Archive for Holidays

Find the luck of the Irish in Asheville

St. Patrick’s Day in Asheville

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Asheville, you have some choices. Plenty of pubs and restaurants around the city will host revelers and offer live music, Irish food and special suds. And you’ll probably see some funky sights if you stroll around downtown, maybe people in costume for the occasion, street musicians and other free entertainment.

Irish pubs in Asheville

Jack of the Wood downtown is one of the city’s most popular hangouts year-round and especially on St. Patrick’s Day. The pub will serve such Irish specialties as bangers and mash, Guinness stew, and, of course, corned beef and cabbage. Live music, too. Hannah Flanagan’s downtown will feature a bagpipe player with a special Irish menu. In West Asheville just outside downtown, Tolliver’s Crossing will offer live music, Irish drafts and outdoor seating. When you stay at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, you’re close to all the action on St. Patrick’s Day and for any occasion.

Asheville St. Patrick’s Day parties

The taprooms in town will be ready with special beers, holiday glassware and music to mark the day. Pack’s Tavern downtown will have a new stout available. The newest of the breweries in Asheville, Altamont Brewing, will be hopping. Asheville’s oldest and biggest brewery, Highland Brewing, will offer a new ale with food and live music. Craggie Brewing downtown will have two bands that evening.

Irish music in Asheville

It’s not hard to find Irish music in Asheville year-round. Jack of the Wood hosts an Irish jam session every Sunday afternoon and night. Anyone may join in with an instrument. It’s a lively scene. The Diana Wortham Theatre downtown has a Celtic music series each year. Next up in the series is Dervish, playing traditional Irish music, on March 24. Stay tuned to our website for entertainment listings.

Come to Asheville for some green — Irish style, that is. Contact Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville vacation rental, at 828-545-2950 or loversloop(at)gmail(dot)com.

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Lovers’ Loop Retreat February muse-letter

Mid-winter greetings! The beautiful mountain views in the Asheville, NC, area are stunning in winter, and we appreciate the crispness of the vistas in February. We’ve had fun this winter hiking on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail along the Blue Ridge Parkway. We pick up the trail at the end of our road here at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative. It’s peaceful to walk through the scented pine forest, look up and see the evergreens against the blue sky. With Valentine’s Day and the President’s Day holiday weekend this month, February is a great time to celebrate in Asheville.

Free things to do in Asheville in February

Enjoy some free things to do in Asheville this month. Take your own tour of downtown’s chocolate shops, which include the French Broad Chocolate Lounge, the Chocolate Fetish and Kilwin’s, which offers chocolates and ice cream—how irresistible is that? Take a stroll around the Grove Park Inn, where even visitors who aren’t guests can sit by the huge fireplaces in the lobby and absorb the heat and history of the famous place with fabulous views. The inn’s latest boast is that it hosted President Obama and the First Lady on vacation last year. Window shop at some independently-owned stores at downtown’s Grove Arcade, a beautiful example of Asheville’s classy architectural mix. Browse the shelves at Malaprop’s bookstore, a signature business downtown and one of several independent booksellers in the city.

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.

Jake Shimabukuro ukulele in Asheville

The ukulele is back! Forget Tiny Tim. Check out Jake Shimabukuro at UNC-Asheville on Feb. 10. He was featured recently on National Public Radio, and he makes those four strings sing. Catch the fever at the Asheville Ukulele Society’s free biweekly jams, the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at Laurey’s Catering and Gourmet downtown. It’s music that makes you smile.

February theater in Asheville

Theater never sleeps in Asheville, and February is filled with a range of stage pickings offered by professional and community troupes. The Montford Park Players present “The “Patient” and “The Real Inspector Hound” Feb. 10-12 and Feb. 17-20 at the beautifully restored Masonic Temple downtown. Probably worth the admission just to be in the historic Masonic building. “Boeing! Boeing!” will open downtown Feb. 16 (through March 13), a production of the North Carolina Stage Company. Asheville Community Theatre presents the Broadway hit “Rent” Feb. 18-27.

