Archive for August, 2010

Lovers’ Loop Retreat September Muse-Letter

We love the months that start with a big holiday. September offers Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3-6 this year. Guests at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, and those of us lucky to live in Asheville, NC, have plenty of fun and FREE things to do in Asheville Labor Day weekend and throughout September.

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 Visit the site to see what’s going on whenever you plan your trip. You can link to our blog,, 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.

Free things to do in Asheville in September

September is bulging with events and activities, too many to mention here, but they’re listed on our website. For starters, read our Aug. 20 blog about free things to do in Asheville Labor Day weekend. Don’t miss the free LAAFF (the Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival) on Sept. 5. It’s a blast, and we’ll be there.

Also during Labor Day weekend, there’s the North Carolina Apple Festival in nearby Hendersonville Sept. 3-6 and the season’s last Shindig on the Green music concert in Asheville on Sept. 4, both free events.

Asheville’s Montford Park Players present free Shakespeare under the stars with “Twelfth Night” from Sept. 10 through Oct. 3. The plays are performed in a pleasant park setting, and you’ll see mountains and sunsets beyond the stage. The last Downtown After Five of the season is Sept. 17, and people love this event, one of the free street festivals in Asheville.

Heritage Weekend Sept. 18-19 at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway is just a few minutes from Lovers’ Loop Retreat. As the biggest event of the year at the Folk Art Center, this free festival showcases crafts and other traditions of the Appalachians. It’s laid-back and entertaining, and we go every year. Where else can you watch the Annual World Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle Competition, a contest based on a simple toy carved from wood? You’ll find experts in beekeeping, canning and preserving, coopering, heritage toy making, blacksmithing, natural dyeing, spinning, quilting, whittling, basket weaving and folk pottery.

The annual Asheville Greek Festival will be Sept. 24-26, a must-do event with wonderful ethnic edibles as well as lively music and dance.

Asheville beer and food

One of the popular beer events in Asheville, a true microbrew city, is the Brewgrass Festival on Sept. 18, where music is the mixer for the homegrown beverages offered.

The inaugural Asheville Food and Environmental Film Festival will be Sept. 22-25 and promotes healthy food and a healthy planet.

Then there’s the organic food option, a popular and growing movement in the Asheville area. The True Nature Country Fair, just north of Asheville in Barnardsville, is Sept. 26-26. You can groove to foods and all other things organic.

More Asheville fun…

…will happen when Asheville’s homegrown roller derby divas, the Blue Ridge Roller Girls, will rule the ring at a bout Sept. 18 at the Asheville Civic Center downtown. These bouts are romping, stomping fascinating; trust us!

Heritage Craft Weekend Sept. 25-26 at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville offers another opportunity to explore the area’s rich culture and traditions.

October’s coming fast!

Fasten your seatbelts for October in Asheville. A peak into the month’s fun and festivities includes the last art gallery walk of the season Oct. 1 in downtown Asheville, the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference in nearby Black Mountain Oct. 1-3, the annual Asheville Pride Festival on Oct. 2, Asheville’s Scarecrow Festival on Oct. 2 and the Fiesta Latina in Asheville on Oct. 2. So much fun! Get yourself here!

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!

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Find your rhythm at the Goombay! festival in Asheville

Rhythm is what Goombay! is all about. Goombay! is Asheville’s annual African-Caribbean street festival downtown, and it’s this week, Friday through Sunday, Aug. 27-29 — and it’s FREE. The festival is larger this year and will feature entertainment on two stages. We’ve hosted guests at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast, who have made a point to go to this event.

 Asheville festivals

Goombay! is a pulsing, colorful festival with costumes and clothing that dazzle and music that beats, from reggae and gospel to jazz and soul. Enjoy the drummers, belly dancers and sky-high stilt-walkers, a parade on Saturday and the dove release on Sunday. You’ll also find vendors with wares from various countries. Goombay! includes great international food.

Goombay! comes from the word “rhythm,” and the music and dance celebration started in slave days in Bermuda. Other Goombay! celebrations are enjoyed in the Bahamas and Jamaica. Some performing dancers wear headdresses and masks.

Enjoy the mix of cultures you’ll find at Goombay! when you visit Asheville.

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Have some free Labor Day fun in Asheville!

This coming Labor Day holiday weekend, Sept. 3-6, leave your labors behind at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative.

Have loads of laughs at LAAFF, an Asheville festival

One of our favorite annual events is LAAFF (Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival) on Sunday, Sept. 5. Yes, every Labor Day weekend, you can people-watch, eat some groovy grub, enjoy multicultural music and dance and check out a great variety of artists and other vendors at this gem of a FREE street festival. Boredom doesn’t happen at this circus.

