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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Beautiful, Remodeled Cottage in the Heart of Afton

Bedrooms 1
Space 800 sq ft
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

Hike our trails, and explore local restaurants, wineries, & breweries.

Located in the George Washington National Forest, Gracewood is a retreat from the mental and emotional activity of everyday life. The house was recently remodeled as a comfortable setting for couples or small families who want a break. We hold meditation retreats here twice a year, so it would work well for a writer or artist or a contemplative.

Upstairs is a full modern kitchen with new appliances. We made the cottage so nice that one of us could live there comfortably if we chose to do that. There is also a dining set and a comfortable full size futon couch. (Many futons are not that comfortable. We own an organic mattress company, so the mattress and frame are the best.)

Downstairs is a queen size mattress and another excellent futon couch (or bed). We also have some comfortable seating chairs. We use Savvy Rest organic bedding.

Within 12 minutes are several breweries, wineries, and a cidery.

The property is 39+ acres, with 1/2 mile along Meriwether Creek. The volume of water varies with the season, but the feeling of energy is always powerful, calming, and clearing. There are about two miles of private trails suitable for hiking or running. Trails are well marked, and a map is available.

Over the course of seven years we have seen a few bears, raccoons, groundhogs, bats, lots of box turtles, a few snakes, a wide variety of birds, along with plenty of deer and other wildlife. We took pictures of what appeared to be bobcat tracks one winter, but we haven't caught sight of the nocturnals.

Please note that there is no television. Internet is reliably slow, so you can't stream movies; and cell service inside the cottage is intermittent, although right outside it is usually pretty reliable. So it's relatively easy to unplug.

Also note that the main queen size bed is downstairs, and the bathroom is upstairs if you get up in the night. We also have a full size mattress upstairs if needed.

There are wonderful musical events spring to fall. Skiing at Wintergreen in the winter.

Live music at our charming farmer's market in Nellysford.

More Details

Michael and Heather Penny
Member since: 2018
Premier Partner

This VRBO partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great guest experience.

Speaks: english
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
September 19, 2018

About Michael and Heather Penny

Heather and Michael met in a yoga ashram in 1976 and were married in 1982. We have always had an interest in what makes everything work, particularly human nature. Although we have both started successful businesses, we are teachers at heart.

We love meeting like minded people and sharing the beauty and serenity of our property. It has been transformative for us and many friends.

We have two wonderful adult children--one a hydrologist and one self-employed in IT.

Michael and Heather Penny purchased this cottage in 2010

Why Michael and Heather Penny chose Afton

We had been looking at property for years. Heather was on retreat in Brazil when this property came on the market; but once we had both seen it, we gave up looking anywhere else.

Nelson County is so beautiful, and being in the George Washington National Forest is like Eden.

It's so easy to calm the mind and relieve emotional stresses here.

What makes this cottage unique

2 Miles well maintained walking trails, 1/2 mile along a bubbling creek.

Serenity beyond words.

Breweries and Wineries galore.

Nice restaurants nearby.

4.5 mile walk to Humpback Rocks on the Blue Ridge Parkway, 2.5 miles to Shenandoah National Park.

Ekornes Stressless chairs from Norway.

Savvy Rest organic bedding throughout, although the main mattress on the Murphy bed could not tolerate the weight of an organic mattress. The bedding on top is all certified organic.

Low EMF Environment: Cell phones don't work in the cottage, and you can unplug the wireless router.

Environmentally friendly cleaning supplies.

Real china dishware & mugs.

Stainless steel pots and pans.


Afton Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 800 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 3
  • Min. age of primary renter: 25
  • Children welcome
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only
  • Away From It All
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Linens Provided
  • Parking
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 3
  • Books ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome


5/5 -
(4 traveler reviews)

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Beautiful, Remodeled Cottage in the Heart of Afton
average rating of 5.0 based on 4 reviews

We loved it!

  • 5 of 5

Such a beautiful home, and surrounding area! What an amazing place tho spend our one year anniversary! Great hosts as well!

  • Submitted: Aug 16, 2018
  • Stayed: August 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you, Ashley, for your kind review. We're so happy that you and Scott had a celebratory first anniversary at our cottage. Congratulations! We hope to see you both again. Michael and Heather
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Richmond VA

Great getaway!

  • 5 of 5

We really enjoyed our stay at this beautiful little Cottage. The trails were nice to walk around and the location was just far enough removed to feel like an escape but close enough to many great attractions. Very clean and comfortable with attentive hosts!

  • Submitted: Jul 2, 2018
  • Stayed: June 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you, Rebecca, for your kind review. It was nice to have you and Jason here. Maybe you can stay a few days next time. Best Regards, Michael and Heather.
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Great place for a weekend recharge

  • 5 of 5

Lovely, quiet getaway cottage. Beautiful hiking trails and stream on the property.

We'd planned to stop by a local coffee shop but arrived too late, however, we were delighted to find some coffee beans waiting for us for the next morning. There was also a bowl of fruit on the counter which we enjoyed over the weekend.

The hosts met us upon arrival and offered suggestions, if we'd like. They also left a binder with nearby restaurants, hikes and attractions.

Would absolutely book again.

  • Submitted: Jun 15, 2018
  • Stayed: May 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you, Laura, for the wonderful review. We enjoyed meeting you and having you here. We're happy that you had a great stay at our property, and we would love to have you back anytime.
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Beautiful cottage

  • 5 of 5

The cottage is perfect, nicely decorated and great kitchen. The bed was very comfortable and with the quite peaceful surrounding we had excellent nights sleep!

  • Submitted: May 23, 2018
  • Stayed: May 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you, Wendy. I'm happy the weather turned better and that you got to enjoy the cottage, our property, and graduation. You left the cottage impeccably clean, and we greatly appreciate that. Please come again. :)
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Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $75
Additional Guest Fee $10

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.