Lovers’ Loop Retreat June muse-letter

            We love the summer solstice. Here at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, we’ll celebrate the solstice June 21 and relish the day with the most daylight of the year. That means the cardinals, Carolina wrens, mourning doves, chickadees, finches, nuthatches, blue jays and the rest in our circus of resident birds will offer their chorus for a little bit longer on the solstice.

As the season explodes in nature’s noises and flora, we’re amazed at all the activities and events the Asheville area offers in June and throughout the summer. Of course, Asheville never hibernates, so any time of year is a great time to be here, and each season –  and month –  has its advantages. In June, advantages abound, and some are free.

One advantage of staying at Lovers’ Loop Retreat is that we’re a quick, easy drive to lively downtown Asheville, the Biltmore estate in Asheville, the River Arts District and other attractions. And for outdoor recreation, the Blue Ridge Parkway is at the end of our street with FREE opportunities for hiking, biking and other activities.

Free things to do in Asheville in June

Asheville has lots of free and nearly-free activities. Check out some free things to do in Asheville in June. The next Asheville Gallery Walk will be June 3, and it gives an opportunity to stay later, talk with artists and enjoy refreshments at the many diverse art galleries downtown. Pickin’ on the Porch also will be June 3 at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial downtown. It’s a new music series noon to 2 p.m. on the first Friday of each month through October. Art in the Park, an open-air art market, will be June 11, June 18 and June 25 downtown, in addition to three dates in October. The Montford Park Players, a longtime Shakespeare troupe, will perform “Double Falsehood/Comedy of Errors” June 3-26 at the park’s amphitheater, just outside downtown Asheville.

Make Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville vacation rental, your place to stay when you explore Asheville, NC recreation, arts, restaurants and festivals. Events are posted and updated through the year on www.loversloopretreat.com. Visit the site to see what’s going on whenever you plan your trip. Our website features a link where you can contact us for a list of many FREE things to do in Asheville.

More free Asheville events and activities in June

Stroll along Asheville’s self-guided urban trail downtown, and get a FREE lesson in history and architecture. The city has many varied, fascinating and rare architectural gems that really add to the downtown aura. While you’re downtown, visit the Thomas Wolfe Memorial’s Second Saturdays event June 11. This is the first in the museum’s FREE annual series (on the second Saturday in June, July and August) that features local arts, crafts and demonstrations. The Thomas Wolfe Memorial itself is a must-see destination for literature and history buffs. For the admission of only $1, you’ll get a great tour of the house where the novelist grew up and spent time when he visited Asheville as an adult.

Asheville’s River Arts District Studio Stroll

The River Arts District Studio Stroll will be June 11-12. It’s a FREE event that allows you to walk through artists’ galleries, talk with artists and purchase art, and it’s in the trendy, up-and-coming River Arts District just outside downtown Asheville.

Free music in Asheville

The next concert in the FREE outdoor music series Downtown After Five in Asheville will be June 17. The band will be the Blue Dogs, a Charleston, S.C.-based group that plays Americana/country-rock. The street festival runs the third Friday of each month from May through September. Food and locally made beer are available, and sales benefit charities. Shops on Lexington Avenue stay open longer, too.    

Malaprops bookstore events

            The city’s most happening bookstore, Malaprops, is downtown and features several readings related to Eastern culture in June. On June 21, Irmansyah Effendi will read from and sign his book about meditation. June 22, the store will host Rameshwar Das, co-author with Ram Dass of “Be Love Now.” Ram Dass will participate through Skype. On June 29, Master Zhongxian Wu will talk about classical Chinese wisdom.     

Asheville events in June

Check out these other events in Asheville in June: Asheville Tourists baseball throughout the month, “The Glass Menagerie” June 1-19 at the N.C. Stage Co., the Blue Ridge Roller Girls roller derby June 4, the Found Footage Festival with screenings of rare and discovered videos June 9 at the Grey Eagle, the daylily show and sale June 18 at the North Carolina Arboretum, Chris Isaak at the Orange Peel on June 21 and more.

All of these events and activities and more are listed on our website. Please pass along our muse-letter to your friends. And join us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat. See you in Asheville!

Reach us at loversloop(at)gmail(dot)com or (828) 545-2950.

Cheers!

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Tune in to summer at Biltmore’s outdoor concerts in Asheville

One of the fine signs of summer and fall in Asheville is the annual outdoor Biltmore Concert Series at the Biltmore estate. Imagine sitting under the stars, beneath a full moon if you’re lucky, with outstanding mountain views just to your right. Sweet! The first concert, Natalie Grant with Jeff Allen, will be July 29. When you stay at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, you’re about 10 minutes from the Biltmore estate.

