It's actually two markets in one: On Wednesdays you'll find goods by the town clock in Hingham Square, while on Saturdays the vendors set up shop at Hingham Bathing Beach. Either way, South Shore denizens stream in for the colorful array of produce, meats, and seafood from stands like Weir River Farm, Great Cape Bakery, River Rock Farm, and more. Saturdays May through November, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Hingham Bathing Beach; Wednesdays June through October, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. in Hingham Square, Hingham, MA hinghamfarmersmarket.org.
Temple to haute cuisine and artisanal cocktails it's not. But if what you crave is a frosty IPA, good-humored barkeeps, and feisty locals who aren't afraid to rock an open mike, there's no better spot to toss one back than the Grog. Weekends bring live music from reggae to blues, and occasional events with craft brewers keep beer geeks satiated. 13 Middle St., Newburyport, MA 1950, thegrog.com.
Here today, here a decade ago, here when (odds are) you were still a glint in Daddy's eye—Shreve's diamond counter is one institution that has stood the test of time, and flawlessly. Quiz the professional, enthusiastic staff on the finer points of purchasing diamonds (we put them through the ringer for more than 45 minutes) and peruse the varied selection, from solitaires to princess-cut stones. Browse or buy to your heart's content; the stones and service are rock-solid. 330 Boylston St., Boston, MA shrevecrumpandlow.com/.
The only drawback is that men get to take advantage of this blissful oasis six days a week while women must condense their restorative needs into a single day (Monday). Male or female, you will feel pleasantly noodle-like when you emerge from this no-nonsense, old-fashioned bath house. One note of caution: This is not some fancy chrome-and-etched-glass spa, so leave your attitude out at Canyon Ranch. 77 Chestnut St., Chelsea, MA .
Vintners Bob and Carol Russell often refer to themselves as farmers rather than winemakers, though they produce a national and international award-winning series of methode Champenoise sparkling wines. These are bottled testimony to their efforts and ethos—the Russells' business is a family one (sons Bill and Bob make the wine and manage the vineyard respectively) devoted to preserving Massachusetts farmland and producing a superior product. If it's good enough for the White House (the sparkling wines were served at the Governor's Dinner 2000), then it is welcome on our table. 417 Hixbridge Road, Westport, MA westportrivers.com.
Where else but in the sunny confines of this Charles Hotel restaurant could you expect to find such a large collection of Nobel Prize-winners huddled under one roof? Breakfasting regularly at Henrietta's Table are MIT and Harvard professors noshing side-by-side with dotcommers and other high-level business executives. Why do they come here? The dining room is easygoing, the waiters are friendly without being obsequious, and the fare, from omelets and country bacon to fresh fruit smoothies, is fresh, healthy, and reasonably priced. 1 Bennett Street, Cambridge, MA henriettastable.com.
Don't let the hairnets scare you: This Union Square joint is the closest you'll find to authentic Tex-Mex in Boston. It even saved one of our friends from moving back to the land of the Rio Grande. The red peppers and zucchini used for the veggie burros are grilled to a juicy crispness while you watch. Don't miss the fabulous homemade corn tortillas! 247 Washington Street, Somerville, MA cantinalamexicana.com.
"Do you want to stand out from the crowd or do you want to blend in?" asks Croteau. But don't fret that Croteau will cut your locks into an impossible-to-recreate 'do. His M.O. is all about keeping hair fresh, modern, and manageable. And for those who prefer a one-stop shopping experience, he's equally adept at color. Louis Boston, 234 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA mariorusso.com.
Whether you want a knock-off of a Zegna suit (with fabric from the Italian Mill) or simply someone to shorten a hem, Rouleau and his team of master tailors can do the trick. His latest triumph: downsizing a tiny Dolce and Gabbana bustier for a client who couldn't resist a too-big one on sale. Look for new locations in the Back Bay (this fall) and the financial district (1996). 91 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
Ruotolo's specialty is the permanent, and his price—starting at thirty-five dollars—makes it one of the better buys in town. Ruotolo is based in Cambridge at Gino-Parracchiere, 20 Holyoke St., and explains, "Before we do a permanent, we analyze the hair. Can it take a perm or not? We want to pass a good judgment, the most honest judgment. If the perm looks good, that's good for us." Gino-Parracchiere, 20 Holyoke St., Cambridge, MA .
A scissoring from Bass doesn't come cheap (expect to drop a C-note on a session), but you'll finally get what you need in a haircut, as opposed to those one-size-fits-all quickies available elsewhere. Bass first scrupulously studies your hair, then delivers a cut that complements your face and frame, and your head's idiosyncratic contours. In short, he makes sure it's all working seamlessly and, dare we say, suavely. 116 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, chuckbass.com.
Psst, admit it. Half the pleasure of having kids is dressing them up. The recently expanded Kenzie Kids (grown from one storefront to two) has a party dress section guaranteed to satisfy any little princess and proud queen mother. A section for the boys decks them out like miniature prepsters or young Eurodandies in natty vests, navy blazers, Italian wool Bermuda shorts, serr-sucker suits, and collarless shirts. The Mall at Chesnut Hill, 199 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, MA .
Thinking about next year's marathon? Here's the place to start your podiatric strategy. One fan writes: "The service I received from the hyper-knowledgeable staff verified everything I had heard about the store—the selection was truly vast, and they were able to explain to me which shoes were best suited to my needs." They're also great with, er, irregular shapes and sizes. 1654 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA .
The longtime head instructor at the Boston Sailing Center, Carlson—a sailor since age 6—knows the Charles and the harbor inside and out, and has novices jibing and tacking like old hands after just two weekends of instruction. Free advice: "One of the biggest mistakes people make is to overtrim the sails—the boat tends to heel over or stall out. It's more efficient to keep the boat flat, and let the foils on the rudder do their work." Boston Sailing Center, 54 Lewis Wharf, Boston, MA 2110, .
A mix of traditional crafts, whimsy, and fine arts endows the Cambridge Artists' Cooperative with unusual charms. On a magical mystery tour of its three floors, you'll find everything from blown-glass hummingbird feeders to pine-needle baskets to wearable art, with prices from $7 to $2,000. And you'll understand why craftspeople themselves voted the store one of the Top Ten Retailers of American Craft. 59A Church St., Cambridge, MA .