Last Updated on October 21, 2014 by Jody Halsted
Our stay at the Cottage at Natural Valley Ranch was arranged in partnership with the Hendricks County CVB.
There is just something about a farm cottage that immediately relaxes me.
Maybe it's the wrap around porch that I can all too easily imagine spending evenings relaxing on, listening to crickets chirp and birds twitter as the sun sets.
Maybe it's the idea of enjoying a cup of tea each morning in the company of a purring farm cat.
Or maybe it was just the quiet peacefulness that soothed my soul.
Whatever the reason, when we arrived at the Cottage at Natural Valley Ranch in Hednricks County, Indiana, after a six hour drive, all my stresses melted away.
The Cottage at Natural Valley Ranch
An Indianapolis Vacation Home Perfect for Families
Though the Cottage at Natural Valley Ranch has only been available as an Indianapolis vacation home for a few months, already it has proven popular for owners Chuck and Marie Damler, who own the adjacent Natural Valley Ranch.
The house was owned, until recently, by a couple who Marie says were “wonderful friends and neighbors”. After the husband passed away and the wife had finished grieving, she decided to move. When she told Marie, “I want you to buy my house,” Marie had no idea what they would do with the property. Owning a vacation rental was far from her mind. “I didn't know people did that!” she told me.
It didn't take long for Marie to learn about vacation rentals and, since the house had been cared for so well, there wasn't much work involved for the Damler's to prepare the house for vacationing families. “(Our neighbor) left nearly everything you see in the house – furniture, dishes, appliances, even the exercise equipment in the basement.” In fact, most of the fancy touches you see throughout the house remain from the previous owner, which gives the Cottage a welcoming, homey feel you don't experience in many vacation rentals.
Staying the the Cottage at Natural Valley Ranch
Perfect for a family of four to a family group of up to 15 people, the Cottage at Natural Valley Ranch has everything you may need for a self catering family vacation – from a fully stocked kitchen (you supply the food) and spacious bedrooms, to a finished basement (where my girls spent quite a bit of time).
Entering the Cottage through the kitchen is your first inclination of just how nice this vacation rental is. Beautifully finished in white on white, this kitchen invites you to spend time in it! With a huge farm table, a smaller round table and center island seating, there is plenty of room for everyone to eat together.
After seeing the kitchen, I had to explore the rest of the house!
Though you won't enter through the front door, I thought the entry hall was wonderful.
There are two bedrooms on the main floor, each with its own bathroom.
The first, right inside the front door, is comforting in its simplicity.
The second is the Master Bedroom, with its own small porch, 4 post bed, and deep, relaxing bathtub.
Finishing the tour of the main floor, a large living room holds two comfortable couches, perfect for relaxing. Accessible from the hallway or the kitchen, I found myself in here rather often.
Heading upstairs, a lovingly decorated hallway leads to two bedrooms, one on each end.
Both bedrooms have a double bed, as well as a set up bunk beds. The bedrooms are connected by a Jack & Jill bathroom.
The basement proved to be the girls' favorite room of the house. With a couple of couches, games, and a large TV, this was a great place for them to get away from my husband and me. Of course, if you feel like exercising, you could do that, too. (You might consider it after eating at one of Hendricks County's incredible restaurants!)
Keeping Occupied at the Cottage at Natural Valley Ranch
During your stay at the Cottage at Natural Valley Ranch you'll undoubtedly venture out and enjoy many of the attractions in Hendricks County and Indianapolis. You might even venture to the racetrack. But there is plenty to keep you occupied right at Natural Valley Ranch.
- Forego the kitchen and use the outdoor grill to create a lovely dinner to eat al fresco.
- Go completely rustic and enjoy an evening by the lake, roasting hot dogs over a campfire and making our favorite camp dessert- Smacos!
- Visit the animals at Natural Valley Ranch – goats, pigs, ducks and chickens will delight kids.
- Take a trail ride on in the wooded acres of the ranch (additional fee).
- Or hike those same trails.
- You'll find indoor and outdoor games in the basement.
With Natural Valley Ranch so centrally located in Indiana, the Cottage makes a terrific mid-point vacation for families to gather, no matter where in the US they may live. But, just a note, the cottage is rural. You can expect to hear a rooster crow (and not only in the morning), see spider webs (and maybe an industrious spider) outdoors, and receive visits from friendly farm animals. It's just part of what makes a stay at the Cottage so enchanting.