If you’ve found yourself hurting for an excuse to take a meandering drive out through the rolling hills and lush landscapes around Charlottesville, this quaint afternoon activity is for you. Pick a pretty, autumn day and tour from Charlottesville out to Greene County to explore sunny patches of barn-side artwork known as Barn Quilts- and take small detour on the way around to stop by the Palladio restaurant at Barboursville Vineyards.
Our own Blue Ridge Barn Quilt Trail began in the fall of 2016 when the Art Guild of Greene and Greene County Economic Development & Tourism joined together to initiate what has become the largest barn quilt trail in Virginia. To date, there are over eighty locations with 104 barn quilts on display. They can be found on barns, sheds, houses, fences and porches, in gardens, on mailboxes, and prominently displayed on local business fronts and county buildings. The barn quilts can be as small as 1’x1’ and as large as 8’x8’, and feature designs ranging from the geometric typical of fabric quilts to patriotic, wildlife, floral or mountain scenes. One of our favorites is “Bull Yearling,” a quilt portrait of a calf with a modern feel located on Saddleback Road. For fans of the #VirginiaIsForLovers campaign, the Blue Ridge Barn Quilt Trail even has its own L-O-V-E sign, just west of Ruckersville on 33 – and the sign is adorned in hundreds of miniature barn quilts.
While you’re out touring the quilts, there are a few places to stop and have a bite to eat, depending on the route you take. In Standardsville, near the UVA 4th Generation and “Be Kind” quilts by art guild president Cory Ryan, check out the Layfette Inn, built in 1840 and offering a full spread, breakfast through dinner. If your wanderings take you through Ruckersville, check out the unassuming Blue Ridge Cafe, serving hearty American fare from 11 AM to 10 PM, daily. And if you really want to make a day of it, drive through hilly Barboursville on the way home and stop at the vineyard for some of Virginia’s finest italian style wine and one of the area’s truly hidden gem lunch offerings at the vineyard restaurant, the Palladio. Open for lunch Wednesday through Sunday and dinner Friday through Saturday, Palladio offers excellent Italian fare in a cozy white-cloth dining room. Lunch includes a free tasting in the room next door, so come ready- and armed with some new knowledge about the artistic offerings of Greene, the Blue Ridge Barn Quilt Trail, and maybe a Barn Quilt idea of your own. Find more information, visit exploregreene.com.