Archive for October, 2009

Segway all day in Asheville, NC

One of the hippest ways to explore downtown Asheville is on a segway, a self-operated, two-wheel, battery-powered transportation device. Guided segway tours are available in Asheville at the North Carolina Arboretum, Biltmore estate and from the Asheville Visitor Center downtown. Each of these places is an easy drive from our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville vacation rental.

We recently took a tour with Moving Sidewalk Tours, which operates downtown segway expeditions from the Asheville Visitor Center. It’s a great way to learn about Asheville. The tour goes to parts of the Montford Historic District and into the heart of downtown, with stops along the Asheville Urban Trail and by Pritchard Park, the Grove Arcade and other points of interest.

It’s almost too cool for words, and you’ll draw smiles and waves as you glide along the sidewalk past curious onlookers. Riding a segway may be the most fun you’ll ever have standing on two feet and two wheels and wearing a helmet!

The segways are easy to ride. No pedals to fool with, and they turn easily once you get the hang of it. There’s a training session before you start.

The tour, at a maximum speed of about six miles an hour, takes several hours, and Moving Sidewalk Tours operates from April through December. Try this treat when you stay at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville bed and breakfast alternative.

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Lovers’ Loop Retreat November muse-letter

Lovers’ Loop Retreat November muse-letter

The view from Lovers’ Loop Retreat here in Asheville, N.C., is looking like lollipops, with the trees doing the orange, yellow and red foliage dance, and our mountain views re-emerging as the leaves in the distance drop from their tethers. For the next few weeks, there should be nice color around our Asheville vacation rental and in the surrounding mountains, so it’s a great time to come and embrace Asheville’s autumn.

            The foliage, of course, is FREE to view, and Lovers’ Loop Retreat is within a minute of one of the very best viewing routes, the Blue Ridge Parkway. Treat yourself with a stay at our guest suite, and experience the splendor! We have events posted through December and into 2010 on our Web site, www.loversloopretreat.com. Use the Web site to check out what’s going on whenever you plan your trip to Asheville and Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville bed and breakfast alternative. You can link to our blog, https://loversloopretreat.wordpress.com, on the home page.

            In addition to the foliage and the Halloween happenings listed on our home page’s events calendar, November brings a cool mix of music to downtown Asheville. The Asheville Civic Center (and its Thomas Wolfe Auditorium) and the Diana Wortham Theatre host troubadours Leonard Cohen on Nov. 1, Jackson Browne on Nov. 12, Nanci Griffith on Nov. 14 and George Winston on Nov. 21.

            If film is your fancy, the Asheville Film Festival will be Nov. 5-8 with its diversity of films political and dramatic, quirky and comedic, weird and wonderful. This festival is growing and gaining acclaim, so come and enjoy the range of entertainment.

            Catch the holiday spirit at the “Christmas at Biltmore Estate” extravaganza, which runs Nov. 6- Jan. 3, 2010. This annual transformation of what claims to be America’s largest home draws lots of people who find magic in the setting and the decorations.

            For art lovers, the River Arts District Studio Stroll just outside downtown Asheville on Nov. 14-15 is a must-see, and it’s FREE. Dozens of artists open their studio doors to visitors, who can watch art being created and get some good deals sometimes, too. 

            If you’re ready for more Christmas events, the Asheville Lyric Opera’s annual Christmas concert will be Nov. 20 downtown. Asheville’s Montford Park Players perform “A Christmas Carol” Dec. 3-6 and Dec. 10-13, and there’s a Christmas festival Dec. 4-6 in the historic Biltmore Village outside downtown Asheville.   

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

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Asheville, NC, is a scary place this month!

Spend your Halloween weekend in Asheville, NC, this year, and enjoy the related activities. All of these fun happenings and more are within a few minutes of Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our Asheville bed and breakfast alternative. Join the party!

            You don’t want to miss the popular and zany LaZoom tours, which are offbeat bus tours of Asheville. LaZoom offers an annual haunted bus ride at Halloween, and this year the tours will be Oct. 29-31. They’ll have live music on every tour. Find the link on our home page events calendar for more information.

            The Asheville Halloween Party will be Oct. 31 at the Haywood Park Hotel grand ballroom downtown. The event will feature Halloween stuff plus a local improvisational comedy group, the Feral Chihuahuas.

             Malaprop’s, the most popular bookstore downtown and an Asheville icon, will host the Graveyard Book Party on Oct. 31. This free event will feature design-your-own-tombstone contests and costume contests, among other activities.

            If you enjoy ghost stories, check out  “Skeered,” an evening of stories and hauntings with a local flavor Oct. 22-24 and Oct. 29-31 in Asheville. Call 828-254-1921, ext. 890 for more info.

            At Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville vacation rental, we promise not to scare you, but we’ll offer a welcoming, affordable place to stay while you enjoy Asheville’s haunts. Happy Halloween!

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Follow your symphonic bliss in Asheville

One way to be spellbound on your visit to Asheville, N.C., is to attend a concert by the Asheville Symphony Orchestra at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium downtown. When you visit our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville vacation rental, you’re just 10 minutes away from this treat.  

