Posts Tagged free stuff to do

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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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 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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Lovers’ Loop Retreat October Muse-letter

It’s nearly October, and that means the hunt is on in the Asheville, N.C., area. Red leaves, gold leaves, orange and russet leaves. Come see what the oaks, maples, poplars, sourwoods and other trees are serving up for eye candy this autumn as the fall foliage season gets underway in western North Carolina. Guests at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, love that we’re located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic road that’s part of the National Park Service. The parkway is the best place to enjoy all that autumn offers in color changes and mountain peaks. The leaf-peeping here usually lasts until around mid-November.

Spending time on the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the popular and FREE things to do in Asheville during autumn and year-round.

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. Contact us for a list of many FREE things to do in Asheville.

Free things to do in Asheville in October

In October, you’ll find a fun and wide-ranging mix of freebies in Asheville. Oct. 1 is the Asheville gallery walk, when the many downtown galleries stay open later so visitors may check out the art and enjoy refreshments. Asheville’s pride festival is Oct. 2.

There’s also the Asheville Scarecrow Festival on Oct. 2, and Fiesta Latina, the vibrant and colorful annual Latino heritage event, also is Oct. 2.

The North Carolina Arboretum’s regularly scheduled free day is the first Tuesday of each month, Oct. 5. The Asheville Art Museum offers free admission in the afternoon on the first Wednesday of each month, Oct. 6.

If you’re ready to walk the walk, participate in the Asheville Zombie Walk on Oct. 10. It’s an annual gig downtown: fake blood, funky costumes, scary stares. To lighten up, attend the Asheville Ukulele Jam on Oct. 12 at Laurey’s Catering downtown. This new event will be the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.

On Oct. 17, the annual HardLox Jewish Festival will fill your tummy with yummy food and please your ears with klezmer tunes, along with Israeli folk dancing.

Asheville arts events

Two of the most-anticipated arts events in the Asheville area are in October. The Lake Eden Arts Festival, or LEAF, will be Oct. 14-17 in Black Mountain just minutes from Lovers’ Loop Retreat. LEAF features multicultural dancing, poetry, healing and culinary arts and handcrafts. The Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands will be Oct. 21-24 in downtown Asheville.

Halloween in Asheville

Asheville is a happening place to spread your Halloween wings. LaZoom, the comedy tour bus that roams downtown, offers lively Halloween tours. Asheville Trolley Tours and other companies offer ghost tours by foot and bus. And the play “Dracula” will be performed Oct. 22-23 and Oct. 29-30 at the recently restored Masonic Temple downtown. We’ll update our website as we learn of other Halloween gigs.

It’s not scary, but the Asheville MoogFest will be Oct. 29-31 and celebrates the vision and music of the late Robert Moog (based in Asheville), who invented the Moog synthesizer that revolutionized rock music starting in the 1960s.

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!

Call or email us – 828.545.2950, loversloop(at)gmail(dot)com.

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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 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 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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Relax with stained glass in downtown Asheville

There’s a great place to go for a quiet, relaxed good time in Asheville that may not have occurred to you. Check out the Basilica of Saint Lawrence downtown. It’s hard to miss the Catholic church around the corner from Malaprop’s bookstore.

When you stay at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, you’re a sweet 10 minutes from downtown and the art treasures inside the basilica. The church, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, offers free tours of the inspiring interior.

Historic sites in Asheville

The church, which opened in 1909, was designed by Spanish architect Rafael Gustavino Sr., who was laid to rest in a crypt inside. He moved to Asheville in the 1890s to work on the Biltmore house, the estate (now a public museum) developed by railroad tycoon George Vanderbilt.

The huge stained glass dome on the church ceiling will command your attention. The church also contains stained glass windows from Germany, marble statues and marble tiles at the altar, 16th- and 17th-century furnishings and North Carolina granite.

And the enormous pipe organ! If you’re lucky, you’ll get there when someone is playing the organ or at least practicing. It’s amazing. You won’t want to leave.

For much of the year, the roses in front of the church parade their hues of lavender, yellow, orange, purple and red, enough to draw the curious.

Whether your interest is history, architecture, art or religion, make the Basilica of Saint Lawrence a stop on your tour of Asheville when you stay at Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an Asheville vacation rental.

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