The Winnetu takes the prize this year not only for its comfort, charm, and amenities such as poolside cabanas and front-lawn clambakes, but also for its new programming. The resort’s Over-Sand Beach Day package includes a bottle of prosecco, a picnic lunch, and a permitted Jeep waiting to take you on a romp to one of the island’s outer beaches. Signature oyster tours and kayaking expeditions, meanwhile, round out the summer adventures. 31 Dunes Rd., Edgartown, MA 02539, winnetu.com.
Secreted in the hills of Menemsha overlooking Vineyard Sound, the Beach Plum—and its satellite cottages and houses—is a cozy little sanctum that epitomizes the absolute best parts of the Vineyard in the summer. It offers tennis courts, bike rentals, kayaks, and passes to exclusive Lucy Vincent Beach, but also low-key perks like being able to gather eggs from the inn’s chickens in the morning. Throw in one of the finest restaurants on the island, and you have a recipe for the ideal under-the-radar getaway. 50 Beach Plum Ln., Menemsha, MA 02535, beachpluminn.com.
Dry skin. Aging skin. Sun-damaged skin. When your visage—and your spirit—need a boost, there’s no place better than this cozy spa, situated on the ground floor of a Tremont Street townhouse. Offering not one but 11 unique, glow-inducing facials, Étant’s detail-oriented aestheticians make sure no clogged pore, blemish, or wrinkle is overlooked (bonus points for the incredibly soothing upper-body massage). Purchase a pack of six or 12 and make this a habit, not an occasional indulgence. 524 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02116, etant.com.
This Haitian-born, Massachusetts-raised performer has been releasing music steadily for years, but you might have caught her most recently tearing it up at one of the Late Nite events at the MFA or braving the frosty temperatures during 2018’s First Night festivities. Named best hip-hop artist at the Boston Music Awards in 2014, she’s accomplished all of this largely outside the music-label system, raising the funds for her newest album on Kickstarter last fall. MA dutchrebelle.com.
As more and more guys recognize the importance of skin care, spas are rising to the occasion. Skoah, for one, offers a "Mancial" that—you guessed it—is tailored specifically to gents. The treatment is heavy on exfoliation, targeting the oft-neglected beard area and fighting off the redness, inflammation, and ingrown hairs that frequently plague the face and neck. The peppermint-scented foot massage, meanwhile, makes this a transformative appointment from head to toe. 641A Tremont St., Boston, MA 02118, skoah.com.
In a city as proudly nerdy as this one, it's easy to find like-minded friends interested in vanquishing demonic forces. But the speakeasy-style A4cade, a collaboration between Roxy's Grilled Cheese and Area Four, is the only place where you can sip tiki cocktails while playing Ghostbusters-themed pinball and the ’90s classic Simpsons arcade game. (If whaling on bad guys with Marge's vacuum cleaner isn't your style, there's always foosball.) 292 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139, areafour.com.
It's hard to remember lunch before Dig Inn—and judging by the perpetual crowds, we're not the only ones embracing the healthy fast-casual trend. From tricolor carrots with rosewater vinaigrette to cantaloupe and arugula with lime-leaf dressing, you'd be hard-pressed to choose a disappointing add-in for your grain bowl, salad, or noodle dish. Multiple locations. 557 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116, diginn.com.
Pini Swissa identified our hair dilemma immediately—lose the bulk around the crown that grows in bushy after a week, he advised. This is the man who styles Tom Brady, after all, so he should know. A close fade on the side nicely transitioned into a fuller top that looks great when styled with a bit of product, or parted and slicked for formal occasions. No one mistook us for Mr. Ba¼ndchen afterward, but we did receive a few long glances while strolling down Newbury Street. 18 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116, piniswissa.com.
Jewelry designer and shop curator extraordinaire Lana Barakat scours the globe for the best eclectic indie designers and artisans so you don’t have to. Both her Beacon Hill storefront and its SoWa counterpart, Heist, are always brimming with one-of-a-kind stunners such as laser-cut geometric leather earrings and gorgeous porcelain perfume bottles for your vanity. 88 Charles St., Boston, MA 02114, decemberthieves.com.
Tiffani Faison's barbecue temple has taken the smoky crown in this town four years running, and justifiably so. Those fussing over the heftier prices should note—her fall-apart ribs, crackly-skinned sausages, and mammoth slabs of brisket are sourced from the highest-quality purveyors. Meat aside, Sweet Cheeks is also the rare barbecue spot that welcomes vegetarian diners with sublime biscuits and one of the finest salads in town—a crunchy mash-up of farro, candied hazelnuts, Brussels sprouts, grapes, and arugula. 1381 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02215, sweetcheeksq.com.
We know that kitchen chair you’ve been working from since March hasn’t exactly been kind to your back, hips, or knees. Family-owned Circle Furniture offers the seating you desperately need right now, from high-back Stressless models that conform to your body’s movements to sleeker mesh numbers boasting adjustable headrests. Good luck choosing just one. 31 St. James Ave., Boston, MA 02116, circlefurniture.com.
A go-to since she and Eva Mustafai opened their eponymous studio in 2011, Michelle Lee is behind many a Bostonian’s perfectly piecey locks. A proponent of razor-cutting, Lee can craft textured layers like no one else, earning her a regular spot on a slew of “best” lists—including this magazine’s—and a presence at New York Fashion Week. We can’t all be Debbie Harry, but after a sit in Lee’s chair, we can at least have hair that looks like hers. 37 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116, salonevamichelle.com.
Brother-and-sister team Anto Aboyan and Veronica Sagherian know that the first rule to making one-of-a-kind jewelry for discerning customers is simple: sit back and listen. Next come hand sketches, computer-generated images, and even a 3-D wax model before the piece is hand-cast and gems are skillfully set. Feeling a little less creative? No pressure—you can’t go wrong with a selection from the store’s own line of bracelets, rings (pictured), earrings, and necklaces. 22 Lincoln St., Newton, MA 02461, adamasfinejewelry.com.
The ingredient combos here are a bit, shall we say, extra: On one recent visit, campechano tacos, a street-food staple, featured Tecate-beer-marinated steak; chorizo, red corn, and bacon hash; cranberry-onion jam; herb goat cheese; and toasted pepitas. Yet the flavors don’t fight, they play—and how!—when loaded onto delicately doughy, house-made tortillas. 2297 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester, MA yellowdoortaqueria.com.
The real magic of this J.P. shop is that it somehow manages to pack all the culinary essentials you’d expect at a larger kitchen supply store—bamboo salt boxes, Hario coffee accessories, and knives from Lamson and Global—into one pint-size space. It’s not just about the necessities, though: With sure-fire mood boosters like a quirky cat-shaped creamer or a whimsical set of patterned plates, there’s plenty of impulse-buy potential here, too. 671 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, MA kitchenwitchjp.com.