It’s Asheville’s funkiest festival, with a dose of the eye-opening, a touch of Halloween, a huge helping of community spirit and a heap of heart and soul. The event, which raises money for a local arts organization, is laid-back and frenzied at the same time. Wear a creative costume if you wish; many people do. Go and be as odd as you want! Think comedy acts and fire dancers, belly dancing and hula hoops, tattoos and tutus, green hair and pink hair, the zany comedy tour bus LaZoom, street performers and a little wackiness. Did we say it’s unpredictable, too?

Free things to do in Asheville on Labor Day weekend

LAAFF is just one of the free activities in Asheville for Labor Day. On Saturday, Sept. 4, there’s Shindig on the Green, a free, summertime music event in Asheville. Shindig, at a park downtown, serves up bluegrass, mountain music and dancing. Take a blanket and a picnic, and relax and enjoy the communal spirit. If you’re a musician, take your own instrument and join in on an improvised jam session. Or you might be moved to dance spontaneously!

In the morning on Saturday, Sept. 4, you can hear Stories on Asheville’s Front Porch, a storytelling series. The free downtown event offers an opportunity to hear talented storytellers, some of whom are nationally known.

Another free event is the North Carolina Apple Festival in Hendersonville, just south of Asheville, Sept. 3-6. Go munch some fruit in the biggest apple-producing area of North Carolina.

Here are some other FREE things to do in Asheville on your happy holiday weekend:

* Watch the sunset on the Blue Ridge Parkway, a famous, scenic road with mountain views that’s a minute from Lovers’ Loop Retreat.

* Stop by the weekly drum circle at Pritchard Park downtown on Friday, Sept. 3. You’ll find it hard to leave. Take your own drum and pound along, dance as your body moves you, or just watch and wonder.

* Bring a kayak or canoe – which you can store at Lovers’ Loop Retreat— and put out on the French Broad River, one of the world’s oldest waterways.

* Take your own walking tour of downtown Asheville’s art galleries. Some of our favorite galleries downtown are Blue Spiral, Minerva and Haen. We have brochures at Lovers’ Loop Retreat that list galleries.

* Visit Malaprop’s, an independent bookstore that’s the pulse of the downtown literary scene. They have a café and frequent readings and other events, too.

Get your grin on in Asheville this Labor Day weekend!

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Cruise for brews (without driving) in Asheville

For the many craft-beer lovers and home brewers who live in and visit Asheville, a must-do activity is taking a tour of some of the city’s microbreweries with Asheville Brews Cruise. It’s a great way to hop into the happening local beer scene.

Asheville Brews Cruise offers several different tours, which include Highland Brewery, an easy five-minute drive from Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville vacation rental. Let Brews Cruise take you to different breweries, where you’ll sip samples and learn how beer is made.

Asheville breweries

The largest and oldest of the local breweries is Highland Brewery, which opened in 1994. Some of their holding tanks are refurbished pieces of dairy farm equipment, and on the tour you’ll see their bottling line. Highland claims to be the largest craft brewer in North Carolina and among the largest in the Southeast. The brewery has tastings and live music during the week.

The French Broad Brewery on the tour has free live music several days a week in its tasting room. The brewery produces seasonal beers in addition to its standard brews and distributes in multiple states.

You’ll also see on the tour Asheville Brewing, the first brew-pub in Asheville. At its main location, Asheville Brewing shows cheap movies and sells brews  and pizza during its films.

Asheville organic beer

At this point, the only certified organic brewery in the Southeast is just outside Asheville — Pisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain.

Whether you prefer pale ales, IPAs, wheats, organic, porters, stouts or something else, you’ll find it on the Brews Cruise tour – and at the many and diverse Asheville breweries.

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Cook up some fun in Asheville

For those of you who enjoy creative cooking or who are chefs-in-training in your own kitchen, you may be interested in the cooking schools in Asheville and the surrounding area. The classes, schools and demonstrations offer opportunities to learn about varied cuisines, from traditional Southern style and Italian to vegan, vegetarian and lots of foodways in between.

 Cooking classes in Asheville

Among the options are the Swannanoa School of Culinary Arts at Warren Wilson College and the Biltmore estate’s cooking demonstrations, which always draw a crowd.

You can practice your skills at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville vacation rental. The alternative aspect of our Asheville bed and breakfast alternative offers guests the opportunity to cook their own meals with the dishes, utensils, microwave, hot plate, refrigerator and coffeemaker in the guest suite. Many of our guests take advantage of this feature.

Asheville restaurants

Asheville restaurants also offer a wonderful chance for food exploration. Satisfy your cravings and tempt your tastebuds with cuisines galore. Check it out: Nepalese, Indian street food, crepes, tapas, pizza and beer, vegetarian, organic, French, South Pacific, traditional Southern, Cuban, Jamaican and many more mouth-watering possibilities.

When you leave Asheville, you’ll be hungry for more!

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