Knoxville + Oak Ridge Tennessee US Map

Knoxville and Oak Ridge are neighboring cities located in East Tennessee, United States. Each city has its own unique history, culture, and characteristics, but they share a close geographical proximity and are part of the larger Knoxville metropolitan area. Let’s explore each city individually:


  1. Geography and Location:
    • Knoxville is situated in the eastern part of Tennessee, along the Tennessee River.
    • It serves as the county seat of Knox County.
    • The Great Smoky Mountains are located to the southeast of Knoxville, offering scenic views and recreational opportunities.
  2. History:
    • Knoxville has a rich history dating back to the late 18th century. It played a significant role during the Civil War.
    • The city was the capital of the Southwest Territory and later the first capital of Tennessee when it joined the Union in 1796.
  3. Economy:
    • Knoxville has a diverse economy with contributions from sectors such as manufacturing, healthcare, education, and technology.
    • The University of Tennessee, located in Knoxville, is a major economic driver for the city.
  4. Culture and Entertainment:
    • Knoxville hosts various cultural events, festivals, and concerts throughout the year.
    • Market Square, located in the heart of downtown Knoxville, is a popular gathering place with restaurants, shops, and entertainment options.
  5. Education:
    • The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is a prominent institution and contributes significantly to the city’s academic and cultural life.

Oak Ridge:

  1. Geography and Location:
    • Oak Ridge is located about 20 miles west of Knoxville.
    • It is known for its proximity to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the Y-12 National Security Complex.
  2. History:
    • Oak Ridge gained prominence during World War II as one of the sites of the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb.
    • The city was established in 1942 as a secret government town to support the project.
  3. Economy:
    • The Oak Ridge National Laboratory, managed by the U.S. Department of Energy, is a major research facility in the city, focusing on scientific and technological advancements.
    • Oak Ridge has a strong presence in the energy and technology sectors.
  4. Science and Technology:
    • Oak Ridge is a hub for scientific research and innovation, with institutions like ORNL contributing to advancements in nuclear science, materials research, and supercomputing.
  5. Recreation and Nature:
    • The city is surrounded by natural beauty, with several lakes, parks, and outdoor recreational areas.
    • The Melton Hill Lake and the Oak Ridge Greenways provide opportunities for boating, fishing, and hiking.

Together, Knoxville and Oak Ridge offer a blend of history, culture, education, and scientific innovation. The dynamic interplay between these two cities contributes to the diverse character of the region, making it an interesting and vibrant part of Tennessee.

Author: Kirill Shrayber, Ph.D.

I have been working with vector cartography for over 25 years, including GPS, GIS, Adobe Illustrator and other professional cartographic software.

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