Oak Ridge Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by davecallahan
  • Map of Oak Ridge National Laboratories.
    Map of Oak Ridge National Laboratories.
    by seagoingJLW
  • BIG ED'S PIZZA
    BIG ED'S PIZZA
    by Sassy417

Oak Ridge Things to Do

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    by davecallahan Updated Mar 3, 2007

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    want to see how nuclear power is generated? want to operate a robot arm? or play a game against an outdated computer? or find out they make those cleaning rags sticky? or see a subatomic particle split in a state-of-the-art visualization? how about ecology and our water supply?

    If any of these things sound interesting to you or your kids, then sign-up for a tour to the Oak Ridge National Lab in Oak Ridge, TN.

    This tour takes you through those Oak Ridge facilities that are open to the public (about 5% of the total buildings in the area), depending on your interests and whether you are in a group or just yourself, you can see a reactor, see the isotope-handling robots and manipulate their claws, see the still frames on "power wall" of microsec-by-microsec activity within a nuclear reaction. The scope and depth of the tour depends on you and what is available at the time. They have hundreds of great minds working on all kinds of projects and not all of those projects are locked behind secret doors. Many projects are as mundane as how to redistribute waste waters so that streams and stream beds are not polluted.

    There are a lot of restrictions and cameras are stored for pickup on exiting.

    UPDATE 2007
    The facilities at Oak Ridge have revised their tour plans. They are reducing the number of tours starting in 2008. Please check the website nelow for further details (under the VISITOR INFO part of that website).

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    • Family Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Road Trip

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Oak Ridge Hotels

Oak Ridge Restaurants

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    by davecallahan Updated Mar 1, 2007

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    Ruby Tuesday has some of the greatest salads, like their Carolina Chicken Salad with chicken, bacon, pecans, cheese on mixed greens. Or for the adventurous eater in the family, you can try their tasty Bison Burger (tender Bison beef on hard roll).
    The salad bar is a bit skimpy but if you are into just veggies it is all right.

    The prices are about $10 a meal plus coffee and dessert. We normally spend $30 for two of us including tax and tip.

    The restaurant is mostly booths with some tables set for larger groups. The atmosphere is casual. The waitresses are courteous and the service is fast.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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    by bearspencer Written Mar 31, 2003

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    Located in an old diner off one of the two main drags "the Pike" the Magic Wok has simply the best Chinese cooking in town. Owned by the same lady who cooks your food, the ambiance is low budget; imagine Star Trek the series on half the budget. But you're there for the food, and though the menu is VERY limited (they only serve 4 entrees) your taste buds will thank you for beaming in.

    Related to:
    • Business Travel

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  • by doyle.bayles Written Aug 26, 2002

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    My favorite restaurants are Red Lobster, China Palace Restaurant on Melton Hill, and Ryan's Steak House.

    Favorite Dish: Try the Maui Maui, Tilapia, or Grouper at Red Lobster. The Alaska Salmon at Ryans is great! Most any dish at the China Palace is terrific.

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Oak Ridge Shopping

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    by davecallahan Updated Mar 1, 2007

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    Oak Ridge City Center is a fancy name for a stylish mall.
    Twenty+ stores and two eateries and one multiscreen movie theater.
    Stores include: Penneys, Goodies, Sears, Hallmark, GNC, Staples, Proffitts, Verizon.
    Open 10am to 9pm Mon-Sat, and 1pm-6pm on Sunday.

    So take a break from touring and shop until you drop.

    (we always have to include one mall break in every three days of touring, for my wife's sanity).

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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Oak Ridge Local Customs

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    BIG ED'S PIZZA

    by Sassy417 Written Dec 4, 2003

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    Big Ed's Pizza: a tradition; an area landmark!
    Big Ed's Pizza continues its 33-year tradition as a landmark -- as a building, a restaurant and an experience -- in Oak Ridge.
    The pizza place was started by Big Ed Neusel when he moved his family to Oak Ridge from Huntsville, Ala.
    It is operated today by Neusel's family. He died in December 1998.
    Bid Ed's is famous -- literally -- internationally.
    The restaurant has hosted visitors from dozens of countries. From the United States, politicians make regular pilgrimages, national and regional sports figures have eaten there, and tens of thousands of people who just came for the pizza.
    Paraphernalia from military units -- Blue Angels, Marines, Navy -- decorate the walls.
    Photos of former U.S. Sen. Jim Sasser, University of Tennessee football coach Phil Fulmer and local residents grace the walls of the restaurant.
    During football season, it is common for fans of visiting teams to drive to Oak Ridge early and take advantage of the trip to visit Big Ed's before the contest.
    The traditions also of hiring teen-agers -- perhaps the single practice for which Big Ed Neusel was best known -- and of those teen-agers cooking behind a glass wall in full view of the patrons continue today. The cooks still knead, roll and twirl the pizza dough in front of the customers.
    As the name says, pizza is the menu -- all kinds of pizza. Soft drinks and beer are also available.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Beer Tasting

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Oak Ridge Warnings and Dangers

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    by davecallahan Written Apr 18, 2007

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    The crime statistics for Oak Ridge and its vicinity show it to be in the "high risk" category.
    Assault, Rape and Theft are nearly twice the rate of an average American city.
    There are 9 sex offenders registered in the Oak Ridge area. (see website below for details)

    Recommended safety precautions would be to make sure your car doors are locked; use the latch-chain on the motel room door at night; put valuables out of sight and locked away; be sure to keep a good eye on the children; and do not roam around alone late at night.

    Related to:
    • Women's Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel

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Oak Ridge Off The Beaten Path

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    by davecallahan Updated Mar 2, 2007

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    Area K25 is a patch of Oak Ridge where the famed Manhattan Project was developed (nuclear bomb in World War II).

    To get into this secret (now declassified) area, you board a train that is 7 miles away from the site. On the train ride, you will hear about the involvement of the United States in the nuclear race. Some of the scheduled rides offer diner (at additional cost). As you enter the compound, the guide will instruct you on which buildings and structures were employed to perform each of the steps necessary for completion of the nuclear weapon. There is a spiel about individuals who played key roles in the project and how the project was concluded and the use of the area since. The train exits the compound and rides back through the lovely countryside , to the original point of departure.

    The whole trip costs $12 (2003) and takes about an hour and a half.
    The train has restroom facilities and is completely air-conditioned (summers are warm in Tennessee)

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip

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