Posts Tagged free things to do

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!

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FREE things to do Memorial Day in Asheville

With the big Memorial Day holiday weekend approaching, Asheville is a great place to be, full of possibilities. You’ll find there’s plenty of fun to be had for free in the Asheville area. Who doesn’t like free? At Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative, we keep you posted about free and ticketed activities all year. Check out some FREE things to do around Memorial Day:

Mountain Sports Festival

The Asheville area has lots of sports events each year, and the Mountain Sports Festival is one of the most comprehensive. Held May 27-29 at Asheville’s Carrier Park on the French Broad River, the festival offers live music all weekend, demonstrations, clinics and competitions in a wide range of activities: skateboarding, running, ultimate Frisbee, cyclocross, disc golf, triathlon, rock climbing, dodgeball (who knew?) and more. Most competitive events have same-day registration (and a fee to enter), and spectators can show up at any time, of course, and have fun for free.

Blue Ridge Parkway

We’ve said it before, and it’s worth repeating year-round, holidays and not. The parkway is one of the best entertainment bargains going in Asheville. The scenic road cuts right through the city (and goes much farther to points north and south of Asheville), and it’s just down the street, literally, from Lovers’ Loop Retreat. Think of the possibilities: you can hike, bike, photograph, go wildflower hunting, identify trees, practice your yodeling and more. For free!

Play it again

Go back in time to when records really meant actual vinyl records that had album covers with cool artwork and photos of your favorite bands. Several record stores operate in Asheville. Harvest Records, in West Asheville just outside downtown, has new and used vinyl, CDs and DVDs. Karmasonics, Static Age Records and Voltage Records also stock new and used vinyl and CDs. It’s as if you’re at a music museum. You may be tempted to buy something, but browsing is free, right?

Cruisin’ for a Bruisin’

Browsing at Bruisin’ Ales is free, too. Here’s your chance to go global in a beer store. The retailer, in downtown Asheville, claims to stock more than 900 beers from around the world. They have a mix of seasonal and rare beers as well as American craft beers and lots more. It’s interesting to look around.

Art galleries in Asheville

So many to choose from! Our favorites include Blue Spiral downtown, Grovewood Gallery beside the Grove Park Inn just north of downtown, and New Morning Gallery, in Biltmore Village south of downtown. Walk around downtown and explore the many galleries there, and find your own favorites. There’s a lot of creative variety. It doesn’t cost anything to look.

Asheville drum circle

If you’re in town Friday evening, May 27, go to Pritchard Park downtown, and hang out at the weekly drum circle. It’s a great event for people-watching. Or bring your own drum and pound along. The drum circle is nearly year-round each Friday night. Pritchard Park is a happening place to be at other times, too. It’s in the middle of downtown, and you can play a free game of chess at the permanent chessboards, do some hula hooping, listen to random live music and watch street performers.

At Lovers’ Loop Retreat, our affordable Asheville vacation rental, you’re close to all of these freebies. Contact us at 828-545-2950 or loversloop(at)gmail(dot)com.

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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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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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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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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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Make a resolution to visit Highland Brewery’s new tasting room in Asheville

Asheville’s oldest brewery now has the biggest tasting room of breweries in the area. Highland Brewery, with its towering, silver tanks that are used to make its beers, is the largest craft brewer in North Carolina and among the biggest in the Southeast. The brewery is right around the corner from our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville bed and breakfast alternative.

The tasting room, which debuted last fall, is open every Friday. While you choose among Gaelic Ale, Kashmir IPA, Black Mocha Stout and other Highland taps, you can tap your toes to free live music in the tasting room each week. Local food vendors set up tables, too, for those who want dinner.

Highland Brewery tasting room expands hours

It’s such a popular spot, the brewery will expand its tasting room hours to Thursday through Saturday starting Feb. 3. As you sip the suds, you can watch brewers at work in an adjoining room.

Oteil Brubridge and the Lee Boys concert

Although most music has no cover charge at Highland Brewing, the brewery’s grand opening for the tasting room will feature Grammy-winning bassist Oteil Brubridge and the Lee Boys on Jan. 29. Tickets are $10 in advance. Should be a good show.

Brewery tours in Asheville

When you stay at our Lovers’ Loop Retreat, an affordable Asheville vacation rental, consider taking a free tour of Highland Brewing. Tours are offered Monday through Friday at 4 p.m. You can taste grains they use for their beers, hear how the beer is made and see large bags of malt, the automated bottling line and cases of beer stacked in a cold-storage room. And, of course, the tour includes beer samples.

The brewery, which opened in 1994, distributes its beers in multiple states. The brewery claims there are more taps with its Gaelic Ale than Budweiser taps at bars and restaurants in Asheville.

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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