This may seem like a lot of information, but we want you to have a fun and safe trip to ORNL. ORNL is a secure government facility, and there are a just a few rules to follow.
Where to stay
We recommend you stay in Oak Ridge (click here for recommended hotels). Knoxville may seem more attractive; however, the traffic can be terrible getting in and out of ORNL. Another option is the ORNL Guest House, but it is within the secure complex and quite remote; the guest house is really only recommeded for visitors who need access to experiments at all hours.
What to bring
- Bring your laptops! This is a hands-on training. Without a laptop you will be unable to do the practice sessions.
- Print your access papers (if requested to do so) to present to the guard and have your ID ready. When approaching the guard gate at the east portal (the most common entrance for visitors), use the right lane. Don’t be shocked that the guards have rifles and look like military; once you are past the guard gate you won’t see them again.
What to do while you are here
Getting into ORNL
- Here is a link for driving directions to ORNL and the Visitor Center: https://www.ornl.gov/content/getting-ornl
- On Tour Day (the first day of the training), arrive at the visitor center at 10:30 AM. This leisurely time allows for less traffic, any site registration issues, and time for those who will be flying in the first day. Around 15 parking spaces at the visitor center will be reserved for "RAIS training" (please do not park in another marked spot or you risk the chance of being ticketed). Enter the visitor center to obtain your badge and be met by RAIS staff. Once badged in, we’ll eat lunch and then load into buses at 1 PM for tours.
- Dress casual for tour day with comfortable shoes; there is a lot of walking on the tours. Do not bring laptops on Tour Day, as you will have to carry them. After tours, you will be dismissed for the day.
- Plan to rent a car. You cannot taxi or Uber to ORNL without great difficulty, and your significant other cannnot go through the gate to drop you off. You could "Ride the T", but it does not service Oak Ridge and makes very few stops.
- Coffee/Tea and breakfast snacks will be available at 8 AM on training days. In the afternoon, we will have more snacks and water/sodas. Technically, the training days will start at 8:30 AM, so come early and get coffee and be ready.
- Mind the speed limits around the guard shacks and inside the property. There is a roundabout and crosswalk to deal with at the visitor center entrance; pedestrians have the right of way.
- Here is a map of the visitor center location where Tour Day will begin.
- Here is a map of where to park if the training is on the main campus. Parking will be reserved for you in the visitor lot every day if the training is held in building 5100 on the main campus. If the training is held at building 8600 (SNS facility), there is plenty of parking there, and reserved spaces are not necessary.
Who to contact with any concerns