13. Oak Ridge, The Secret City
Oak Ridge is a city in Anderson and Roan counties in eastern Tennessee, west of Knoxville. One of the more curious parts of U.S. history, it was established in 1942 by scientists from the Manhattan Project as they worked on developing the atomic bomb and hidden from the public for years. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory still performs scientific research to this day.
The military developed the land into this secret city during WWII because of the ease of access from the highway but still secluded area. The populate grew to over 70,000 by 1945 but still managed to remain in obscurity, and none of them even knew what they were working on until news of the first atomic bomb hitting Japan reached them! You can visit this now integrated city and imagine what it must have been life for those living here and working towards their destructive buy unknown goal. The idyllic surroundings clash with the harsh reality of the original purpose for the city and make for an impactful experience.