Biltmore Concert Series

The series typically features longtime performers, many from way back. You’ll recognize some of your favorites. Last summer, we went to see Mary Chapin Carpenter. What a memorable experience! It was a full-moon night, and the glowing moon was poised above the stage. The setting sun over the mountains beside the estate was so enchanting that Mary Chapin paused to comment on the scene and give the audience an opportunity to take photos.

The other performers in this year’s concert series are Michael W. Smith on July 30, Smokey Robinson on Aug. 5, Bruce Hornsby and Bela Fleck on Aug. 11, Allison Krauss on Aug. 12, The Beach Boys on Aug. 27, Styx on Sept. 3, Eddie Money on Oct. 7, The Fab Four on Oct. 14, and The Chairmen of the Board and Embers on Oct. 21.

If you get to the Biltmore early enough, you can bring a picnic to enjoy on the beautiful grounds.

At Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville vacation rental, you’re close to the Biltmore magic. Contact us at 828-545-2950 or loversloop(at)gmail(dot)com.

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FREE things to do Memorial Day in Asheville

With the big Memorial Day holiday weekend approaching, Asheville is a great place to be, full of possibilities. You’ll find there’s plenty of fun to be had for free in the Asheville area. Who doesn’t like free? At Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, we keep you posted about free and ticketed activities all year. Check out some FREE things to do around Memorial Day:

Mountain Sports Festival

The Asheville area has lots of sports events each year, and the Mountain Sports Festival is one of the most comprehensive. Held May 27-29 at Asheville’s Carrier Park on the French Broad River, the festival offers live music all weekend, demonstrations, clinics and competitions in a wide range of activities: skateboarding, running, ultimate Frisbee, cyclocross, disc golf, triathlon, rock climbing, dodgeball (who knew?) and more. Most competitive events have same-day registration (and a fee to enter), and spectators can show up at any time, of course, and have fun for free.

Blue Ridge Parkway

We’ve said it before, and it’s worth repeating year-round, holidays and not. The parkway is one of the best entertainment bargains going in Asheville. The scenic road cuts right through the city (and goes much farther to points north and south of Asheville), and it’s just down the street, literally, from Lovers’ Loop Retreat. Think of the possibilities: you can hike, bike, photograph, go wildflower hunting, identify trees, practice your yodeling and more. For free!

Play it again

Go back in time to when records really meant actual vinyl records that had album covers with cool artwork and photos of your favorite bands. Several record stores operate in Asheville. Harvest Records, in West Asheville just outside downtown, has new and used vinyl, CDs and DVDs. Karmasonics, Static Age Records and Voltage Records also stock new and used vinyl and CDs. It’s as if you’re at a music museum. You may be tempted to buy something, but browsing is free, right?

Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’

Browsing at Bruisin’ Ales is free, too. Here’s your chance to go global in a beer store. The retailer, in downtown Asheville, claims to stock more than 900 beers from around the world. They have a mix of seasonal and rare beers as well as American craft beers and lots more. It’s interesting to look around.

Art galleries in Asheville

So many to choose from! Our favorites include Blue Spiral downtown, Grovewood Gallery beside the Grove Park Inn just north of downtown, and New Morning Gallery, in Biltmore Village south of downtown. Walk around downtown and explore the many galleries there, and find your own favorites. There’s a lot of creative variety. It doesn’t cost anything to look.

Asheville drum circle

If you’re in town Friday evening, May 27, go to Pritchard Park downtown, and hang out at the weekly drum circle. It’s a great event for people-watching. Or bring your own drum and pound along. The drum circle is nearly year-round each Friday night. Pritchard Park is a happening place to be at other times, too. It’s in the middle of downtown, and you can play a free game of chess at the permanent chessboards, do some hula hooping, listen to random live music and watch street performers.

At Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville vacation rental, you’re close to all of these freebies. Contact us at 828-545-2950 or loversloop(at)gmail(dot)com.

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Free and Fun and Outdoors in Asheville

Asheville has some great outdoor entertainment events each year, and many of them are FREE things to do in Asheville. Movies, live music, live theater — there’s a lot to choose from while you’re in town.

