Archive for May, 2010

Lovers’ Loop Retreat June muse-letter

What a great month June is. We love that the days are lighter later — and earlier — and we look forward each year to observing the summer solstice in late June in whatever personal ritual we create to celebrate the new season. Our rose bush will spring alive in June, and one or two blooms already are announcing their luscious, red birth. The roses greet our visitors here at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville B&B alternative. And lots of greenery, blooms and activities greet those who come for the bounty that western North Carolina offers.

            The outdoors beckons, whether it’s kayaking on the French Broad River; biking, hiking and wildflower hunting along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway beside our guest suite; golfing; rock climbing in the surrounding mountains; taking photos or other activities that get your pulse pumping from the inspiration and fresh air.

            June also signals the season of outdoor artistic events, including some that are FREE: UNC-Asheville has FREE outdoor concerts in June and July; the Wedge brewery shows FREE movies outside its tasting room in Asheville’s River Arts District; the Montford Park Players, a Shakespeare troupe, performs under the stars, with most shows FREE; Downtown After Five is a FREE outdoor music series in Asheville with locally crafted beer and other refreshments; and Pritchard Park in downtown Asheville is the setting for a wild variety of FREE events, from drum circles and belly dancing to hula-hooping and live music.         

            Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville lodging place, is a convenient home base where you can stay to indulge in all the free things to do in Asheville. Make our welcome mat yours on your visit.

            Events are posted and updated through the year on our Web site, Visit the site to see what’s going on whenever you plan your trip to Asheville and Lovers’ Loop Retreat. You can link to our blog,, on the home page, and we’re also on Twitter!

            Our Web site now features a link where you can contact us for a list of many money-saving and FREE things in Asheville.

            One free thing is Asheville’s downtown gallery walk June 4, a fun way to explore the scores of art galleries here that stay open later and offer refreshments. June 4 also brings Loretta Lynn to the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium downtown, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will start the Biltmore estate’s summer concert series in Asheville on June 4.

            The Blue Ridge Roller Girls, Asheville’s roller derby divas, will strut their tough stuff downtown June 5. Also on June 5, Asheville’s Beer City Festival downtown will thrill those who appreciate locally-brewed suds from our nine breweries here.       

            The Original Drifters will perform at the Biltmore estate June 11, and the River Arts District Studio Stroll June 12-13 is a FREE event to meet artists and see their work near downtown Asheville. The Asheville-based Keowee Chamber Music Festival will offer performances in Asheville on June 13 and June 17.    

            You can chill out June 18 at the FREE Downtown After Five music festival. The WNC Highlands Celtic Festival June 18-19 will feature some great music in Black Mountain, an easy drive from Lovers’ Loop Retreat. The day lily show June 19 at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville will dazzle you.

            Early July brings the first concert in the FREE summertime outdoor music series, Shindig on the Green, downtown. And plan to be in Asheville for July 4th to enjoy the celebration downtown with many bands, food and fireworks.

            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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Kick up your Memorial Day heels in Asheville for Free

           Asheville’s a great place to spend a big, fat holiday, and with so much to do culturally and recreationally, you’ll have a blast. Some of the fun is FREE!

            We at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville affordable bed and breakfast alternative, will help you get started with suggestions for FREE things to do Memorial Day weekend in Asheville.

            Enjoy these freebies:

            Take a walk at the botanical gardens at the University of North Carolina-Asheville,

            Bring your own canoe or kayak, and paddle the French Broad River.

            On Sunday, May 30, check out the Asheville Community Band performance at the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Folk Art Center, just a few minutes from Lovers’ Loop Retreat.

             Bring your bike, and explore nature along the Blue Ridge Parkway on two wheels. There are lots of other places to ride around Asheville and off the road on trails around Bent Creek, just south of the city.

             Watch the cyclists, kayakers, climbers, runners and other competitors at the Mountain Sports Festival from Friday, May 28 to Sunday, May 30. The festival, based at Carrier Park, also features demonstrations and music and other entertainment.

            Catch the screening of Monty Python’s “The Meaning of Life” on Saturday, May 29 at the Wedge Brewery. The flick is free; the beer isn’t, but you can bring your own food.

            Attend book readings by varied authors at Malaprop’s and Accent on Books.

            Gyrate and groove along with the Baraka Mundi Live Bellydance and Music Ensemble at Pritchard Park downtown Saturday, May 29.

            A lot of beauty for a little dough

            Of course, not everything is free. If you want to open your wallet Memorial Day weekend, the Montford Players, Asheville’s outdoor Shakespeare troupe, will entertain audiences with “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)” Friday, May 28 through Sunday, May 30.

