Posts Tagged Asheville

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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Elvis comes to Asheville

Well, not that Elvis. But British rocker Elvis Costello will perform for the first time in Asheville on July 19 at the civic center downtown, and tickets are on sale starting Friday, March 25.

Costello will perform with his band the Imposters, and this brings back memories for us of his rise to stardom many years ago. We still enjoy listening occasionally to a Costello album or two.


Cold Mountain Song

At Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, you’re an easy 10-minute drive to Asheville’s civic center and all the rest that downtown Asheville offers. Costello was nominated for an Oscar for the song “The Scarlet Tide” from the movie “Cold Mountain,” based on a book by Asheville resident and best-selling novelist Charles Frazier.

Elvis Presley in Asheville

Elvis Costello isn’t the first Elvis to rock Asheville. Elvis Presley performed at a sell-out show at the civic center in 1975.

If you have tickets to a great show or if you come to Asheville for any other event or reason, stay at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville vacation rental. Contact us at 828-545-2950 or loversloop(at)gmail(dot)com.

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Asheville’s Fun Enough for a U.S. President

When the Democratic Party announced recently that Charlotte, N.C., will host the nominating convention in 2012, Asheville got a plug from first lady Michelle Obama.

Obamas Visited Asheville

She mentioned that their family has vacationed in Asheville twice, once in 2009 with the whole family and the second time, in spring 2010, just the president and first lady. The president had campaigned at Asheville High School previously. Maybe Asheville influenced the selection of Charlotte for the convention. Charlotte, the state’s biggest city, is about two hours from Asheville.

Visit our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, and you’ll be right beside the Blue Ridge Parkway, where the president and first lady hiked on their vacation last year. The parkway is a great place to hike, drive, bike, motorcycle, take photographs, picnic, search for wildflowers and enjoy other activities.

The Obamas visited Asheville’s Biltmore estate on their trip last year, played golf and tennis and ate at city restaurants in historic Biltmore Village and elsewhere. One of their favorite restaurants is a casual barbecue eatery, Twelve Bones, in the River Arts District outside downtown.

These are among the many fun activities and great restaurants that draw our guests at Lovers’ Loop Retreat to this area. Come play in Asheville! See what attracts the president, hippies, 20-somethings, baby boomers, retirees and others.

Contact Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville vacation rental, at 828-545-2950 or loversloop(at)gmail(dot)com.

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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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Have a Laugh in Asheville

Asheville’s a funny place. Bill Cosby performed at the Asheville Civic Center in January. Billy D. Washington, a former Houston police officer, does his stand-up strut on stage March 11 at the Diana Wortham Theatre downtown. And the 23rd annual Comedy Classic at Asheville’s Grove Park Inn will be March 11-12.

Grove Park Inn Comedy Classic

The Comedy Classic is so popular that organizers turn people away each year. Syndicated radio hosts John Boy & Billy will host the festival this year. The headline act March 11 is Jon Reep, a stand-up comedian and actor who does television commercials. Reep was the winner of the fifth season of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” When you stay at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville vacation rental, you’ve got an easy drive to the Comedy Classic.

On March 12, Tommy Johnagin and Reno Collier, both with television credits, will create the belly laughs.

Come to Asheville for a good laugh. 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 March Muse-letter

We love March. It’s full of surprises. March can be winter or spring at various times, but here in Asheville, NC, eventually March gives way to signs of springtime. Maybe emerging crocuses, daffodils, forsythia, flowering trees. It’s a bursting-forth month, and the Asheville area bursts forth with it. Lots of people downtown, lots of events—music, comedy, organic happenings this month. Here at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, we can’t wait for March to get started and spread the energy and vibrancy of this fun and funky place. When you visit Asheville, take advantage of the welcome mat at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, a peaceful place beside the Blue Ridge Parkway where you can enjoy our mountain views with convenient access to downtown and other attractions.

Free things to do in Asheville in March

Asheville always has free and nearly-free activities. Enjoy some free things to do in Asheville in March. Check out the Asheville Ukulele Jam the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at Laurey’s Catering downtown. All levels of experience are welcome. March 1 is the monthly free-admission day at the North Carolina Arboretum, with hundreds of acres of forest and landscaped gardens for walking and biking, plus exhibits. The Asheville Art Museum’s monthly free-admission day is March 2. The museum’s 60th-anniversary exhibit includes a painting by Zelda Fitzgerald, who died in Asheville and was married to novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald. The Curator’s Bazaar at the art museum March 12-13 will offer deals on frames, books and artwork, but there’s no charge for browsing.

Jack of the Wood, a nightclub downtown, hosts a free, unplugged Irish jam session each Sunday evening. The Synergy Story Slam at the new Magnetic Theatre is an open-mic storytelling competition. The theater, in Asheville’s River Arts District, asks for a donation of $5-$10, but no one is turned away. For another nearly-free activity, watch a movie at Asheville Pizza and Brewing, where all films are $3.

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.

Organic in Asheville

The annual Organic Growers School conference will be March 5-6 at UNC-Asheville. Learn everything you want to know about organic growing: gardening, livestock, permaculture, cooking, herbs, food preservation, landscaping and more.

March comedy in Asheville

March is a funny month in Asheville. Billy D. Washington, a stand-up comedian and musician, performs at the Diana Wortham Theatre downtown March 11. March 11-13 is the annual Comedy Classic Weekend at the Grove Park Inn north of downtown, with nationally-known comedians. For home-grown comedy that pokes fun at all things Asheville, catch the Asheville-based, all-women’s group LYLAS (Love Ya Like A Sis) March 17-26 at the North Carolina Stage Co. downtown.

Asheville events in March

Remember the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band? They’re playing at the Orange Peel downtown March 11. Lucinda Williams will play the Orange Peel on March 16. For fans of traditional Irish music, there’s Dervish at the Diana Wortham Theatre on March 24. The Magnetic Theatre’s storytelling nights are March 7 and March 21. The annual orchid show at the North Carolina Arboretum March 26-27 is amazing. And the Taste of Home Cooking School will bring its food and fun to Asheville on March 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.

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