Asheville events in February

Get your laugh on with comedian Etta May at Diana Wortham Theatre downtown Feb. 11. The Asheville Civic Center downtown will present “Lord of the Dance” Feb. 16. The annual extravaganza Bluegrass First Class will be Feb. 18-20. And if you’re drawn to the arts and crafts style of architecture and antiques/collectibles, Asheville is the place to be Feb. 18-20 for the annual Arts & Crafts Antiques Show and Conference at the Grove Park Inn.

A storytelling open mic, the Synergy Story Slam, will be Feb. 21 at the new Magnetic Theater just outside downtown. Celtic vocalist Cathie Ryan will perform Feb. 25 at the Diana Wortham Theatre. And the innovative and bold Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre will stage its annual 48-Hour Dance Project Feb. 25-27, with dance presentations created in a 48-hour period.

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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Ring in the New Year in Asheville

There’s no better place to end the 21st century’s first decade than in Asheville, always a lively place for a celebration of any sort and for any occasion. Here, we do fun right. Visitors at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville vacation rental, are well-positioned to take advantage of all the happenings around New Year’s Eve in Asheville.

New Year’s Eve events in Asheville

The popular Asheville-based Toubab Krewe band will perform at the Orange Peel this Thursday, Dec. 30 to get a start on New Year’s Eve festivities.

The Avett Brothers will play at the Asheville Civic Center downtown Dec. 30 and Dec. 31.

Also on New Year’s Eve, clubs will be hopping and happening. The Orange Peel will host Clutch, the Grey Eagle will present the Reigning Sound and the Legendary Singing Stars plus DJ sets, and you can hear more live music at the Westville Pub, Stella Blue, Jack of the Wood, Mo Daddy’s, Magnolia’s, Get Down and elsewhere.

Tressa’s will have its annual New Year’s Eve Bash with the Charles Walker Band, a buffet and complimentary champagne at midnight. Pack’s Tavern will have DJs, party favors, champagne at midnight and a buffet.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve at Asheville’s Grove House

If you want a lot of bang for your party buck, check out the Grove House downtown, which offers three clubs for one admission price. You can choose from DJs, electronic and video productions and drag performers.

Stick around for balloon drops and champagne at midnight, and enjoy party favors and snacks. Prizes and cash giveaways, too. Such a deal.

Free things to do New Year’s Eve in Asheville

Simply strolling through downtown Asheville on New Year’s Eve should provide its own entertainment with the people-watching that’s so engaging in Asheville. If it’s warm enough, look for street musicians and other performers. And you’ll enjoy the random, costumed curiosities who will roam the streets looking for fun.

The Lexington Avenue Brewery downtown will offer live music with no cover charge.

Walk or drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, just around the corner from Lovers’ Loop

Retreat, and welcome the last moon of 2010 — or the first of 2011.

Feast your eyes on the gingerbread house display at the Grove Park Inn. The creations are imaginative and amazing.

Stick around until Sunday, Jan. 2, and check out the Poetrio event at Malaprop’s bookstore downtown. You’ll hear three poets reading their work.

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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Visions of Gingerbread in Asheville

When you’re in Asheville for the holidays, you don’t want to miss the National Gingerbread House Competition and Display at the Grove Park Inn. The annual exhibit is available for public viewing — including non-guests at the inn — through Jan. 2, 2011. When you stay at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, you’re an easy drive to the gingerbread house display.

Free things to do in Asheville for Christmas

The exhibit is a FREE thing to do in Asheville during the holidays. Gingerbread houses? Yes, we know. Who knew this could be an exciting art form of its own? The competition draws plenty of participants from multiple states, and it generates a lot of buzz during the holidays. You may be surprised at the creativity reflected in the entries. Children and adults enter their imaginative houses in the competition, and the entire entry must be edible.

Asheville’s Grove Park Inn

If the gingerbread houses stir your taste buds, consider dining at one of the Grove Park Inn’s restaurants, all open to non-guests at the inn. It’s a historic building, too, and well worth visiting. You can sit by the enormous fireplaces in rocking chairs.

