Life in East TN
Located near the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, ORNL’s campus is just 1 hour away from the nation’s most visited national park. Within a day’s drive of all major cities on the East Coast, ORNL provides the best of both worlds: proximity to the great outdoors and growing urban centers with diverse cultural attractions. The city of Oak Ridge has 150 miles of shoreline for water recreation, rowing, and boating, and nearby Knoxville is home to the thriving research campus of the University of Tennessee and a historic downtown known for its dining, theaters, shopping, and cultural and music festivals.
In addition, East Tennessee is affordable, with a cost of living 8% lower than the national average and no state income tax. It is one of the safest areas in the United States and has excellent school systems, including the Oak Ridge School District, one of two districts in the world that are K–12 STEM certified.