Oak Ridge, TN

Explore the Secret City

If you’re already making your summer travel plans, be sure to put a visit to Oak Ridge, Tennessee on your itinerary! Renowned for its role in producing the first atomic bomb, Oak Ridge, Tennessee made its mark in history during World War II. As part of the Manhattan Project, the U.S. government secretly built Oak Ridge with the hope of developing technology that would end World War II. 

The Secret City is filled with opportunities for fun. Whether you’re looking to splash around in the water, attend one of the summer festivals, or go back in time at one of the museums, Oak Ridge is the perfect addition to any getaway in East Tennessee. 

Get Out on the Water

With 173 miles of pristine shoreline, Melton Lake is a popular destination for swimming, playing and soaking up the sun. Melton Lake’s serene water is also ideal for paddle boarding, kayaking, boating, waterskiing and fishing. 

Oak Ridge’s beautiful waterways makes the Secret City the ideal location for sporting events. In spring, some of the best rowing teams in the country come to Melton Lake to compete in one of many regattas. The banks of Melton Lake will host another exciting sporting event in June, when cyclists will race by as part of USA Cycling’s National PRO Road Time Trial & Para-Cycling Championships. 


The Nine Lakes Wine Festival kicks off the first weekend in June with over 100 wines and ciders from the East Tennessee area. Held on the banks of Melton Lake, the Wine Festival also offers live music, delicious food and a charity fun run. 

Of all the Oak Ridge festivals held over the summer, the Secret City Festival, which celebrates the city’s rich heritage, is the most famous. Attendees will have the chance to enjoy concerts, entertainment, history exhibits, arts and crafts shows, children’s activities, robotics competitions and mouthwatering food from a variety of vendors. 

The Lavender Festival is a unique annual celebration in Oak Ridge’s Historic Jackson Square. With live music, cooking demonstrations, educational presentations, wine tastings, and more, the Lavender Festival truly has something for everyone.


The American Museum of Science and Energy explores Oak Ridge’s legacy in scientific and technical innovation, national security and environmental restoration from the Manhattan Project through today. The Children’s Museum is a dynamic cultural center that features innovative exhibitions, programs and workshops for all ages. Science, art and history are emphasized in hands-on learning opportunities. Visiting the Oak Ridge History Museum and the Y-12 History Center is like taking a trip back to 1945, where you can experience living and working in America’s Secret City!

Whether you are interested in history, outdoor activities, or attending a festival, Oak Ridge is the Secret City with a big story to tell, so check out these activities and more at www.exploreoakridge.com.