Oak Ridge, Tennessee is a hidden gem for travelers seeking a unique and enriching experience. From exploring the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to indulging in delicious local cuisine, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast looking to hike in Haw Ridge Park or a food lover eager to try the famous barbecue at Big Ed’s, Oak Ridge has it all. In this article, we will explore the top things to do, outdoor activities, local cuisine, and shopping and entertainment options in Oak Ridge.
- Explore the Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Visit the American Museum of Science and Energy
- Try the famous barbecue at Big Ed’s
- Browse unique shops at Jackson Square
- Catch a movie at the historic Grove Theater
Things to Do in Oak Ridge
Explore the Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Oak Ridge National Laboratory is one of the best free things to do in Oak Ridge. As a research facility, it offers a unique opportunity to learn about cutting-edge scientific advancements in a variety of fields. The laboratory is home to the world’s most powerful supercomputer, which is used for groundbreaking research and simulations. Visitors can take a guided tour of the facility and see firsthand the incredible work being done here. It’s a fascinating experience that shouldn’t be missed during your visit to Oak Ridge.
Visit the American Museum of Science and Energy
After exploring the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, we decided to visit the American Museum of Science and Energy. It was a fascinating experience learning about the history and science behind Oak Ridge’s role in the Manhattan Project. The museum showcases interactive exhibits and displays that explain the complex scientific concepts in a fun and engaging way. One of the highlights of our visit was the Energy Adventure exhibit, where we learned about different sources of energy and their impact on the environment. The museum also has a gift shop where we bought souvenirs to remember our visit. Overall, there are so many things to do in Oak Ridge, and the American Museum of Science and Energy is definitely a must-visit.
Take a stroll in the Oak Ridge Greenways
When you visit Oak Ridge, don’t miss the opportunity to take a leisurely stroll in the Oak Ridge Greenways. These scenic trails wind through beautiful parks and green spaces, providing a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You can admire the natural beauty of the area and connect with nature as you walk along the paths. The Greenways are also a great place to spot local wildlife and enjoy a picnic with friends and family. So grab your walking shoes and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the Oak Ridge Greenways.
Outdoor Activities in Oak Ridge
Go hiking in Haw Ridge Park
When it comes to outdoor activities in Oak Ridge, one of the must-visit destinations is Haw Ridge Park. This beautiful park offers a variety of trails that cater to all skill levels, from easy walks to challenging hikes. The park is known for its stunning natural beauty, with lush forests, scenic overlooks, and even a peaceful lake. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or just looking for a fun way to stay active, Haw Ridge Park is the perfect place to enjoy the great outdoors. After a challenging hike, you can take a break and have a picnic at one of the designated areas. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking views!
Enjoy boating and fishing in Melton Hill Lake
Melton Hill Lake is a perfect destination for boating and fishing enthusiasts. With its calm waters and picturesque surroundings, it provides an ideal setting for a day of relaxation and outdoor fun. Whether you’re an experienced angler or just starting out, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to catch a variety of fish species, including bass, catfish, and crappie. If you prefer boating, you can rent a boat or bring your own and explore the lake’s many coves and inlets. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and enjoy a meal by the water. Visit Oak Ridge, Tennessee and experience the beauty of Melton Hill Lake for yourself!
Play a round of golf at Centennial Golf Course
After enjoying the outdoor activities in Oak Ridge, we like to relax and play a round of golf at the Centennial Golf Course. The course offers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and a challenging yet enjoyable experience for golf enthusiasts. We can tee off with friends or family and spend a leisurely afternoon on the well-maintained greens. The course also has a pro shop where we can find all the necessary equipment and accessories. We can end the day with a refreshing drink and delicious meal at the onsite restaurant, overlooking the scenic landscape. It’s the perfect way to unwind and enjoy some friendly competition in Oak Ridge.
|18-hole championship course
|Equipment and accessories
|Refreshing drinks and delicious meals
- Market Square is a vibrant shopping and entertainment district in Oak Ridge.