President Obama in Asheville

Many luminaries have stayed at the inn over the years. And yes, the president slept there. Barack and Michelle Obama stayed at the inn this past spring on their vacation in Asheville.

Contact Lovers’ Loop Retreat at 828-545-2950 or loversloop(at)gmail(dot)com.

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Lovers’ Loop Retreat December muse-letter

Asheville doesn’t hibernate in December!

As we look eagerly toward the winter solstice in December and the gradual return to more daylight, we’re primed for plenty of fun in these beautiful mountains. We love the mountains in their bareness. On our hike at the Blue Ridge Parkway on Thanksgiving, it was great to have so much visibility through the woods, combined with the many colorful evergreens. Winter is a good time to hike in western North Carolina, and at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville vacation rental, our guests are only a minute from the parkway, which also affords fine birding opportunities.

December events in Asheville

Asheville offers lots of Christmas and Hanukkah events, from theater, dance and musical productions to shows and sales that feature the wide range of artists around here. For many people, the Biltmore mansion in Asheville is a must-see for its Christmas decorations that are up through New Year’s weekend. There’s also a spectrum of music, from the rock and pop of the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam and the Avett Brothers to the African-American expression of old-time music provided by the Carolina Chocolate Drops, as well as seasonal symphonic and choral concerts.

Make Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, 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.

Free things to do in Asheville in December

Enjoy a variety of FREE things. An exhibit of panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be displayed through Dec. 3 at Pack Place downtown. The annual exhibit is powerful. The last art gallery walk of the year will be Dec. 3, with the opportunity to view art with refreshments as many galleries downtown stay open later. Hike, bike, bird, run — or skip if you feel like it — on trails at the North Carolina Arboretum on Dec. 7, the first Tuesday of the month, when the parking fee is waived. The parking fee also will be waived each year for the days around Christmas and New Year’s. The arboretum has exhibits, too, including a major one up through next March about the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, a tribe whose reservation is an hour west of Asheville.

MORE free things to do in Asheville in December

Tour two historic homes, Fernihurst and the Smith McDowell-House, on Dec. 7 and Dec. 14. The Smith McDowell-House, now a museum, dates to about 1840 and is Asheville’s oldest surviving house. The new One Bazaar Holiday Music Festival will feature diverse live music on Friday and Saturday evenings through Dec. 18 at the Downtown Market. You can check out the market’s many booths of artists and crafters while you listen. Drool at the eye candy on display at the Grove Park Inn, which hosts an annual gingerbread house contest and exhibit. Who knew the elaborate, fun and creative designs possible with gingerbread? The exhibit, up through Jan. 2, is really something to see.

Asheville holiday shopping

Asheville is a great place for holiday shopping. And a couple of arts organizations make it easier for shoppers with annual events, among the many arts events in Asheville this holiday season. The Folk Art Center, on the Blue Ridge Parkway five minutes from Lovers’ Loop Retreat, has its Artists’ Holiday Sale on Dec. 4 and Dec. 11. The Big Crafty, another artists’ bazaar, will be Dec. 5 at the Asheville Art Museum downtown.

“Santaland Diaries” and “Nutcracker” in Asheville

Humorist David Sedaris’ “The Santaland Diaries” will be performed Dec. 16-19  at Asheville Community Theatre, and several versions of “The Nutcracker” will be offered by dance companies in December.

New Year’s Eve in Asheville

New Year’s Eve in Asheville? Yes! It’s a playground downtown. Come and enjoy the buzz on the streets and in the many clubs and bars that offer a great variety of live music and other entertainment. If the night is mild enough, you’ll walk by street musicians playing their hearts out. The Avett Brothers perform at the Asheville Civic Center on Dec. 30 and Dec. 31.

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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Lovers’ Loop Retreat November Muse-letter

our mountain view

our mountain view

In November, we regain our mountain view at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville vacation rental. The oaks, sourwoods and tulip poplars were busy in October shedding their leaves, but there’s still nice foliage color into November here in western North Carolina.

November events in Asheville

In addition to Thanksgiving in Asheville, November offers lots of varied events here. And if you’re thinking about holiday gifts, holiday shopping in Asheville features many galleries and stores with creative artwork, unusual clothing and other wares.

