Archive for nature

Lovers’ Loop Retreat June muse-letter

            We love the summer solstice. Here at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, we’ll celebrate the solstice June 21 and relish the day with the most daylight of the year. That means the cardinals, Carolina wrens, mourning doves, chickadees, finches, nuthatches, blue jays and the rest in our circus of resident birds will offer their chorus for a little bit longer on the solstice.

As the season explodes in nature’s noises and flora, we’re amazed at all the activities and events the Asheville area offers in June and throughout the summer. Of course, Asheville never hibernates, so any time of year is a great time to be here, and each season –  and month –  has its advantages. In June, advantages abound, and some are free.

One advantage of staying at Lovers’ Loop Retreat is that we’re a quick, easy drive to lively downtown Asheville, the Biltmore estate in Asheville, the River Arts District and other attractions. And for outdoor recreation, the Blue Ridge Parkway is at the end of our street with FREE opportunities for hiking, biking and other activities.

Free things to do in Asheville in June

Asheville has lots of free and nearly-free activities. Check out some free things to do in Asheville in June. The next Asheville Gallery Walk will be June 3, and it gives an opportunity to stay later, talk with artists and enjoy refreshments at the many diverse art galleries downtown. Pickin’ on the Porch also will be June 3 at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial downtown. It’s a new music series noon to 2 p.m. on the first Friday of each month through October. Art in the Park, an open-air art market, will be June 11, June 18 and June 25 downtown, in addition to three dates in October. The Montford Park Players, a longtime Shakespeare troupe, will perform “Double Falsehood/Comedy of Errors” June 3-26 at the park’s amphitheater, just outside downtown Asheville.

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.

More free Asheville events and activities in June

Stroll along Asheville’s self-guided urban trail downtown, and get a FREE lesson in history and architecture. The city has many varied, fascinating and rare architectural gems that really add to the downtown aura. While you’re downtown, visit the Thomas Wolfe Memorial’s Second Saturdays event June 11. This is the first in the museum’s FREE annual series (on the second Saturday in June, July and August) that features local arts, crafts and demonstrations. The Thomas Wolfe Memorial itself is a must-see destination for literature and history buffs. For the admission of only $1, you’ll get a great tour of the house where the novelist grew up and spent time when he visited Asheville as an adult.

Asheville’s River Arts District Studio Stroll

The River Arts District Studio Stroll will be June 11-12. It’s a FREE event that allows you to walk through artists’ galleries, talk with artists and purchase art, and it’s in the trendy, up-and-coming River Arts District just outside downtown Asheville.

Free music in Asheville

The next concert in the FREE outdoor music series Downtown After Five in Asheville will be June 17. The band will be the Blue Dogs, a Charleston, S.C.-based group that plays Americana/country-rock. 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 on Lexington Avenue stay open longer, too.    

Malaprops bookstore events

            The city’s most happening bookstore, Malaprops, is downtown and features several readings related to Eastern culture in June. On June 21, Irmansyah Effendi will read from and sign his book about meditation. June 22, the store will host Rameshwar Das, co-author with Ram Dass of “Be Love Now.” Ram Dass will participate through Skype. On June 29, Master Zhongxian Wu will talk about classical Chinese wisdom.     

Asheville events in June

Check out these other events in Asheville in June: Asheville Tourists baseball throughout the month, “The Glass Menagerie” June 1-19 at the N.C. Stage Co., the Blue Ridge Roller Girls roller derby June 4, the Found Footage Festival with screenings of rare and discovered videos June 9 at the Grey Eagle, the daylily show and sale June 18 at the North Carolina Arboretum, Chris Isaak at the Orange Peel on June 21 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.

Cheers!

Advertisements

Leave a Comment

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

Leave a Comment

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.

Leave a Comment

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

 

 

Leave a Comment

Lovers’ Loop Retreat January muse-letter

Happy new year! After the recent snow, we had a blast cross-country skiing on the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, which is at the end of our street here at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative. Cross-country skiing is one of our favorite activities, and there are other fun things for our guests to do outdoors in winter. Use our guest suite as a base if you want to downhill ski at any of the several skiing areas nearby. The North Carolina Arboretum, Beaver Lake and the UNC-Asheville arboretum, all in Asheville, and other areas are great for bird-watching at this time of year, too. Not to mention the property at Lovers’ Loop Retreat. On our peaceful acre, you can watch interesting wildlife dramas with our resident ravens, squirrels, chipmunks, chickadees and other characters.

January events in Asheville

Apart from the natural world, January offers fun and funky events in Asheville. Five-time Grammy-winning singer Lauryn Hill will perform Jan. 9 at The Orange Peel downtown. The annual Asheville FringeArts Festival will be Jan. 20-23. At the festival, expect some circus, some dance, some video, some music — keep your mind open, and be blown away. Enjoy contemporary dance with the Pilobolus dance troupe at the Diana Wortham Theatre downtown Jan. 21-22. If opera makes your heart sing, check out Asheville Lyric Opera’s “Brundibar” on Jan. 28-29 at Diana Wortham Theatre.

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 dancing at the Grove Park Inn

The historic Grove Park Inn hosts several annual, ticketed dance events in the winter that are open to non-guests of the inn. The Big Band Swing Dance Weekend will be Jan. 20-22, and the All That Jazz Weekend will be Jan. 28-29. (The inn’s Celtic Adventure Weekend will be Feb. 4-5.) Get your groove on, and dance the cold away!

Asheville beer city

Here’s one for the many beer lovers who visit the many microbreweries in Asheville’s growing and renowned beer scene. The annual Winter Warmer Beer Festival will be Jan. 22. Fifteen to 20 breweries will be represented, and the event will feature live music, too. Some of the proceeds will benefit the Asheville nonprofit RiverLink, which works to keep area rivers clean.

Bill Cosby in Asheville

Yes, the funny man will perform in Asheville on Jan. 23 at the civic center. It won’t be Cosby’s first appearance in Asheville, but it might be his best! Get laughing already!

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

Leave a Comment

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.

Leave a Comment

Asheville rated as top fall foliage leaf-peeping spot

It’s official, more or less. The best place in the country to see the really big show of autumn foliage is the Asheville area. That’s according to travelers surveyed by the travel site TripAdvisor.com, part of Expedia.com. Travelers ranked Asheville first in the U.S. among fall foliage destinations, partly for views along roadways including the Blue Ridge Parkway.

That’s perfect for guests at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative. We’re located one minute from the parkway, which offers thrills to motorists, hikers, cyclists, photographers and others who use the road to catch autumn’s fever.

Fall foliage in Asheville

There’s a significant elevation difference in the Asheville area. Lovers’ Loop Retreat is at about a 2,000-foot elevation, and if you travel 30 minutes north on the Blue Ridge Parkway, you’ll reach Mount Mitchell, at about 6,700 feet, the highest peak in the U.S. east of the Mississippi River. That means that foliage changes occur at different times around Asheville. No guarantees with Mother Nature, but usually there’s pretty fall color to see as late as mid-November.

And after that, it’s still great at Lovers’ Loop Retreat because when the leaves are off the trees, we regain our mountain views until April.

Free things to do in Asheville

One of the best things about leaf-peeping is that it’s free if you use the Blue Ridge Parkway and other scenic roads around Asheville.

Visit us at Lovers’ Loop Retreat this fall, and enjoy a cheap thrill. Don’t miss the splendor of these beautiful mountains!

Leave a Comment

Older Posts »