The Inn At Afton

In 1968, a Holiday Inn was built along the Blue Ridge Parkway on Afton Mountain.  The hotel boasted unparalleled views and outstanding accommodations for travelers to this part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, just west of Charlottesville. Open in all seasons, it had both a swimming pool and ice skate rink overlooking the scenic Rockfish Valley.  In the mid-1990s the Holiday Inn closed and the property became The Inn at Afton, continuing to cater to tourists enjoying the mountain scenery here and visiting Shenandoah National Park.  Over the past two decades the hotel has fallen into disrepair.

Recently, photographer Rick Stillings visited the old hotel and brought back these images.

Inn_at_Afton-12Prior to becoming The Inn at Afton the property was managed by Holiday Inn (1968-1990’s).

Inn_at_Afton-1  A pool once provided summer recreation for guests. Beyond the pool you can see greenstones of the Catoctin Formation, a late Neoproterozoic geologic unit exposed throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Inn_at_Afton-2Once home to Aberdeen Barn Restaurant (when the property was under Holiday Inn’s management), it was thought to be one of the best places in the area to dine, with a beautiful panoramic view of the Rockfish Valley.

Inn_at_Afton-13Room 209.

Inn_at_Afton-3The ice skate rink also had a beautiful panoramic view of the Rockfish Valley.

Inn_at_Afton-6Skate rink sign.

Inn_at_Afton-4Room where you checked out skates. On the far left you can still make out where the
“M9’s” were kept.

Ice Skate Rink, Inn at Afton
Looking out the "Check Out Window" onto rink.Looking out the “Check Out Window” onto rink.

Inn_at_Afton-7Adjacent the Inn at Afton were other accommodations known as the “Skyline Parkway Motor Court”. Once a much larger motel, only a few cabins remain.

What remains of the old "Skyline Parkway Motor Court" on Afton MountainMore of the remains of the old Skyline Parkway Motor Court on Afton Mountain.

Inn_at_Afton-10Also near by is this abandoned restaurant, a Howard Johnson’s originally built in 1948.



In addition to his photography, Rick Stillings works full-time in UVA’s Computer Science Department.  Primary Photography interests: Nature, Wildlife, Urban Exploration, Live Music, Equestrian and Abstract.

Rick’s website

Rick on Flickr




3 thoughts on “The Inn At Afton

  1. I worked at the Aberdeen Barn restaurant from 1977-1982 when Afton mtn was beautiful. In the 50s our parents would take us to Howard Johnsons for ice cream. Oh back in the day, that was the place to be. It is in shambles now…

  2. Great photos! I skated on that rink when I was a kid and my wife and I stayed at the hotel when we were dating. I would like to take some photos there as well. How is permission to do so obtained?

    • I remember a wonderfull dinner date there with a dear friend Benny Livingston. It was l980 the view was breathtaking and the food was great too. Happy memory from my past. Thanks for bringing this view from the past to the present. It was nice for me and others to enjoy.

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