            There’s also the annual Asheville-Blue Ridge Rose Society exhibit at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville on Saturday, May 29 and Sunday, May 30. The exhibit is free, but there’s a parking fee at the arboretum. Be amazed at roses of all sizes and colors.

And if you can’t make it for Memorial Day, there are lots of fun free things to do here all the time! Call us now to make your reservation to stay at Lovers’ Loop Retreat. Email us loversloop at We’ll be happy to fill you in on the free stuff.

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Be a fan, or a fanatic, at Asheville’s Fanaticon

Whether you’re into Batman, Catwoman or some Spider-being in between, you’ll want to check out the FREE inaugural Fanaticon on May 15 at the Asheville Art Museum downtown.

            Those passionate about comic books, collectibles and pop culture in general will be intrigued by this event. Wear your favorite costume! Meet funky artists and exhibitors.

            Our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, is, as usual, positioned in an excellent location for our guests to check out all the quirky stuff in downtown Asheville.

            Contact us the next time you’re planning a trip to Asheville!

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Lovers’ Loop Retreat May muse-letter

Azaleas bursting like proud parents, dogwoods at their peak, rhododendrons starting to dazzle and some blooming plants that we, ahem, don’t know the identity of, sorry to say. This is a more vibrant spring than we’ve had in several years here at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville B&B alternative. That’s partly due to the end of the drought in western North Carolina .

There’s never a drought of activities and big fun in Asheville , and when you catch some rest and relaxation at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, you’re practically an eye-blink away from a multitude of festivities. The outdoors is its own draw, with mountains, rivers and scenic roads to explore by foot, kayak or canoe, bike and car, right outside the door of Lovers’ Loop Retreat.

Just ask Michelle and Barack Obama. They spent the weekend of April 23-25 in Asheville . They liked the area so much during the campaign in 2008 that they returned for a vacation. They surprised diners at restaurants and played golf. They toured Asheville ’s Biltmore estate, just 10 minutes from Lovers’ Loop Retreat, and they hiked along the Blue Ridge Parkway , almost literally a stone’s throw from our guest suite.

Come see what brought the Obamas back to Asheville , and make our Asheville vacation rental your peaceful, convenient base.

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!

May’s mix of magic includes puppetry, a comic book convention, annual sports and poetry festivals, Shakespeare under the stars, concerts from pop icon Norah Jones to Irish folk music and Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and the wildly popular Lake Eden Arts Festival. May also is the start of Downtown After 5, the seasonal, FREE outdoor music series in downtown Asheville . And the festival of flowers at the Biltmore estate continues through May 16.

Get your bloom on!

Catch some nature at the annual rhododendron show May 1-2 at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville . May 4-9 is Asheville Wordfest, a FREE poetry festival that features a variety of established and emerging poets.

The Lake Eden Arts Festival, or LEAF, May 6-9 is a semiannual, multicultural, multi-arts event in Black Mountain , about 15 minutes east of Lovers’ Loop Retreat. (The next LEAF will be in October.)

Norah Jones will perform May 11 at Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in downtown Asheville . Also downtown on May 11, Jorma Kaukonen will appear with David Bromberg at the Orange Peel.

A bright new event is Fanaticon, a FREE convention for fans of comic books, fantasy and science fiction on May 15 at the Asheville Art Museum downtown. If you like open-air Shakespeare, check out the Montford Park Players’ production, “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” May 20-30. This Shakespeare troupe starts its season now and will perform into the fall. Most of its productions are FREE.

Get your groove on at Downtown After 5 on May 21, and keep the groove going on May 22 at the annual Montford Music and Art Festival, a FREE street festival just outside downtown Asheville .

The annual Mountain Sports Festival, May 28-30 in Asheville, packs in participants and spectators for inspiring feats of rock climbing, cycling, running, disc golf, paddling, skateboarding and other activities.

Early June brings the start of Biltmore estate’s summer concert series, the inaugural Beer City Bash in Asheville and lots more great stuff.

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’s got herb appeal

The annual Asheville Herb Festival, which starts this today, April 30 and lasts through the weekend, draws vendors, growers and assorted herb fans to a weekend of sensory delight at the WNC Farmers Markets. And there’s no admission – it’s FREE!

In addition to herbs for sale, festival-goers will find information on herbal shampoos and soaps, cooking herbs, organic gardening, holistic use of herbs, herbal medicine, cookbooks and more galore. Experts, products, festivity and lots of clean green. This time of year, Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville B&B alternative, is immersed in green now that the trees are in leaf and flowers are blooming. We even have echinacea growing in our yard.

So come visit, smell the roses and the herbs, and plant yourself in this gorgeous area for a great springtime Asheville getaway.

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