime: Rent a jet ski on a less crowded day. You’ll have a blast ripping through those waves unencumbered all while admiring the beauty that is Coki Point.

Charlotte Amalie – St. Thomas

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Charlotte Amalie is THE iconic town to visit in the Caribbean. As a matter of fact it’s the capital and largest city of the U.S. Virgin Islands, too. It’s much of what you’d expect: there are colorful, colonial buildings, old cobblestone streets and tons of history in every step. (Visit all three quarters in Charlotte Amalie for a glimpse into the origins of this bustling capital: Kongens Quarter, Dronningens Quarter, and Kronpindsens Quarter.) But that’s part of why you want to visit, right? Not only for the tropical breezes but for the magic of the Caribbean ambience, too.

Great pastime: If you truly want those stupefying views of St. Thomas then take the Skyride to Paradise Point. It will cost you $21.00 for an adult pass and $10.50 for a kid’s pass. The passes include unlimited rides all day to the 700-foot tall observation point where you can see lovely panoramic views of Charlotte Amalie and then some.

Annaly Bay Tide Pools – St. Croix

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The Annaly Bay Tide Pools are a marvelous place to cool off in such a tropical climate. But getting there is somewhat difficult. Many sites recommend that you either hire a trained guide or, if you’d like to navigate the trail yourself, to simply be extra cautious of the terrain (it’s a five-mile round-trip hike). Don’t let that deter you. Just check the sea and wind conditions before you embark. (Please keep in mind you can go by four-wheel drive vehicle, too.)

Great pastime: You guessed it, hiking to the Annaly Bay Tide Pools. The adventure itself is in getting to the tide pools. Along the way you’ll encounter all the vibrant rainforest scenery that St. Croix is known for. The relaxation and pure euphoric state comes once you dip into the pools.

Virgin Islands National Park – St. John

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Did you know that Virgin Islands National Park covers roughly 60% of St. John? The park itself holds many natural treasures. There’s Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay and Hassel Island that are not to be missed. Plus you’ll find Danish plantation ruins wrapped up in quintessential rainforest landscape throughout the park.

Great pastime: Go for a hike, any hike. Truly, the best thing to do on St. John is to immerse yourself in nature. The park is filled with 22 nature trails, everything from an hour-long stroll to a full-day hike. Here’s a list of hikes you can take.

There you have it. The U.S. Virgin Islands are replete with breathtaking views. And we’ve only provided an iota of possible experiences. The rest is up to you. Find a physician opportunity in the U.S. Caribbean by clicking the orange button below then fill up your itinerary with all these tropical adventures and more. If you have your own set of favorite locales then please feel free to mention them in the comments below. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Search for current physician openings in the U.S. Caribbean

 

Topics: St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix, Secret Harbor Beach, Virgin Islands National Park, U.S. Virgin Islands, Magens Bay, Coki Point, Charlotte Amalie, Annaly Bay Tide Pools

Global Medical's top 5 regions for locum tenens doctors to explore in 2015

Posted by Everett Fitch

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We’re all explorers in one way or another. And we all have a great story or two to tell from our travels. We bet there are places you’ve recommended to friends and family and they’ve gone to these same places simply because of the passion present in your travel-borne stories. When you recount your epic tales with such force others can’t help
but journey to the same soil. We'd like you to think of the below as a collection of brilliant travel recommendations from a friend.

Now we know it’s not an exact science when it comes to choosing top destinations. In fact, it’s not even a science; it’s more of a feeling. Over the years, we’ve heard stories recounted by doctors who've returned from locum tenens assignments near and far. We’ve also done a bit of traveling ourselves. It’s about time we turn these quiet observations into a loud manifesto for all to hear.

We've compiled a list of beautiful regions from around the world that deserve notice (based on first- and secondhand experience). And you deserve to see them—if not today, if not tomorrow, then someday. Without further ado, we give you our list of top 5 regions to explore in 2015:


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#1 Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada

Should we lead with something that has more bravado, more grandiosity? Believe us, Vancouver Island has just as much verve as any other island—perhaps more. For starters, it has one of the most diverse ecosystems the world over: we’re talking marshes, meadows, rainforests, rivers, bogs and beaches (take a stroll along Mystic Beach in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park at sunset and you’ll set a personal record for the highest number of awe-induced exclamations in a given day). There are a slew of towns and wineries scattered throughout this Pacific Island, ripe for exploring, too.

How to make it the ultimate trip:

Head to Hot Springs Cove in Maquinna Provincial Park for a world-famous soak—it’s worth it. The springs fall down a cliffside into dozens of coastal pools. And the ocean water mixes in to make the perfect temperature. Many tour companies provide day trips to Hot Springs Cove paired with other mini-trips like whale-watching and hiking.


