Oak Ridge National Laboratory is located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Nestled in the Tennessee Valley and surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains and beautiful lakes, Oak Ridge offers a multitude of recreational and leisure opportunities specific to its gorgeous geographical location.
Not only is Oak Ridge scenic, it also hosts a wide range of events and diverse cultural options. Additionally, there are a variety of historical sites to explore in the East Tennessee area.
On the more practical side, Oak Ridge is only 30 minutes from McGhee Tyson Airport, which connects to most major cities. Another benefit of living in Tennessee is the lack of state income tax. The sales tax (deductible in Tennessee) is 9.25% in Knoxville (8.25% on food). Local sales tax in Oak Ridge is 9.75%.
Oak Ridge’s award-winning schools and quality healthcare facilities make it an excellent, safe place for all individuals to thrive. And the same can be said about Knoxville’s health care and school system. While the location may not be the determining factor in your decision, this information may help make your decision a little easier.
East Tennessee is home to many performing arts organizations, sport teams, and annual festivals. Check out Knoxville News Sentinel, Knoxville Mercury and Oak Ridge Today to find a fun, exciting event to attend in the near future.
Knoxville and Oak Ridge both hold multiple festivals throughout the year ranging from the Secret City Festival to the International Biscuit Festival to the Big Ears Festival (which was so popular and successful that it was featured in national news)!
The East Tennessee area boasts several symphonies and an opera, as well as a host of theatres and other live music and performance venues. The University of Tennessee’s famous Clarence Brown Theatre and the historic Tennessee Theatrebring professional productions in both drama and music to the local stage, and a number of smaller theatres, such as the Oak Ridge Playhouse, Laurel Theater, Bijou Theater, Carpetbag Theatre and the Tennessee Stage Company, add to the terrific mix of entertainment options.
From the Tennessee Smokies minor league baseball team to the excitement provided by the Knoxville Ice Bears hockey team, sports fans can always find some action. The University of Tennessee offers a tremendous variety of top-flight men’s and women’s Southeastern Conference sports, featuring world-class athletes, from Olympic gold medalists to stars on the verge of global fame.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Evidence suggests that as long as 15,000 years ago Native Americans might have inhabited the Great Smoky Mountains. The highly-civilized Cherokee Indians were hunting, farming and living in the foothills when the first Europeans arrived in the late 1500s. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the first of its kind, was authorized in 1934 and dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940.
In 1786, James White established the community that would later become Knoxville. In 1791, the community was named Knoxville. Blount College was created in 1794 and is known today as the University of Tennessee. Knoxville has many historical sites and museums for history enthusiasts to visit.
The construction of Oak Ridge started in 1942 as part of the Manhattan Project. Today, sections of Oak Ridge are part of the Manhattan Project National Park. Additionally, the American Museum of Science and Energy discusses both Oak Ridge’s history and scientific endeavors.
The Great Smoky Mountains in the east and the Cumberland Plateau in the west form the Tennessee Valley and shelter it from extreme weather conditions, providing an annual average temperature of 56 degrees. The Knoxville-Oak Ridge area experiences four distinct seasons with vivid colors in the spring and fall and generally mild temperatures year-round.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the first of its kind, was authorized in 1934 and dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1940. Since then, the park has grown to 510,030 acres of beautiful ridges, hollows, river gorges, and coves that offer a wide variety of outdoor activities including hiking, camping, fishing and skiing. With more than 8.45 million visitors annually, the Smokies are the most visited national park, and are only a 45-minute drive from Knoxville.
The areas in and around East Tennessee have some of the most beautiful scenery in all of North America. We are surrounded by mountains to the east and west, so you frequently get to enjoy the breathtaking views as the sun rises from behind the North Carolina mountains. Get out and soak up the beauty at local arboretums, Oak Ridge parks, Clinton parks, Lenoir City parks, Knoxville parks and greenways and Ijams Nature Center.
A marvelous surprise is in store for newcomers to the Tennessee Valley! Tennessee provides a wide range of native artistic talent and the opportunity to enjoy the many and varied cultural activities offered in the Knoxville and Oak Ridge area. The cultural atmosphere is characterized by high levels of professional achievement, excellent facilities, great variety, community support, and pride in the performing arts.
Throughout the area you’ll find specialty shops and super-stores, open-air markets and intimate galleries, up-to-the-minute fashions and vintage charm. Enjoy the selections offered by our local merchants, or choose from a variety of national chains you know and love. From eclectic boutiques to elegant antique stores to a myriad of avant-garde and unique shops, you’re sure to find a store that meets your style. If you are unsure where to start, Jackson Square in Oak Ridge and Market Square in Knoxville are both great places to stroll and shop. If you are craving fresh produce, check out the variety of local Farmers’ Markets.
Want in on the action? From basketball courts to tennis courts, swimming pools to pool tables, this area has the sports action you’re craving. Fly a Frisbee or roll a bowling ball. Swing a bat, ride a bike or throw a fastball. Round up a team and get out and play. Miles of area greenways also offer many options for walkers, runners and bicyclists.
The Knoxville and Oak Ridge area are driving distance from multiple, unique locations such as national parks, major cities and historical locations. Drive about an hour and play at the theme park Dollywood or visit Nashville to learn about Tennessee’s capital and explore the music scene!
Tennessee is known as the “Volunteer State,” so get in the volunteering spirit! Stay involved with causes you care about and connect with the community on a deeper level. Use the following websites to jumpstart your search for a volunteer opportunity: Volunteer Knoxville, Oak Ridge Volunteer Opportunities, Volunteer Match and Great Nonprofits.