            We recently went to the first concert of the symphony’s 49th season, which featured “Don Quixote” and “Carmen” suites with a guest cellist and violist. The symphony presents an ocean of sound and a mountain of music, and we were caught up in the tidal wave of horns, reeds, strings and percussion. With all the instruments, there’s so much for the eyes as well as the ears, and it’s always interesting to watch the conductor’s movements, sometimes energetic, sometimes graceful. The musicians’ warming up their instruments before the concert starts is titillating, too.

            The symphony’s season continues through May, 2010 with music by composers from around the world and includes guest musicians, a guest vocalist, the Asheville Symphony Chorus and Brevard College Chorus. The Holiday Pops concert Dec. 19 will feature the Asheville Symphony Chorus, Asheville Symphony Children’s Chorus and a soloist. The Asheville Symphony Chorus also will perform May 1, 2010.

            There’s a link to the Asheville Symphony Orchestra’s Web site on the Lovers’ Loop Retreat home page. When you stay at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, you may have the opportunity to hear nature’s symphony — squirrels, birds, crickets, rain — a different kind of music.

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Be crafty in Asheville, N.C., Oct. 15-18

            One of the biggest craft events of the year in the Asheville, N.C., area runs Thursday, Oct. 15 through Sunday, Oct. 18, all day each day. It’s the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands, held twice a year (also in July) in downtown Asheville at the civic center. Guests at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville vacation rental, are 10 minutes from this popular happening.

               More than 200 craftspeople display their work at the fair, and they’re all members of the guild, so it’s basically a juried show. You’ll see works of glass, metal, mixed media, paper, jewelry, wood, fiber, clay and more. The fair also features craft demonstrations: corn shuck dolls, calligraphy, drum-making, fiber art, blacksmithing, dyeing and spinning.

            There’s also live music: bluegrass, old-time mountain music, vocalists. Enjoy the washtub bass, kazoos, fiddles, slide whistles and more with a lot of festive sounds.

            This is the fair’s 62nd season. The craft guild is one of the oldest in the United States and represents craftspeople in about 10 states. The guild is based at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The center, only minutes from Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, has a gift shop with lots of handcrafted items for sale.

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Ten things to do in Asheville this weekend, October 9-11

Spend your big, fat holiday weekend in Asheville.

OK. You’re one of the lucky ones with a lovely holiday on Monday, Oct. 12. There are lots of fun things to do in Asheville when you make our cozy and convenient Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, your base.

1) Check out Fiesta Latina on Saturday, Oct. 10. This annual event has tons of energy with dancing, food, music and all other things Latin. You’ll love it.

2) Catch Travis Tritt at the Asheville Civic Center downtown on Friday, Oct. 9. Lots of people dig him.

3) Play hooky on Tuesday, Oct. 13, and be blissed at the Bonnie Raitt concert at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in downtown Asheville.

4) Relive your younger years and feel like a table tennis legend by playing pingpong at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, where we have all the equipment you need to do your best.

5) Do yourself a big autumn favor and take a car ride, a hike, a bike trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is practically right outside the door at Lovers’ Loop Retreat. This scenic highway is off limits to commercial vehicles, and it’s one of the most visited segments of the National Park Service, especially in the fall leaf season.

6) See a flick at Asheville Pizza and Brewing Co., which offers movies for $3 and beers made in Asheville.

7) Listen to someone sing your heart out at the Asheville Lyric Opera’s season opener, “Marriage of Figaro,” Friday, Oct. 9 and Saturday, Oct. 10.

8) Bring your own kayak or canoe, which can be stored safely at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, or rent a vessel at one of the outfitters in town, and take a cruise down the French Broad or Swannanoa rivers, which cut their mighty way through Asheville.

9) Be one of the happy people at Asheville’s first Oktoberfest, a downtown event on Saturday, Oct. 10 that will feature five Asheville breweries with their best beers and some good music, too.

10) Stretch your legs and maybe your mind at the North Carolina Arboretum, which will host its annual exhibit of bonsai (miniature plants and trees) on Saturday, Oct. 10 and Sunday, Oct. 11. Get small at this fascinating display of miniatures and while you’re there, walk or bike the nice trails at the arboretum.

When you visit Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville vacation rental, you’re within minutes of all of these pleasures. Say yes!

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Bonsai the day away in Asheville Oct. 10-11

            The North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville hosts the annual bonsai expo Oct. 10-11. The arboretum has a growing collection of more than 100 specimens of bonsai, which are miniature trees, shrubs and vines. The collection includes Japanese maple, Chinese elm, tropical plants, American plants such as limber pine and species native to the Asheville area, such as the Eastern white pine.

            The arboretum is a beautiful autumn drive of about 20 minutes along the Blue Ridge Parkway from Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our Asheville bed and breakfast alternative. The arboretum is worth every mile, and the bonsai expo is fascinating. The event honors the ages-old Asian tradition of cultivating miniature plants, shaping them in artistic ways and arranging them in distinctive containers.         

            The event is free once you pay the arboretum’s entrance fee of $6 per car. You also can access the arboretum for free by bike or on foot. The bonsai expo features the juried work of bonsai growers from clubs in a six-state region of the eastern United States. There will be educational programs, workshops and bonsai plants and tools for sale.

            While you’re at the arboretum, take the opportunity to walk or bike on the many trails and to see the different gardens. It’s a great place to visit year-round when you stay at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, one of the Asheville vacation rentals.

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