Archive for June, 2009

Be Independent in Asheville

July Fourth is one of those welcome holidays when you can have a lot of fun for free. In Asheville, you can catch various celebrations at different locations when you stay at our Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, Lovers’ Loop Retreat.

           On July 4, the West Asheville Freedom Fest will feature 12 bands, most of them local, at The Rocket Club near downtown Asheville. The event runs from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m., and it’s FREE until 7 p.m.

           At Martin Luther King Park near downtown, the city will host its celebration 4-10 p.m. with music, food and fireworks at 10 p.m. This event is FREE! And as a bonus, Shindig on the Green will make its season debut 7:30-9:30 p.m. Shindig is a free live music series with bluegrass and folk and clogging.

           If you attend a game of the minor league Asheville Tourists downtown on July 4 or July 5, you’ll be treated to fireworks after the game.   

            On July 4 in Black Mountain, just east of Asheville, there’s another free event, with street dancing and fireworks 7-9:30 p.m.

           These activities are listed on our Web site,, where you can get more information.

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Sculpture peeping in Asheville

The Grovewood Gallery just north of downtown Asheville is among the classiest art galleries in Asheville. The grounds are beautiful, for one thing, and it’s a nice destination for that reason alone. On the grounds is an amazing collection of large-scale outdoor sculptures that will excite even those who go only to browse, like us. It costs nothing to just look, and it’s one of the fun, free outings we enjoy in Asheville.

When you visit us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, put this on your itinerary of free activities.

Grovewood Gallery’s second annual Sculpture for the Garden exhibit has just opened and will run through Dec. 31 this year. The sculptures are whimsical, functional and colorful. But don’t limit your visit to the sculptures. Venture inside to check out the array of arts and crafts at Grovewood. And upstairs is the furniture showroom, with a wonderful variety of handcrafted pieces – from beds, mirrors and tables to wall hangings and rugs. The gallery has new exhibits year-round.

Grovewood consists of six ivy-covered cottages with red roofs that house the gallery, weaving and car museums, a cafe and artists’ studios on 11 acres. The buildings originally were part of Biltmore Industries, established in 1917. Later called the Homespun Shops, Biltmore Industries produced hand-woven woolens and wood crafts.

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Red as a lobster in Asheville

One of the popular downtown restaurants is the Lobster Trap. You can enjoy specials on raw or broiled oysters, a delicacy for us, and other seafood treats at this Asheville institution.

When you visit our Asheville vacation rental, Lovers’ Loop Retreat, you can cook and prepare your own meals if you wish, and that’s one way we offer an affordable vacation. Many of our guests also love to cruise the delicious diversity of Asheville’s restaurants. When we have a seafood hankering, we head to the Lobster Trap. The restaurant now houses one of Asheville’s newest breweries and offers up its tasty beers for your pleasure.

If you love fresh seafood as we do, there’s a seafood market just down the road from Lovers’ Loop Retreat. Just ask us about it when you get here, and we’ll direct you to it. You can buy what you want there and come back to our Asheville bed and breakfast alternative to cook it up – and live it up in a great city.

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Dance the night away in Asheville

 The Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre downtown offers funky and diverse fare that’s worth a look when you stay at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville vacation rental. The nonprofit, professional dance company, formed 30 years ago, is known for its experimental, edgy productions. It was the first contemporary dance group in western North Carolina.

           Racial and ethnic diversity is an important part of what the company is about, and it hosts dancers from around the world. They’ve offered shows about Middle Eastern women, Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, Cuban themes, Chinese and Aztec tales, Japanese dance forms and other provocative performances. The entertainment value is enhanced by the humor and theatricality in much of what they do.

           We saw a performance recently in the intimate theater, where Latin music played before the event started. One of the pieces was kind of a mix of ballet and wrestling, if that’s possible, and the others offered dance with muscle, drama and spirited gymnastics. It’s anything-goes dance with plenty of spice.

           The intermission dance was performed outside on the street, where skateboarders and other passersby joined us to watch as three dancers rubbed tomatoes all over themselves and had a sort of food fight. A couple of bystanders who walked by photographed the piece with their cell phones.

           Hey, it was just another normal night in downtown Asheville, which you will love to check out when you visit us at our Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, Lovers’ Loop Retreat.

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Asheville’s Free Stage Under the Stars

 Asheville is home to the longest running Shakespeare festival in North Carolina. In its 37th season this year, the Montford Park Players productions run June 5-Oct. 4.

           If you think of Shakespeare as dull and dry, think again. This troupe puts a modern twist on its productions, which are performed at an amphitheater. And the setting is great – imagine being outside at a park and watching a play with the sounds of crickets and other nighttime creatures. You can bring a picnic if you want to and sit back for the entertainment. The park is just north of downtown Asheville.

           Guests at Lovers Loop Retreat, our Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, should consider watching some outdoor theater. And did we mention it’s free? Yes, the Montford Park Players perform for free although they welcome donations.

           Whether it’s a drama, comedy or romance, audiences dig this stuff. The productions are offered most Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

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Asheville’s Bizarre Bazaar

One of the newest quirky additions to the fun collection on Lexington Avenue in downtown Asheville is the Bizarre Bazaar, a craft show and sale.

           This event is different from most others because it’s ongoing, the first and third Saturday of each month through Oct. 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

            The market features local artists, crafters and designers. If you’re familiar with the huge and thriving arts scene here in western North Carolina, you know that promises great artwork. Jewelry, photography, pottery, painting, fashion and more will be offered. Food and live music sometimes, too.

           The Bizarre Bazaar (you have to love the name) is worth exploring when you stay with us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our Asheville vacation rental. And while you’re on Lexington Avenue, there are plenty of funky businesses to visit and some good restaurants, too.

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