Archive for April, 2011

Lovers’ Loop Retreat May muse-letter

This is one of the prettiest springs we can remember here at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative. Our azaleas are bursting in red, pink and white; our rhododendrons are blushing in pink; the dogwoods are blooming snow-white; the serviceberry had popcorn-like blooms; the forsythia and redbud rocked.

It’s a healthy spring throughout the Asheville area. Asheville is buzzing right along with nature now with an abundance of activities and events that await you. Lovers’ Loop Retreat is a quick, easy drive to lively downtown Asheville, the Biltmore estate in Asheville, the River Arts District and other attractions. And the Blue Ridge Parkway is at the end of our street for outdoor recreation fans and scenic-roadway cruisers.

Free things to do in Asheville in May

Asheville has plenty of free and nearly-free activities. Enjoy some free things to do in Asheville in May. The Big Love Fest on May 1 at Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville will feature live music, arts and crafts and locally-brewed beers. It’s new and FREE. Asheville Wordfest, an annual poetry festival, will be May 3-8 and will include a diverse slate of poets, some nationally known, as well as opportunities for open-mic readings for others. Poetry events are held downtown, and they’re FREE. The Wedge brewery in the River Arts District starts its FREE outdoor movie series May 7 with “Harold and Maude.” The series continues each Saturday night through Sept. 24.

More Free Asheville Events in May

The Weaverville Art Safari just north of Asheville, a self-guided tour of artists’ studios, will be May 7-8. The Montford Arts and Music Festival on May 21 is an outdoor street festival with two stages for music, theater and dance, plus lots of vendors. Nearly free is the Feral Chihuahuas, a local comedy troupe, which performs the second Saturday of each month for free at Broadways downtown; Broadways charges a $5 fee for an annual membership. Another nearly free option is the Asheville Cinebarre movie theater, where a flick costs $3 and just $1 on Sunday.

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 www.loversloopretreat.com. Visit the site to see what’s going on whenever you plan your trip. You can link to our blog, https://loversloopretreat.wordpress.com, 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.

Asheville’s Downtown After Five

A fun way to get down downtown in Asheville is the Downtown After Five FREE outdoor music series. The first concert will be May 20 with the Asheville Horns and Bayou Diesel. The street festival runs the third Friday of each month from May through September. Food and locally made beer are available, and sales benefit charities. Shops stay open longer, too.

Fanaticon in Asheville

Fans of comic book and pop culture will love this FREE annual event, held May 21 at the Asheville Art Museum downtown. It’s preceded by the Fanaticon Rave party May 20. It’s a tribute to heroes and villains with a costume masquerade, live music, panel discussions, comic book artists and more. Freak out!

Mountain Sports Festival

The Mountain Sports Festival May 27-29 is one of the biggest recreational events in Asheville each year. It’s FREE to attend. The festival offers competitions for professionals and amateurs in a range of activities, from climbing, cycling and paddling to disc golf, running and dodgeball. There’s free live music all weekend, too.

Asheville events in May

Check out these other events in Asheville in May: Asheville Tourists baseball May 5-12 and May 17-23, the FREE East of Asheville Studio Tour of artists’ studios May 14-15, Tret Fure in concert May 20, Little Feat in concert May 24 and a rose show at the North Carolina Arboretum May 28-29.

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!

Reach us at loversloop(at)gmail(dot)com or (828) 545-2950.

Cheers!

Lovers’ Loop Retreat

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Spring into running events in Asheville

The Asheville area is a hub year-round for outdoor recreation enthusiasts of all sorts. Among them are runners, who love the many wooded mountain trails here. Runners have a lot of races in and near Asheville they can choose from during the year, and two events are coming up in May.

Running on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville            

When you stay at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, you’re at a quiet, restful place if you want to compete in a race. And we’re located in a great spot for running, whether you’re training for an event or just a casual jogger. You can walk to the end of our street to access the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Mountains-to-Sea trail, popular with runners, is right there. The trail, which goes through a pine forest filled with rhododendrons, has a nice amount of uphill and downhill.