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#2 The Daintree Rainforest in Queensland, Australia

Welcome to the world’s oldest tropical rainforest. Over 135 million years of rainfall has shaped this explosively fertile land. Life moves at an infinite pace here and you can feel how ancient it is with every step. Some noteworthy facts: “The Daintree Rainforest contains 30% of frog, marsupial and reptile species in Australia, and 65% of Australia’s bat and butterfly species. 20% of bird species in the country can be found in this area. And it all lives in an area that takes up only 0.2% of the landmass of Australia.” This cross-section of land is truly a scientific and natural marvel.

How to make it the ultimate trip:

If you really want to appreciate the Daintree Rainforest (really breathe it all in), take a tour with the some of the original inhabitants, the Kuku Yalanji people. They’ll show you around their home, Mossman Gorge, and you’ll learn how they’ve survived for centuries off the land. Take a Dreamtime Gorge Walk. If you’re lucky you might get to take a dip in the crystal-clear Mossman River.


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#3 Marlborough Region on the South Island of New Zealand

There’s nothing so beautiful as the surrealism of the Marlborough Region. You’ll be held captive by its sharp elegance for years. Blenheim is a must if you’re a wine enthusiast. Havelock is a must if you’re a seafood lover (hint: dive at the opportunity to try green-lipped mussels). And D’Urville Island is a must if you’re a lover of all-things outdoors—you’ll see all sorts of birds, plus it’s a great jumping-off point to visit Marlborough Sounds.

How to make it the ultimate trip:

Take a day-trip in Queen Charlotte Sound. You can cruise across the almost see-through waters and spot marine life. Then jump ship, tramp the eponymous Track and catch ridgeline views of the Sound. This way you get the best of both land and sea. Choose from a one-hour trip all the way up to full-day cruise.


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#4 Yellowstone National Park by way of Wyoming, Idaho or Montana

Home to half the world’s geysers and some of the biggest land mammals (think grizzlies and bison), no national park screams the American West as loud as Yellowstone. It may seem chaotic but trust us, it’s pure harmony. Everything in Yellowstone is broken and rebuilt day and night—it’s a wonderful, kaleidoscopic ecosystem. Its stunning natural grittiness and bold beauty is unparalleled. That’s why it has so many tourists knocking at its door (more than three million each year). It’s a good thing we shaped up and gave this magnificent land national-park status. In fact, Yellowstone was the first national park in the US, it was signed into law clear back in 1872.

How to make it the ultimate trip:

We’ve all heard of Old Faithful. Don’t get us wrong, it’s great and you shouldn’t miss it, but you’ll probably be vying with hundreds of other tourists for a front-row seat—especially at peak times. If you want commanding views of Yellowstone, hike up Mount Washburn (it's a 3.2 mile/5.1 kilometer-hike one way). You’ll see all sorts of wildlife, forest, geysers, meadows and the forever-sprawl of Hayden Valley.


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#5 The magnificent three (St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix, USVI)

Hmm, what to say, what to say…The year-round 80° F (27° C) weather should be enough to persuade almost anyone to spend a few days on a US Virgin Island. If not that, then maybe the glassy, blue waters and the sun-stained beaches will. What we’re getting at is these islands are the very definition of picture-perfect. St. Thomas offers 32 square miles (82.8 square kilometers) of sailing, snorkeling and sightseeing. St. John is 60% Virgin Islands National Park and 100% ideal Caribbean getaway. And St. Croix is chock-full of culture (Spanish, English, Dutch, French, Danish, and American). Its festival and arts scene is on point, too. Visit Christiansted and Frederiksted for a unique glimpse of Danish-Caribbean history.

How to make it the ultimate trip:

Three words: Magens Bay Beach. It's on St. Thomas. If you’ve been to any US Virgin Island, you’ve most likely heard of this idyllic stretch. It’s lauded as the most photogenic (and swimmable) shore in all the Virgin Islands. There’s more to it than sunbathing and swimming though. Hike the Magens Bay Nature Trail and catch views like you’ve never seen. You’re also welcome to rent a kayak, paddle boat or sail boat and live it up under the Caribbean sun.

In the everlasting words of Kerouac, "There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars." And in our words, no matter what, this new year, be sure you take time to create new experiences. Be sure you take time to tell new stories. Be sure you take time to explore anew.

Happy 2015 travels!


Topics: Yellowstone National Park, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Queensland, Daintree Rainforest, Southland, USVI, St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix, Australia, New Zealand

Locums for a Small World Blog

Twice a month, our inquisitive locum tenens community asks us to tackle topics ranging from cuisine and culture to recreation and entertainment. We also include great storytelling from our doctors. Have a topic you’d like to read about? Let us know.

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