Things to do in Oak Ridge
Oak Ridge, Tennessee is a city with a rich history and a variety of attractions for visitors to explore. Known as the “Secret City,” Oak Ridge played a critical role in the Manhattan Project during World War II and continues to be a hub for scientific research and innovation today. Here are some of the top things to do in Oak Ridge:
Visit the American Museum of Science and Energy
The American Museum of Science and Energy is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the history of Oak Ridge and the Manhattan Project. The museum features a variety of exhibits that showcase the city’s role in the development of nuclear energy and other scientific innovations.
Explore the Oak Ridge National Laboratory
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory is one of the largest science and energy research facilities in the world. Visitors can take a guided tour of the facility, which includes stops at the High Flux Isotope Reactor and the Spallation Neutron Source.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Oak Ridge is home to several beautiful parks and natural areas that offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. The Haw Ridge Park features over 30 miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as a boat launch and fishing pier. The Melton Lake Park is another popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering picnic areas, a beach, and a variety of water sports.
Visit Historic Sites
In addition to its role in scientific research, Oak Ridge has a rich history dating back to the early 1800s. Visitors can explore historic sites such as the Alexander Inn, which was built in 1943 to house scientists working on the Manhattan Project, or the Oak Ridge Playhouse, which is one of the oldest community theaters in Tennessee.
Attend a Festival or Event
Oak Ridge is home to a variety of festivals and events throughout the year. The Secret City Festival, held each June, features live music, arts and crafts vendors, and a variety of food and beverage options. Other events to look out for include the Lavender Festival, the Oak Ridge Farmers Market, and the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra concerts.
Shop and Dine in Oak Ridge
Oak Ridge offers a variety of shopping and dining options for visitors to explore. The Oak Ridge Turnpike features several local restaurants that serve up delicious Southern cuisine, as well as international favorites such as Thai and Italian. The area also features several shopping centers and specialty stores, including the Oak Ridge Mall and the Jackson Square shopping district.
Overall, Oak Ridge offers a unique blend of history, science, and natural beauty that makes it a great destination for visitors. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s scientific past, enjoying the great outdoors, or simply relaxing and enjoying the local cuisine, there’s something for everyone in Oak Ridge.
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