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Service Area Spotlight: Oak Ridge, TN

For the latest Service Area Spotlight from Chaffee Air, we'd like to focus on Oak Ridge, TN. Most people know it as the birthplace of the atomic bomb, the result of the top secret Manhattan Project, during the World War II era. "The Secret City" certainly has a rich history and continues to remain at the forefront of nuclear and advanced technology today.

With a growing economy and diverse population, the city has much to offer visitors and residents alike. Read on for our "spotlight" on some fun things to do in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

1) American Museum of Science and Energy

American Museum of Science and Energy
A must-see on our list is a stop by this museum, especially if you're a science or history buff. The AMSE can be enjoyed in all seasons, rain or shine. According to the museum's website, amse.org, some of the permanent exhibits at the museum include:

  • The Story of Oak Ridge, featuring pictures, documents and artifacts surrounding the creation and role of the city concerning the Manhattan project;
  • Y-12 and National Defense, showcasing models of weapons, clothing and tools, as well as demonstrations of processes and safety features at the Y-12 plant; and
  • Earth's Energy Resources, which features maps, models and other materials used to explore various energy sources found on Earth.

The museum also hosts temporary exhibits and events that change throughout the year. From local and national history to science and energy, there is something for all ages to learn and enjoy at the American Museum of Science and Energy.

2) Oak Ridge Farmers Market

Oak Ridge Farmers Market
If you're in the area on a Saturday morning, a visit to the Oak Ridge Farmers Market is a must. Here, local farmers gather to offer their best products, from fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs to farm-fresh eggs, grass-fed beef, pastured chicken and pork. Local honey producers and those who offer homemade breads and other treats are also on hand, as well as craftspeople and artisans showcasing their handmade soaps, lotions and much more.

The market is open on Saturday mornings and Wednesday afternoons during warm weather in Historic Jackson Square, but it also continues during winter in the St. Mary's School Gym from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can find out more about the winter market by visiting Explore Oak Ridge.

The farmers market is a great place to support the local economy and get to know the farmers and artisans firsthand. And as a bonus, in Oak Ridge it can be enjoyed even in winter!

3) Melton Lake Drive/Melton Lake Park

Melton Lake
Beautiful Melton Lake is a magnet for those who love water and the outdoors. Just cruise down Melton Lake Drive and you're likely to see walkers, joggers, bicyclists and boaters, particularly those of the rowing variety. The Oak Ridge Rowing Association hosts several regattas, or boat races, throughout the year.

When weather permits, you may want to enjoy some water activities. Adventures Outdoors Rentals provides kayaks, paddle boats, stand-up paddle boards and even bicycles for rent right next to Melton Lake Park. The park also boasts a large covered picnic pavilion, a children's playground area and a sand volleyball court, not to mention the wildlife viewing that can be enjoyed on a stroll down the paved walking trail.

After you've enjoyed the park and worked up an appetite, head down the road a minute or two to Calhoun's on Melton Lake for a relaxed dining experience. In warmer weather, enjoy dining al fresco on their lakeside covered porch or open-air patio. Even indoors, every seat in the dining room has a good view of the water.

Chaffee Air is proud to offer heating and cooling service and repair to our neighbors in Oak Ridge. Explore The Secret City for yourself and let us know some of your favorite places!