Ramble Run at Biltmore Park

The inaugural Ramble Run at Biltmore Park in Asheville on May 7 will feature 12K and 5K races organized by the Asheville Track Club. The course will follow a scenic route, and there’s cash at the end for winners. Stay after the race to check out live music, a fitness expo, food and other activities. For more information, go to www.ramblerun.com.

Biltmore/Kiwanis 5K/15K Classic

There’s no better place for a race than the North Carolina Arboretum, a 430-acre preserve in Asheville beside the Blue Ridge Parkway. The race will be May 15, with routes on wooded trails. Winners receive medals.

This is the 14th year for the race, and proceeds benefit Kiwanis Children’s Charities. For more information, go to http://main.nc.us/kiwanisca/race/index.html.

At Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville vacation rental, you’re close to both races. We’ll be happy to cheer you on. Contact us at 828-545-2950 or loversloop(at)gmail(dot)com.

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Asheville’s All Go West Festival

The second annual All Go West Festival is coming up soon, this Saturday, April 23. It’s a diverse, daylong celebration of music and arts that makes for a great and funky day. Did we mention that it’s FREE? Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville vacation rental, is close to the festivities.

The event, in West Asheville outside downtown, will feature lots of music and arts. You’ll also find refreshments in locally-brewed beer and barbecue (not free). The festival will include exhibits related to green and sustainable living. The music medley will include the genres of folk, pop, rock, Americana, acoustic, electronic/dance and more. Two stages will feature music from noon to 10 p.m. There’s no way you won’t be dancing!

Earth Day in Asheville

All Go West is in the early lineup of Asheville’s seasonal festivals, which represent lots of opportunities for fun. Last weekend, we went to the annual Earth Day event downtown, and it was huge, with music all day and night and a variety of vendors, from a food cooperative and Transition-Town group to a green moving company and a tree-planting nonprofit.

Asheville Festivals

We can keep track of the seasons by the festivals. Biltmore estate’s dazzling Festival of Flowers in April and May, Actionfest movie extravaganza and Hatch creative arts festival in April, Artisan Bread Bakers Festival in April, the herb festival in April and May, the Jewish film festival in April, Edible Book Festival in April, Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF) in nearby Black Mountain in May and October, Asheville Wordfest in May, Mountain Sports Festival and Montford Music and Arts Festival in May, Beer City Festival in June, Bele Chere street festival in July, Goombay African and Caribbean fest and Mountain Dance and Folk Festival in August.

There’s also the Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival (LAAFF) and Organicfest in September, gay pride and Latino festivals in October, Hard Lox Jewish festival in October, and other beer festivals in October and January. Whew! We’re dizzy, and we haven’t mentioned all of them. All of these events are on our website during the year, so we’ll keep you updated.

Contact your festival clearinghouse, Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, at 828-545-2950 or loversloop(at)gmail(dot)com.

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Get your Celtic on at Asheville’s Jack of the Wood

We ate supper Sunday at the popular Asheville downtown pub, Jack of the Wood. You’ll find some of the best free music in the city there. (And to get there, you’ll probably pass, as we did, many street musicians playing for free, too.)

At Jack of the Wood, you can enjoy a Green Man beer (the pub’s own beer), brewed at the Green Man brewery downtown, while you listen to the Sunday evening (5-8 p.m.) Celtic jam session. Musicians come and go during the jam, and although most are probably amateur musicians, they sound as if they’ve been playing together forever. On the Sunday we went, the group included violins, flutes, a harp, penny whistles, a banjo and mandolin. It’s a random, improvised Irish orchestra, and there’s no cover charge.

Jack of the Wood offers traditional Irish pub fare, much of it made with locally-produced ingredients. The menu includes such trademark Irish dishes as bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie and Irish beef and Guinness stew.