Asheville breweries              

When you stay at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville vacation rental, you’re an easy drive from the Wedge brewery in the River Arts District just outside downtown. The Wedge offers a FREE outdoor film series every Saturday night from May through September. The first movie in this year’s series will be “Harold and Maude,” which will be shown today, May 7. Most of the movies are classics, from the Marx Brothers, Charlie Chaplin and Hitchcock to Walt Disney, Woody Allen and the Talking Heads. Throw in some James Bond, Monty Python and Mel Brooks among others, of course. Bring a chair, and enjoy a beverage or picnic.

Downtown After Five lowdown 

One of the more popular events is Downtown After Five, a FREE street festival on Lexington Avenue the third Friday evening of each month. Live music, happy people, food and beer, and some of the funky shops stay open late. The first concert this year will be May 20 featuring the Asheville Horns and Bayou Diesel, and a mix of music follows during the series. Beer sales help local nonprofits. Other concerts will be June 17, July 15, Aug. 19 and Sept. 16.

Theater in Asheville

You don’t have to be a drama queen to dig the Montford Park Players, Asheville’s longtime Shakespeare troupe that performs for FREE from June through August in an amphitheater just outside downtown. The stage under the stars is a peaceful setting as sunset creeps in. The Players’ take on Shakespeare is lively, inventive and casual, no stuffy stuff. Their free performances of comedies, tragedies, romances and everything in between start June 3.

Shindig on the Green

Everyone loves Shindig, an Asheville tradition since 1967. The FREE music series, held at a downtown park, starts July 2 and continues most Saturday nights through Sept. 3. It’s a mix of bluegrass, mountain and old-time music and dance. Expect string bands, clogging, ballads, storytelling. Bring your own instrument — you may not be able to resist some jamming. Add a blanket or chair, a picnic and you’re there.

At Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, you’re close to all of these freebies. Contact us at 828-545-2950 or loversloop(at)gmail(dot)com.

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Lovers’ Loop Retreat May muse-letter

This is one of the prettiest springs we can remember here at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative. Our azaleas are bursting in red, pink and white; our rhododendrons are blushing in pink; the dogwoods are blooming snow-white; the serviceberry had popcorn-like blooms; the forsythia and redbud rocked.

It’s a healthy spring throughout the Asheville area. Asheville is buzzing right along with nature now with an abundance of activities and events that await you. Lovers’ Loop Retreat is a quick, easy drive to lively downtown Asheville, the Biltmore estate in Asheville, the River Arts District and other attractions. And the Blue Ridge Parkway is at the end of our street for outdoor recreation fans and scenic-roadway cruisers.

Free things to do in Asheville in May

Asheville has plenty of free and nearly-free activities. Enjoy some free things to do in Asheville in May. The Big Love Fest on May 1 at Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville will feature live music, arts and crafts and locally-brewed beers. It’s new and FREE. Asheville Wordfest, an annual poetry festival, will be May 3-8 and will include a diverse slate of poets, some nationally known, as well as opportunities for open-mic readings for others. Poetry events are held downtown, and they’re FREE. The Wedge brewery in the River Arts District starts its FREE outdoor movie series May 7 with “Harold and Maude.” The series continues each Saturday night through Sept. 24.

More Free Asheville Events in May

The Weaverville Art Safari just north of Asheville, a self-guided tour of artists’ studios, will be May 7-8. The Montford Arts and Music Festival on May 21 is an outdoor street festival with two stages for music, theater and dance, plus lots of vendors. Nearly free is the Feral Chihuahuas, a local comedy troupe, which performs the second Saturday of each month for free at Broadways downtown; Broadways charges a $5 fee for an annual membership. Another nearly free option is the Asheville Cinebarre movie theater, where a flick costs $3 and just $1 on Sunday.

Make Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville vacation rental, your place to stay when you explore Asheville, NC recreation, arts, restaurants and festivals. Events are posted and updated through the year on www.loversloopretreat.com. Visit the site to see what’s going on whenever you plan your trip. You can link to our blog, http://loversloopretreat.wordpress.com, on the home page, and we’re also on Twitter! Our website features a link where you can contact us for a list of many FREE things to do in Asheville.

Asheville’s Downtown After Five

A fun way to get down downtown in Asheville is the Downtown After Five FREE outdoor music series. The first concert will be May 20 with the Asheville Horns and Bayou Diesel. The street festival runs the third Friday of each month from May through September. Food and locally made beer are available, and sales benefit charities. Shops stay open longer, too.

Fanaticon in Asheville

Fans of comic book and pop culture will love this FREE annual event, held May 21 at the Asheville Art Museum downtown. It’s preceded by the Fanaticon Rave party May 20. It’s a tribute to heroes and villains with a costume masquerade, live music, panel discussions, comic book artists and more. Freak out!

