Superb amenities adding up to an excellent quality of life may be the best-kept secret these days in “the secret city” of Oak Ridge, Tenn.
The town earned that nickname because of its top-secret development by the U.S. government in 1942, after choosing the area as a primary site for Manhattan Project facilities – a “temporary” city employing thousands. After the war ended, its appeal stuck with many of these people, who incorporated in 1959.
Oak Ridge is still home to internationally significant work in research, science, engineering, technology, supercomputing, energy and national security, as the Y-12 National Security Complex and Oak Ridge National Laboratory continue to be the largest employers.
All residents therefore benefit from a highly educated population. For example, students consistently exceed educational standards, and there are more cultural offerings than one might expect for the city's size.
It seems there's always something to do, too, even without making the 20-mile drive to Knoxville. The city has a high-quality, strategically developed parks system resulting in each residential area being within a half-mile of at least one park.
Melton Hill Lake offers boating, fishing and rowing, and beautiful views for those using the 12 miles of greenways alongside it. The city's popular spring-fed outdoor pool dates to 1944, and residents can enjoy an indoor pool facility during cold-weather months.