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15 Things to Do This Summer

Now that summer is in full swing, many people find themselves asking, “What can we do today?” Well, we can help! We’ve compiled a list of 15 things to do in Anderson County that are fun for the whole family and will help you beat that summer boredom (P.S. Many of the activities are free).

  1. Visit Norris Dam State Park which sits on more than 4,000 acres with some of the area’s best hiking and biking trails. Take a leisurely stroll along the beautiful Clinch River or challenge yourself on a more strenuous hike along the banks of Norris Lake. The park has more than 21 miles of trails that provide spectacular views of Norris Lake and the surrounding hills. Be sure to stop by the Lenoir Museum (no admission charge) and see the diverse collection of artifacts that depict life in Southern Appalachia and walk through the Rice Gristmill, originally constructed in 1798 in Union County, it was dismantled and rebuilt in 1935.
  2. Visit the Museum of Appalachia, a living history museum that encompasses 65 acres complete with 35 log cabins, barns, farm animals, churches, schools, gardens and more. They also have a restaurant that serves some of the best homestyle coooking in Anderson County. The restaurant serves hot food from 11 am – 2 om and sandwiches and dessert until 3 pm. Make sure you stop in their fantastic gift shop too!
  3. Shop Historic Downtown Clinton, a top 10 antiquing district in the country. Shoppers will find a wide variety of antiques and gifts and enjoy strolling the streets of beautiful downtown Clinton.
  4. Go kayaking at the Appalachia Outdoor Center in Norris. Enjoy an afternoon kayaking the Clinch River or exploring the many coves of Norris Lake. The outdoor center offers kayak rentals on both the Clinch and Norris Lake with shuttle service available.
  5. Learn the history of the Clinton 12 at the Green McAdoo Cultural Center. In August 27, 1956, twelve young people in Clinton walked into history and changed the world. They were the first students to desegregate a state-supported high school in the south. Learn the fascinating history of the twelve and how they not only changed a community but a nation. There is no admission charge to the museum.
  6. Take a walk through nature at the University of Tennessee Forest and Arboretum in Oak Ridge. The arboretum has interpretive nature trails and ecological points of interest among its 250 acres.
  7. Enjoy a weekly line-up of free family entertainment each Friday night beginning at 7:00 pm with the Concert on the Commons in Norris. The line-up offers a variety of musical styles. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and plan on a night of fun!
  8. Hit the trails of Haw Ridge Park. Haw Ridge is known for its thrilling mountain bike trails that also accommodate hikers and trail runners. Your adrenaline will surge as you weave through more than 30 miles of single-track and dirt trails that wind through the 780 acre park.
  9. Visit Seqouyah Marina for their famous “Wing Night” at the dock. Every Friday night people flock to Sequoyah by both water and land to enjoy the best wings and coldest Corona on Norris Lake.
  10. Meet some exotic animals at The Little Ponderosa Zoo and Rescue. From the jungle to the barnyard, the zoo has just about everything you can imagine. They have rescued animals from all over the country and are committed to providing them with a safe and loving home. You will enjoy getting to feed and pet a number of animals, but be careful, Carl the Camel has been known to steal a few buckets of feed.
  11. Enjoy hands on exhibits at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge. Whether you’re a child or just a child at heart, this museum offers something for everyone. With a child size doll house, a rain forest, and many hands on exhibits, you are sure to have a memorable time.
  12. Get off the beaten path at Windrock Park. With over 72,000 acres and 300+ miles of off road trails to be discovered, your adventurous side is sure to come out at Windrock Park. If you don’t own an off-road vehicle, don’t worry, Windrock offers side by side rentals.
  13. Listen to live music at Stardust Marina’s Sundown Saturdays. Each Saturday night from 6 – 10 pm Stardust will feature live music on their patio. They  also offer absolutely delicious food at their Harbor Grill. Kick back, relax and enjoy a great dinner and live music on beautiful Norris Lake.
  14. Have a picnic at Anderson County Park and take a dip in the lake while you’re there. They offer great picnic shelters and a swimming area for visitors.
  15. Take a Department of Energy Public Bus Tour offered through the American Museum of Science and Energy. The guided bus tour includes highlights of the history of Oak Ridge and the history of science and technology at the three U.S. Department of Energy/Oak Ridge facilities.