Mountain Sports Festival

The Mountain Sports Festival May 27-29 is one of the biggest recreational events in Asheville each year. It’s FREE to attend. The festival offers competitions for professionals and amateurs in a range of activities, from climbing, cycling and paddling to disc golf, running and dodgeball. There’s free live music all weekend, too.

Asheville events in May

Check out these other events in Asheville in May: Asheville Tourists baseball May 5-12 and May 17-23, the FREE East of Asheville Studio Tour of artists’ studios May 14-15, Tret Fure in concert May 20, Little Feat in concert May 24 and a rose show at the North Carolina Arboretum May 28-29.

All of these events and activities and more are listed on our website. Please pass along our muse-letter to your friends. And join us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat. See you in Asheville!

Reach us at loversloop(at)gmail(dot)com or (828) 545-2950.

Cheers!

Lovers’ Loop Retreat

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Spring into running events in Asheville

The Asheville area is a hub year-round for outdoor recreation enthusiasts of all sorts. Among them are runners, who love the many wooded mountain trails here. Runners have a lot of races in and near Asheville they can choose from during the year, and two events are coming up in May.

Running on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville            

When you stay at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, you’re at a quiet, restful place if you want to compete in a race. And we’re located in a great spot for running, whether you’re training for an event or just a casual jogger. You can walk to the end of our street to access the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Mountains-to-Sea trail, popular with runners, is right there. The trail, which goes through a pine forest filled with rhododendrons, has a nice amount of uphill and downhill.

Ramble Run at Biltmore Park

The inaugural Ramble Run at Biltmore Park in Asheville on May 7 will feature 12K and 5K races organized by the Asheville Track Club. The course will follow a scenic route, and there’s cash at the end for winners. Stay after the race to check out live music, a fitness expo, food and other activities. For more information, go to www.ramblerun.com.

Biltmore/Kiwanis 5K/15K Classic

There’s no better place for a race than the North Carolina Arboretum, a 430-acre preserve in Asheville beside the Blue Ridge Parkway. The race will be May 15, with routes on wooded trails. Winners receive medals.

This is the 14th year for the race, and proceeds benefit Kiwanis Children’s Charities. For more information, go to http://main.nc.us/kiwanisca/race/index.html.

At Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville vacation rental, you’re close to both races. We’ll be happy to cheer you on. Contact us at 828-545-2950 or loversloop(at)gmail(dot)com.

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Asheville’s All Go West Festival

The second annual All Go West Festival is coming up soon, this Saturday, April 23. It’s a diverse, daylong celebration of music and arts that makes for a great and funky day. Did we mention that it’s FREE? Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville vacation rental, is close to the festivities.

The event, in West Asheville outside downtown, will feature lots of music and arts. You’ll also find refreshments in locally-brewed beer and barbecue (not free). The festival will include exhibits related to green and sustainable living. The music medley will include the genres of folk, pop, rock, Americana, acoustic, electronic/dance and more. Two stages will feature music from noon to 10 p.m. There’s no way you won’t be dancing!

Earth Day in Asheville

All Go West is in the early lineup of Asheville’s seasonal festivals, which represent lots of opportunities for fun. Last weekend, we went to the annual Earth Day event downtown, and it was huge, with music all day and night and a variety of vendors, from a food cooperative and Transition-Town group to a green moving company and a tree-planting nonprofit.

Asheville Festivals

We can keep track of the seasons by the festivals. Biltmore estate’s dazzling Festival of Flowers in April and May, Actionfest movie extravaganza and Hatch creative arts festival in April, Artisan Bread Bakers Festival in April, the herb festival in April and May, the Jewish film festival in April, Edible Book Festival in April, Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF) in nearby Black Mountain in May and October, Asheville Wordfest in May, Mountain Sports Festival and Montford Music and Arts Festival in May, Beer City Festival in June, Bele Chere street festival in July, Goombay African and Caribbean fest and Mountain Dance and Folk Festival in August.

There’s also the Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival (LAAFF) and Organicfest in September, gay pride and Latino festivals in October, Hard Lox Jewish festival in October, and other beer festivals in October and January. Whew! We’re dizzy, and we haven’t mentioned all of them. All of these events are on our website during the year, so we’ll keep you updated.

Contact your festival clearinghouse, Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, at 828-545-2950 or loversloop(at)gmail(dot)com.

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