We love spending time at Centennial Golf Course. It’s a great way to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Local Cuisine in Oak Ridge
Try the famous barbecue at Big Ed’s
When it comes to barbecue, Big Ed’s is the place to be. They serve up mouthwatering ribs, pulled pork, and brisket that will leave you craving for more. The smoky flavors and tender meat make every bite a delight. Not only is the food amazing, but the atmosphere at Big Ed’s is also cozy and welcoming. It’s the perfect spot to gather with friends and family for a delicious meal. Don’t miss out on this local favorite when you’re in Oak Ridge.
Indulge in Southern comfort food at The Soup Kitchen
After enjoying a satisfying meal at The Soup Kitchen, we highly recommend taking a leisurely stroll through the charming streets of Oak Ridge. With its tree-lined sidewalks and friendly atmosphere, Oak Ridge is the perfect place to unwind and explore. If you’re up for some outdoor adventure, there are plenty of options nearby. Haw Ridge Park offers a variety of hiking trails, including short half-mile hikes that are perfect for beginners or those looking for a quick nature escape. The park is also home to beautiful views of the Clinch River and opportunities for birdwatching. So grab your walking shoes and get ready to discover the natural beauty of Oak Ridge!
Savor delicious seafood at Dean’s Restaurant and Bakery
After enjoying a satisfying meal of delicious seafood at Dean’s Restaurant and Bakery, we decided to explore other local dining options. Oak Ridge offers a variety of culinary experiences, with most popular ones including the famous barbecue at Big Ed’s, the Southern comfort food at The Soup Kitchen, and the delightful seafood at Dean’s Restaurant and Bakery. We were impressed by the fresh flavors and friendly atmosphere at Dean’s, but we couldn’t resist trying out some of the other local favorites as well. Our taste buds were in for a treat as we indulged in the mouthwatering dishes that Oak Ridge has to offer.
Shopping and Entertainment in Oak Ridge
Browse unique shops at Jackson Square
After exploring the natural wonders of Oak Ridge, take some time to browse the unique shops at Jackson Square. This charming area offers a variety of boutique stores and local artisans, where you can find one-of-a-kind treasures. From handmade jewelry to vintage clothing, there’s something for everyone. Don’t forget to stop by the Oak Ridge Farmers Market to sample fresh produce and homemade goodies. Whether you’re looking for a souvenir or just want to indulge in some retail therapy, Jackson Square is the perfect place to do it. So grab your friends and get ready for a fun day of shopping!
Catch a movie at the historic Grove Theater
When we’re in Oak Ridge, one of our favorite things to do is catch a movie at the historic Grove Theater. It’s a charming old theater that has been beautifully restored. The theater offers a variety of movies, from the latest blockbusters to classic films. The seats are comfortable, and the popcorn is always fresh. We love the nostalgic atmosphere of the theater, and it’s a great way to relax and enjoy a film with friends or family.
|The Lion King
We always make sure to check the theater’s schedule to see what movies are playing and plan our visit accordingly. It’s a fun and affordable activity that we highly recommend to anyone visiting Oak Ridge.
Enjoy live music at the Oak Ridge Playhouse
After enjoying the live music at the Oak Ridge Playhouse, we highly recommend exploring other Tennessee attractions. Tennessee is known for its vibrant culture and picturesque landscapes. From the bustling streets of Nashville to the tranquil towns of Columbia and Murfreesboro, there is something for everyone to explore. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Tennessee.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best time to visit Oak Ridge?
The best time to visit Oak Ridge is during the spring and fall seasons when the weather is mild and pleasant.
How do I get to Oak Ridge?
Oak Ridge is easily accessible by car via Interstate 40 or by flying into Knoxville’s McGhee Tyson Airport and taking a short drive.
Are there any accommodations in Oak Ridge?
Yes, Oak Ridge offers a range of accommodations including hotels, motels, and vacation rentals to suit every budget.
What are some popular hiking trails in Oak Ridge?
Some popular hiking trails in Oak Ridge include the Haw Ridge Park Trail, North Boundary Trail, and the Cedar Hill Greenway.
Are there any historical sites to visit in Oak Ridge?
Yes, Oak Ridge is home to several historical sites including the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the American Museum of Science and Energy, and the Oak Ridge History Museum.
What are some must-try dishes in Oak Ridge?
Some must-try dishes in Oak Ridge include the famous barbecue at Big Ed’s, Southern comfort food at The Soup Kitchen, and delicious seafood at Dean’s Restaurant and Bakery.