When you've had it with ersatz seafood joints that underfeed and overcharge you, set your sights on a place that doesn't pretend to be anything but what it is: a bare-bones fish shack. Jake's spotlights freshness and variety in simple but classic preparations. There's plenty of atmosphere; just make sure to snag a table on the enclosed patio, where the specials are served over the waters they were fished from, and sunsets dapple the abutting bay. 50 George Washington Blvd., Hull, MA jakesseafoods.com/.
Forget any preconceived notions of what a hot dog is: Top Dog outdoes them all with all-meat dogs in natural casings that lend a juicy chewiness, whether you order yours grilled or steamed. This little shack on the point of Bearskin Neck is immaculate—though once the friendly folks who work here pile your plate high with baked beans, grilled peppers, sauerkraut, or Vidadlia onion relish, you may not be. They also serve great lobster rolls and fries. 2 Doyles Cove Rd., Rockport, MA topdogrockport.com/.
If it's been a while since you've visited the Bradford Country Club, fear not: The once-unkempt greens and dismal mood of the place are behind it. Bradford has been transformed to pristine condition, with every amenity for seasoned players and duffers alike. This is a course with plenty of challenges, but what we like best is that it's a golfer's golf course—not too long, so it's more concentrated on accuracy and head game than pure strength and stick pedigree. 201 Chadwick Rd., Bradford, MA bradfordcc.com/.
Soothing shades in gray and blue (of course) set the tone at this cool-but-comfortable salon. And color here is indeed the key: Owner Paula Donovan and her diligently trained staff blend cutting-edge systems (Bumble & Bumble is the mainstay) with down-to-earth reality checks. (Few in Lexington want magenta hair, no matter how great it looked in W.) The result is always glamorous—but tasteful—tresses. 10 Muzzey St., Lexington, MA blueacompletehairsalon.com/.
Trend-conscious salons are often impossible to relax in. But Bruce Fisher manages to produce an energy that's at once hip and mellow—all the better for sitting back and indulging in a world-class foot treatment. A sumptuous soak, thorough clipping, filing, and scrubbing are followed by a superlative massage. Opt to cap it off with a paraffin treatment, and you'll feel the softening effects for weeks afterward. 924 Washington St., Braintree, MA fisherexperience.com/.
Those cracked tiles aren't going to fix themselves. But a visit to the Boston Design Center's 10 bathroom-focused businesses will. Once open only to professionals, the eight-story design mecca now offers 20 designers on call to walk you through showrooms—some classic, some splashy—filled with tiles, faucets, mirrors, tubs, and everything else you'd ever want in your WC. One Design Center Place, Suite 337, Boston, MA 2210, bostondesign.com.
Once you and your sweetheart have strolled the beach and sailed at sunset, your next romantic rendezvous should be dinner at the Sweet Life Café. This upscale eatery serves fresh fare such as chévre ravioli in curry sauce and roasted halibut with eggplant purée. Don't miss dessert—the blueberry— brown butter tart is divine—in the candlelit garden. 63 Circuit Ave., Oak Bluffs, MA sweetlifemv.com/.
Let's face it, Boston's a walking town; buy into a pricey gimmick tour, and you'll spend half the time stuck in traffic. At Boston By Foot, though, the guides are volunteers; you pick your thematic pleasure (seven tours cover everything from the Freedom Trail to Victorian Back Bay, Beacon Hill, or the popular "Boston Underground," about the engineering of the subway and the Big Dig); and of all you avoid congestion, get exercise, and learn about Boston all at once. 77 N. Washington St., Boston, MA .
As the new host to The Fringe's (Best Jazz Band) Monday night jams— and occasionally to delights from the free-form experimental acid-jazz group Club d'Elf (Best Cutting-Edge Band)— this lounge has the coolest in-the-round setting. Owing partly to a respectable selection of booze and excellent vibes, the unassuming Lizard Lounge has slithered to the top. 1667 Masachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA .
Cape Cod isn't exactly famous for its surfing, but the Beachcomber on Cahoon Hollow Beach is the quintessential surfers' hangout, with battered boards on the walls, sand on the wood floors, and an annual visit from surf god Dick Dale. Early on, the joint is full of families grabbing dinner, but once the sun goes down, a younger crowd moves in for strong mixed drinks and beer. 1120 Cahoon Hollow Road, Wellfleet, MA 2667, thebeachcomber.com.
While brides spend hours hemming and hawing over lace and tulle, most guys just want a smart-looking tux that requires as little fuss as possible. Classic Tuxedo offers a comprehensive online catalog of suiting by Calvin Klein, Jean Yves, and Ralph Lauren, so grooms can narrow down the choices before trekking to the store. And once they do come in, fittings and alterations are a snap. 223 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
A wedding cake is more than just flour, eggs, and sugar — it's an expression of your personal style. And Amesbury baker Jenny Williamson, whose breathtaking designs are informed by 14 years of experience, can execute just about any vision. Need a gluten- and dairy-free cake with art deco flair? No problem. Want your grandmother's vintage handkerchief pattern turned into a four-tier masterpiece? Consider it done. jencakes.squarespace.com.
You don't want your girls in some garish getup out of 27 Dresses. Thankfully, a trip here makes finding the right dresses simple, owing to a tight selection of gorgeous (and, happily, understated) frocks from the likes of Coren Moore, Jenny Yoo, and Lynn Lugo. There are tons of colors, fabrics, and styles, and the service is both professional and patient. 10 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, flairbridesmaid.com.
It may not have an ocean view, but who cares? At Détente, all eyes should be on the food. The innovative chefs craft dishes like a refreshing peach-and-taleggio salad, a fantastic wild boar ragù, and a delightful spin on surf-and-turf done with ancho-rubbed veal and soft-shell crab. Grab a spot at the bar when the restaurant opens at 5:30 p.m. and make the most of the summer special, which gets you the entire meal at half off. Then order two of everything. 15 Winter St., Edgartown, MA 2539, detentemv.com.
When we walked through the door and spied the ceviche and raw bar, we were infatuated. When we climbed the staircase and saw the packed, boisterous tequila bar, we were besotted. But once we took a sip of the hibiscus margarita laced with fresh lime and chili salt, it was a full-on love affair. It may not be the scene-iest spot on the island (that would be the Pearl), nor the most debaucherous (the Chicken Box). But Corazón's good looks and charming vibe have completely stolen our hearts. 215 Water St., Nantucket, MA 2554, corazonnantucket.com.