Mast General Store downtown is a fun and popular place to browse. Mast sells clothing, shoes, outdoor gear, books, candy and general merchandise. The famous Biltmore mansion in Asheville begins its annual Christmas candlelight activities in November, and other holiday events take place in November in the city. Entertainment at various venues downtown ranges from Cyndi Lauper and moe to Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado” and a musical about menopause.

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.

Free things to do in Asheville in November

You can’t go wrong with these FREE things.

  • The Asheville art museum is open to the public for free Nov. 3 from 3-5 p.m.
  • There’s free, public tai chi instruction in Asheville on Saturday morning at Pack Square Park downtown Nov. 6, Nov. 13 and Nov. 20.
  • Nov. 13-14 is the free and popular River Arts District Studio Stroll, in which you can wander among artists’ studios, talk with artists, enjoy refreshments and view and buy artwork.
  • Nov. 15-21 is the Asheville Art Museum’s annual Holiday Market, at which many of the talented artists in the area will have their work for sale — but it’s free to just look.
  • And on Nov. 21, there’s free admission to the art museum all afternoon.
  • The annual Asheville holiday parade will be Nov. 20 downtown. The Steep Canyon Rangers will provide music, and you’ll see results of the window decoration contest at stores downtown.
  • Panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be displayed Nov. 22-Dec. 3 at Pack Place downtown.

Christmas at the Biltmore

Some guests at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, love to visit the Biltmore estate, an easy 10-minute drive from our vacation rental. The Biltmore is quite a scene at holiday time, with elaborately decorated trees, hundreds of wreaths and poinsettias, mistletoe, evergreens and thousands of ornaments. The holiday decorations are up Nov. 5-Jan. 2, 2011. The Biltmore also offers seminars on creating your own holiday décor. The estate’s Candlelight Christmas Evenings start Nov. 12 and run through Jan. 1, 2011. In addition to interior candlelight, trees outside will be decorated with lights.

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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Enjoy July 4 freebies in Asheville

For the big July 4 holiday weekend, set your sights on some free things to do in Asheville. At Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, we’re happy to share information about the area’s bounty, including some of the best things in life here that are free.

            Here’s a list of free things to do in Asheville for July 4th:

  • Check out the weekly drum circle at Pritchard Park downtown on Friday, July 2. It’s mesmerizing
  • Stop by Highland Brewery in Asheville on Friday, July 2 for a tasty tour at the city’s oldest brewery
  • Listen to some good tales at Stories on Asheville’s Front Porch, a storytelling series downtown     
  • Go to the Saturday Umbrella Market with varied vendors on Saturday, July 3 at Pritchard Park
  • Spread a blanket at the finger-pickin’ goodness of Shindig on the Green, the summertime bluegrass and mountain music series downtown on Saturday, July 3
  • Be in the wowed crowd to see fireworks and enjoy other festivities at Asheville’s July 4 celebration downtown 
  • Hike, bike or cruise along the Blue Ridge Parkway, two minutes from Lovers’ Loop Retreat
  • Take a stroll under the trees at Asheville’s Riverside Cemetery, a destination in itself, where notables including authors Thomas Wolfe and O. Henry and others are buried.
  • Tour the Basilica of St. Lawrence downtown, a repository of ancient art and stained glass in an historic Catholic church
  • Explore Asheville’s Urban Trail, a self-guided tour of highlights and landmarks downtown
  • Relax outdoors during sunset at a movie at the Wedge brewery in Asheville
  • Wander downtown to marvel at the diversity of carefully-preserved architecture
  • Browse at Malaprop’s, Asheville iconic, independent bookstore and café, where there may be authors’ or poets’ readings and book signings to stay for, while you’re there
  • Enjoy the eye candy at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway, just a few minutes from Lovers’ Loop Retreat. The center is filled with art of all sorts made by people in North Carolina and surrounding states.
  • Chill out with ping pong at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, where you can treat yourself to a tournament

Indulge in more eye candy with the amazing-but-true evening firefly show on your private porch at Lovers’ Loop Retreat

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