More Celtic music in Asheville

At Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville vacation rental, you’re an easy 10-minute drive to Jack of the Wood and all of downtown Asheville, where the Diana Wortham Theatre is located. Diana Wortham has a Celtic music series each year with internationally-known bands.

De Danann is coming up in the series on May 27.

For your Celtic thrills, contact Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, at 828-545-2950 or loversloop(at)gmail(dot)com.

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Lovers’ Loop Retreat April muse-letter

Well, it’s happening. Spring is spreading itself throughout Asheville and the rest of Western North Carolina. We’re seeing forsythia, service berry, daffodils, pear and cherry trees, hyacinths, tulips and other colorful blooms. April is a gateway month in the Asheville area, the start of so many fun and diverse events that it’s hard to keep track.

At Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, we keep you updated on the fun goings-on in this area. Because our vacation rental is right beside the beautiful, scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, we’re also surrounded by nature’s goings-on, her elaborate and dazzling spring finery and splendor that inspire and revive. Lovers’ Loop Retreat is a quick, easy drive to lively downtown Asheville, the Biltmore estate in Asheville, the River Arts District and other attractions.

Free things to do in Asheville in April

Asheville has plenty of free and nearly-free activities. Enjoy some free things to do in Asheville in April. Check out the Friday evening drum circle at Pritchard Park downtown. Bring your own drum and pound along, or watch, listen and dance. This mesmerizing event is held every Friday.

Take a hike or bike along the Blue Ridge Parkway, right beside Lovers’ Loop Retreat. You may see some wildflowers in the woods.

Visit some of the diverse art galleries downtown, and while you’re there, listen to the street musicians play their strings, drums and accordions.

Walk around historic Biltmore Village south of downtown. Take your kayak or canoe to the French Broad River, which flows through Asheville. There’s room at Lovers’ Loop Retreat to store your vessel. Visit galleries in the River Arts District just outside downtown. This funky area is alive and bustling with creativity.

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 www.loversloopretreat.com. Visit the site to see what’s going on whenever you plan your trip.  Our website features a link where you can contact us for a list of many FREE things to do in Asheville.

Biltmore Estate Festival of Flowers

This historic estate is fascinating any time of year, but enjoy a big dose of springtime by visiting during this annual festival, which is under way now and lasts through May 15. Snapdragons, poppies, 100,000 (yes, 100,000) tulips of all colors. Roam on the estate’s 8,000 acres, one of the prettiest spots in Asheville – and that’s saying something.

Actionfest in Asheville

If you enjoy action movies, don’t miss this annual festival April 7-10. It claims to be the only international film festival focused on action cinema. They screen movies from around the world, including some world premieres. Asheville has a lively filmmaking scene itself and usually hosts a separate, general film festival each year.

Asheville Events in April

The annual Hatch festival, April 14-17, includes exhibits, panels, workshops and networking events for people interested in music, fashion, film, journalism, photography, architecture and design/technology. It’s a meeting of creative minds that’s open to anyone.

Asheville’s version of Earth Day will be at Pack Square Park downtown April 16. It’s a groovy celebration with lots of diverse, live music, including the tremendously popular (and Asheville-based) Toubab Krewe. Earth Day is a FREE thing to do in Asheville.

Another FREE Asheville event is the annual Spring Herb Festival, which will be April 29-30 and May 1. Sixty vendors will offer herb plants, essences and oils, soap, medicinal products, books, gardening tips and more at the WNC Farmers Market.

Comedian Bill Maher will perform at the Asheville Civic Center on April 22.

And on April 23, the FREE All Go West Music Festival will liven up the streets in West Asheville, outside downtown.

April in Asheville also offers live theater, music concerts, storytelling, a rhododendron show at the North Carolina Arboretum and more.

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!

Reach us at loversloop(at)gmail(dot)com or (828) 545-2950.

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