Checked out the hotel at the Hampton Inn Oak Ridge (TN). Check in and check out was easy. We ate a leisurely breakfast. 1/2 the Craft family left early for Julianna’s tennis match so we had breakfast with Adrianna and Sophia. The lady in the eating area was extremely nice and made sure we got plenty of food even though they were about to close it. The pool and fitness center were under renovations but we knew that going in. Very clean and very helpful staff. I highly recommend it.
We headed over to the the American Museum of Science and Energy which was fortunately open on a Saturday on a holiday weekend. This was like a standard city children’s museum on warp drive. Lots of hands on activities. Educational for the adults and for Hibah (9y old). The younger two just played with the activities and had no interest in a formal education. There was also a cool demonstration on electricity where volunteers could come up and have visible electricity pass through them. We spent a couple hours there and then got lunch. The best part was that it was free with our museum reciprocal membership.
Next stop after lunch was the Museum of the Appalacian. It was recommended on www.RoadsideAmerica.com which lists some of your offbeat tourist attractions. This place was about a 20 minute drive and is in Clinton TN. It cost us $42. This is mainly outdoors and it was hot. You basically walk from one old style building to the next. For some of the buildings, the building is the exhibit. In others there are artifacts that you look at like a museum. It is all from early settlers. Has some unique stuff. The buildings are your run of the mill settler buildings made out of logs that you see in many places. The kids enjoyed seeing the prison cells. The museums had some creepy artifacts in them with lots of hand made dolls. There was some old dentistry and medical equipment, guns, knifes, etc. The kids enjoyed that part. The artifacts are in the early part of the tour and the last few buildings are all historical. The kids got tired near the end and wanted to leave especially with the heat in the 90s. Fortunately, there were chickens, goats, and peacocks roaming around so the kids enjoyed chasing those. Near the end, Travis called and was done for the day so we headed off to meet them at the next site.
The next site I surely would not have found if not for the www.RoadsideAmerica.com website. It is/was an airplane turned into a gas station .
The location is: 6829 Clinton Hwy, Powell, TN
Directions: I-75 exit 110 (Callahan Drive). Drive southwest about a mile, then right on US Hwy 25W/Hwy 9 (Clinton Hwy). The plane is at the top of a hill about a half-mile west, on the south side of the road.
Hours: July 2010: Station closed, but visible.
GPS will not take you there, you have to keep going to the top of the hill. It is a 5 minute stop. We took some family pictures, looked through the windows, checked it off the list and we were off to the next stop which was in the next post.