Expect a highly educated community with wonderful cultural diversity. The home market is a bit cold in my opinion and Oak Ridge lacks a sense of historic charm that you see in neighboring cities like Clinton and Harriman.
Adventures...well....I can't say Oak Ridge itself is an adverture-filled city; however its surrounding area can be. In Oak Ridge, you'll find some great activities, rowing, skulling on the Clinch River. In fact, many Ivy League schools spend their crew training seasons in Oak Ridge and Clinton.
Within 30 minutes of Oak Ridge, you'll find more hiking, fishing and boating than you can ever imagine, if outdoor adventure is your thing. If you like nightlife, you'll find Knoxville your big outlet. Most of Knoxville's night life is catered toward the university crowd; however, you'll find more restaurants than in most America cities its size. The trend that is emerging heavily is growth in "college towns" with empty nesters and baby boomers. Your generation is more healthy and active than your parents and crave that type of adventuresome environment. You won't find it immediately in Oak Ridge, but it is extremely accessible.
The adventures in Oak Ridge outside of its rivers and outdoor spaces would include a great local theater program, a pretty good symphony and a little bit of so-so shopping.
Avoid roads starting with W, Like Wadsworth, and behind Kogers, ( We call it the valley) Also Don't live in Rolling hills or the manthans they all are very drug infested. Unless that your thing.
But Like Where i Live ( In the A part) Its a quiet place to live, the most that happens around my house is when an old person falls down and need do go to the ER.
I think Oak ridge is best blend of a big city meets small southern town, I just wish they did not close our mall down :(
Also Oliver springs is really close to oak ridge, and its more of a southern town, about a 10 drive.
and Clinton is more of a city type feel to it, great people there. But I would never live in knoxville.
But If you buy a house in oak ridge, find E tennessee and California that area is great if you have family,
Tara hills is great for single and couples, and if you have the money go for Rivers run, or the other side of town, where West outter ends, Some good nice housing out there.
But For a good 3 bd ( Normally one bath) house, East drive, The roads starting with A IS great, I think 202 Alhambra Road Is for sale still, Its a nice place to live. Lots of Kids and friendly people.
I hoped this helped
Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and only three hours from Nashville, TN. There are mountains for hiking and lakes for fishing, canoeing and boating adventure. Atlanta, Georgia is 3 to 3-1/2 hours away. North Carolina mountains within an hour of Knoxville, maybe 1 to 1-1/2 hours from Oak Ridge.
As for adventures, there are as many as you want to enjoy. As I say, our house is 5 minutes from a boat ramp. Great Smokies National Park is 1 hour away. Lots of activities.
East Tennessee is very different in that the whole area is religious - more churches than you can imagine (one on almost every corner), but at least it is very diverse.
Adventures are here if you look - more than most places and all if not in Oak Ridge - at least within a 20 minute drive (hiking, 4wheeling, rowing, golf, horseback riding, fishing, whitewater rafting/canoeing, a firing range - hunting very active, lots of rivers for boating/skiing, winter skiing, state parks galore, etc.) Spring and fall are absolutely breath-taking.
Hope this helps.
As for housing - stick with Emory Valley or Briarcliff.
Not a realtor - just and Oak Ridger.
I have spent most of my life 30 minutes from Oak Ridge. I think Oak Ridge is a great place to live because it is pleasant and quiet but it is also just a short drive from a ton of things to do in the mountains and plenty of shopping for your wife. If you could give me a little information( price range, how many beds and bath ect...) I can send you some houses to look at.