Archive for March, 2010

Make your visit to Asheville a work of art

            For many people who visit Asheville, it’s hard to resist browsing in the numerous art galleries, most of which are clustered downtown. The seasonal art gallery walks, sponsored by the Asheville Downtown Gallery Association, make it easy to explore the area’s funky and fabulously varied art world. The first art walk this year will be April 2, and it’s FREE!

            When you stay with us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, you’re a quick drive from the gems that await you in the Asheville art galleries.

             The art walks are an opportunity to explore the creativity of the hundreds of visual artists who live in and around Asheville. Galleries stay open longer, and you can enjoy refreshments and casual conversation with gallery owners and artists. Whether your taste is American folk art, glass, jewelry, crafts, contemporary or classical European or anything else, you’re likely to find it in the Asheville art scene.    

            You’ll come home to artwork in our guest suite. Our guests comment on the original art at Lovers’ Loop Retreat. It’s part of the comfortable atmosphere we’ve created for visitors. Other FREE art walks in Asheville are scheduled for the first Friday evening in June, August and October.

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Lovers’ Loop Retreat April muse-letter

 The forsythia is about to burst with its proud yellow, the daffodils are nearly popping out, and the birds are busy as bees tending to their nests in the trees here at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville B&B alternative. We’re springing into April!

            There’s no prettier place to come for the greening than western North Carolina, where the mountains are inspiring all year, the Blue Ridge Parkway just around the corner from Lovers’ Loop Retreat will start flowering any time now, and downtown Asheville becomes an even more hopping and happening place.         

            April boasts Asheville’s typical variety of musical entertainment and the start of the Biltmore estate’s Festival of Flowers, a spectacular array of colors that lasts into May. April also brings the Asheville HATCHfest, David Sedaris, the first Actionfest film festival, Asheville’s zany and tough roller derby divas, the annual herb festival and more.   

Lovers’ Loop Retreat is close to all of these goings on, so make our Asheville vacation rental your convenient and homey base when you sample Asheville activities.

            Events are posted through the year on our Web site,, and we update the site regularly. Use the Web site to check out what’s going on whenever you plan your trip to Asheville and Lovers’ Loop Retreat. We’re also on Twitter!

            The first gallery walk of the season is April 2, when the many Asheville art galleries downtown stay open longer and offer refreshments in a casual but festive atmosphere as people gallery-hop. Think fun!

            The Festival of Flowers opens April 3 and lasts through May 16 at the Biltmore, an estate with beautiful gardens and grounds open to the public. The festival features stunning tulips and live music, too.

On April 10, several members of the monthly poetry group we host, the Lovers’ Loop Poetry Forum, including a Lovers’ Loop Retreat co-owner, will read original poems publicly at Posana Cafe in downtown Asheville. 

            On April 15, the Irish band Lunasa will play Celtic music at the Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville, and Allan Toussaint will rock at the Orange Peel downtown.

            Also on April 15 in Asheville, HATCHfest comes around again, and Actionfest makes its debut. Both events will run April 15-18. HATCHfest brings big names in arts and entertainment to mentor participants with emerging talent in workshops, panels and exhibits. Actionfest calls itself the world’s first festival focused on action films. Chuck Norris will appear at the festival, which will offer screenings of world premieres and classics, demonstrations by a stunt man and other eye-opening entertainment.    

            Humorist David Sedaris will appear April 16 at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in downtown Asheville. This popular and funny dude has appeared in Asheville before enthusiastic audiences. 

            Chimney Rock Park, North Carolina’s newest state park, has amazing biodiversity, and the park starts to rock in spring. The park, a lovely, scenic drive just east of Lovers’ Loop Retreat, has an Earth Day celebration April 17 and a guided bird walk April 18 and many other guided walks throughout the year.

            The Blue Ridge Roller Girls stomp and strut around the roller derby ring on April 24 in downtown Asheville. And on April 30, the Asheville Herb Festival begins and runs through May 2.

            Early May brings the Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF), the Asheville Wordfest poetry event, Norah Jones and Fanaticon, a convention for fans of comic books, science fiction and fantasy.     

            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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Got bread? Smell your way to Asheville Artisan Bread Festival

The sixth annual festival at Greenlife Grocery requires no dough to enter – admission is free! And no dough needed at all as long as you can resist picking up a few loaves of fresh whole grain, French and other kinds of luscious loaves.

It’s a quick drive to the festival from our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative. Let the aroma of bread lead you there.

Cheese from local dairies, dipping oils and spreads will be available, too. The festival, which will feature about 15 local bakeries, will include workshops on kneading, wood-fired brick ovens and more. Buy a loaf of bread and go to any workshop at no charge. Such a deal.

Bring your bread back to Lovers’ Loop Retreat, and enjoy it for dinner or breakfast in the guest suite, which is equipped with kitchen amenities.

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See more of Biltmore at Asheville’s Biltmore estate

For the first time in six years, the Biltmore estate is expanding the tour options for people who visit what is claimed to be America’s largest home. The Antler Hill Village visitation site, which will open in late March, will include an expo hall with exhibits, letters and other archival materials related to Edith Vanderbilt, wife of estate founder and railroad tycoon George Vanderbilt.

The estate, which dates to the late 1800s, is an easy 10 minute-drive from Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville B&B alternative.

The expansion also includes a farm with exhibits on blacksmithing and other aspects of old-time farming, a tavern and ice cream shop.

The grounds of the estate are as beckoning as what’s inside the buildings. Imagine 8,000 mostly-wooded acres along the French Broad River with gorgeous gardens and spectacular mountain views. It’s a great place for biking and walking with 15 miles of safe trails, and their winery offers tastings at no additional charge.

Treat yourself to the Biltmore when you stay at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville vacation rental.

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Get your big GREEN on in Asheville

            Not Irish green, clean green. Experience the bustling green scene in Asheville, N.C., this weekend, March 6-7, at the annual Organic Growers School Spring Conference. The conference, at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, is an easy drive from Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, your home base for all the Asheville green living and green building activities.

            The conference claims to be the largest sustainable-living event in the Southeast. That’s easy to believe. Check out the schedule. The conference will feature close to 100 workshops and classes on an amazing range of topics: flower production and vegetable gardening; composting; raising backyard poultry; organic dairy farming; wind energy and biomass; growing grapes, truffles and hops. The event draws farmers, chefs, gardeners, consumers and others interested in living the good, green life. Food and demonstrations are part of the deal, too.

            Come see what Asheville organic living is about!

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