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Brochure Detour

A random guide to Richmond for visiting Redskins fans.


Last week, The Washington Post offered a map of recommendations for visitors coming to town for the Redskins' summer training camp, which opens for the first time in Richmond on Thursday, July 25, and is scheduled through Friday, Aug. 16. For the most part, the Post's suggestions are real hip spots. Don't Look Back, Saison and Lamplighter all make the list. But something about the lineup seems a little too well-manicured for a town that revels in its funky side. Sure, tacos and lattes are great. But what about the spots that take you into the offbeat heart of real Richmond? Here are a few.

Clothes Line
A more au naturel nook of the James River Park System. Skin is in. Rock hop with care. Off Riverside Drive at three main entrances — 43rd Street, Reedy Creek and 22nd Street.

Cause Célèbre
Sorry, Gene Cox. The new celebrities to meet are of their own making, stars of "The Real Babymamas of Richmond" reality show on cable access. You just might spot them at Bliss Dine and Wine. Check out Flashy Fridays. 1005 E. Main St.

Lavatory Luxury
Tired of waiting in line at training camp facilities? Discover porcelain all over again at the Jefferson Hotel. Named by voters in Style Weekly's Best of Richmond survey as best public bathroom 2012. (No, it isn't exactly public.) 101 W. Franklin St.

Ringing Retro
Monuments to the past are everywhere. But you haven't seen the Telephone Museum of Virginia. Cables! Switchboards! And remember land lines? In the Verizon Virginia headquarters building, 713 E. Grace St. Naturally, by appointment only: 800-423-3422

Animal Instincts
RGIII isn't the only star on a comeback mission. Percy is Richmond's most beloved dieting donkey. His goal weight is 350 pounds — just a little bit more than Redskins nose tackle Chris Baker. Spirit points for fans reminiscent of the retired Hogettes: Maymont's massive pot-bellied pig. Maymont Children's Farm, 2201 Shields Lake Drive.

Flag on the Play
All the Civil War history isn't on the battlefields. Flaggers, as they call themselves, still fight the War of Northern Aggression. You can spot them waving Confederate flags most weekends outside the Confederate Memorial Chapel on the grounds of Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. 2900 Grove Ave.

Mayoral Martini
Just a short drive from the training camp, Tarrant's Cafe is in an old-school drugstore. Want to shake the hand of the man who helped bring the Redskins here? You just might run into Mayor Dwight Jones enjoying a martini with his entourage. 1 W. Broad St.

Porch Players
Looking for a more leisurely sport? Wander down the Boulevard and you might get invited to a precarious-porch party, where the weight of one more 12-pack threatens to bring the whole place down.

Hangover Cure
If your head is pounding like it ran into a linebacker, head for the BBIT — biggest breakfast in town — at McLeans Restaurant. Voters in Style's 2011 Best of Richmond survey also called it the best breakfast in town. 3205 W. Broad St.

Quick Exit
Need to escape Richmond in a hurry? The fastest, cheapest and most precarious way out is with overnight service to New York's Chinatown. Most stops are convenient to training camp at Broad Street and the Boulevard.

Just Like Home
We know, you're from Northern Virginia. You can't be away from that upper-middle-class, glossy-chain shopping experience for long. If you're homesick head west on Broad Street. In no time you'll see Whole Foods and Nordstrom rising from the horizon. Welcome to Short Pump.

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