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Oak Ridge, Tennessee

Oak Ridge, Tennessee,
with a population of 29,096, is located in Anderson County, TN.

The closest airport to Oak Ridge is McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS).

Oak Ridge was established in 1942.

The nicknames for Oak Ridge are the Atomic City, the Secret City, The Ridge and the City Behind the Fence.

Oak Ridge Hotels >>


oak ridge american museum of science and energy
Exhibit at American Museum of Science & Energy; image courtesy of the museum

Oak Ridge Attractions:

American Museum of Science & Energy opened in 1949 in an old wartime cafeteria. It was originally named the American Museum of Atomic Energy. Its guided tours took visitors through the peaceful uses of atomic energy. The present facility, opened in 1975, continues to provide the general public with energy information. The name of the museum was changed to the American Museum of Science and Energy in 1978. Live demonstrations, videos and other programs are scheduled for the general public daily.

Big South Fork Railway - Sit back and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area while the Big South Fork Railway train makes its way through deep gorges and hugs steep cliff lines to take you back into a bygone era of logging and coal mining. Located approximately 45 minutes from Clinton.

Cherokee Caverns - The caverns began forming about 300 million years ago. Shells and skeletons of ancient marine life mixed with sand, clay, and other material to form the Copper Ridge Dolomite rock.

Children's Museum of Oak Ridge - Enjoy attractive exhibits on Oak Ridge, Appalachia and countries around the world.

International Friendship Bell - The bell recognizes the awful nature of war, yet stresses the value of peace.

Little Ponderosa Zoo and Rescue - The Little Ponderosa Zoo and Rescue has an amazing range of animals. Feathered, slimy, cute, ferocious and everything in between.

Oak Ridge Art Center - The art center's permanent collection is composed of a wide variety of works representing both international and regional artists. Many benefactors have contributed work over the years, enabling the center to acquire an excellent, world-class collection.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory - ORNL is a multiprogram science and technology laboratory managed for the U.S. Department of Energy by UT-Battelle, LLC. Scientists and engineers at ORNL conduct basic and applied research and development to create scientific knowledge and technological solutions that strengthen the nation's leadership in key areas of science; increase the availability of clean, abundant energy; restore and protect the environment; and contribute to national security.

Oak Ridge Playhouse is one of the most thriving community theatres in East Tennessee and one of the oldest in the Southeastern United States. In continuous operation since 1943, the Playhouse offers a diverse season of musicals, comedies, dramas, and children's plays serving audiences from Anderson, Knox, Roane, Blount, Sevier, Morgan, Scott, and Cumberland counties.

Secret City Scenic Excursion Train - Turn the clock back to yesteryear and return to the heyday of passenger railroading. Trains depart from the Heritage Center (formerly K-25) near Oak Ridge, Tennessee, an historic Department of Energy facility where research and development plunged the United States into the Atomic Age. The train winds along Poplar Creek and Highway 327 in the beautiful hills and valleys of East Tennessee. Additional route and facility history is available, as are views of a typical trip. Each round trip travels approximately 14 miles and lasts about one hour. Trains are pulled by 1950's vintage Alco diesel locomotives. Seating is in an air-conditioned coach and a dining car, both restored from the 1940's era of passenger railroading. An open-air concession car has souvenirs and snacks for sale.

Tiger Haven - Tiger Haven is a Sanctuary and Rescue facility for big cats, much like an animal shelter for dogs and house cats. Tiger Haven is a "no kill" shelter for big cats unlike most but not all domestic animal shelters.

UT Arboretum - The UT Arboretum is a project of the University of Tennessee Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center. It generally hosts more than 30,000 visitors annually. This 250 acre research and education facility has over 2,500 native and exotic woody plant specimens that represent 800 species, varieties, and cultivars.

Wind Rock Park - Windrock Park is the largest privately-owned off-road recreation area in the country with over 72,000 acres that include off-highway vehicle trails, hiking and mountain biking trails, a campground, cabins, and various types of events throughout the year! Trails are open 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You will see many picturesque views of East Tennessee’s mountains and valleys and it is the perfect place to see the Buffalo Mountain Wind Farm which is comprised of 18 windmills, spanning 395 feet. Entry onto Windrock Park property requires a land use permit.

Zoo Knoxville has been rated as one of the best zoos in America. It is open year round and offers special programs such as Bedtime with the Beasts. Bedtime with the Beasts is where fun and learning come together. The Bedtime with the Beasts program is offered to any organized group of 15 to 30 people ages six and up. Enjoy private tours, activities, and animal encounters. Bring your sleeping bag and spend the night at the Knoxville Zoo! It happens March through November for $30 per person.

Oak Ridge Festivals:

Lavendar Festival - Lavender Festival is a free annual event in Historic Jackson Square, Oak Ridge. The festival features 150 artisans, live music, local food, informative presentations, a Tennessee wine tasting, children’s activities and more! Lavender Festival celebrates health, herbs and the environment, and invites visitors to Jackson Square, the original townsite of Oak Ridge.

Oak Ridge Dogwood Invitational Regatta two-day event is part of the Dogwood Arts Festival, which will include a Cardboard Boat Race and Events of the Tennessee State Rowing Championships. This event is open to Youth, College. Open, and Master programs. We encourage programs from outside of Tennessee to attend and enjoy our great facility. Held in April.

Secret City Festival is held in June and draws over 20,000 attendees. Record crowds dance to the oldies and croon along to their favorite tunes of yesteryear. During daytime festival hours, crowds gather at the BMX Bicycle Stunt Show, where festival-goers are entertained with flips, jumps, slides, and all kinds of other bicycle stunts. Tennessee State Parks bring their eagle and owl for folks to have their photos made with, and Oscar the Robot flirts, teases, and wins over crowds with his charm and wit. The World War II re-enactment is the largest multi-battle WWII event in the South. There are lots of antiques and collectibles vendors. The Children’s Festival area features a Euro-bungy, Inflatable Slide, Mule and Wagon Rides, Rock Climbing Wall, free Game Zone and more.


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