For one-stop shopping with or without your significant other, Emporio Armani can dress you from head to toe, including accessories. From jeans to beaded gowns and tuxedos, sunglasses and shoes, this store has it all. As a bonus, the cafe next door will revive you when the shopping gets tough. 210-214 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
No offense, Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel, but Loulou's is a great choice for funky place settings and accessories at a reasonable price. Some items are original, scavenged from old ships, hotels, and trains; some just reproductions; all are excellent for someone setting up house or just wanting to add to an eclectic collection. 121 Newbury Street, Boston, MA .
For most of us, it's hard to distinguish between a good two-by-four and a bad one. What distinguishes Anderson & McQuaid is its selection of exotic woods, including purple heart and lacewood, and its knowledgeable, helpful staff. Novice woodworkers are welcome. 170 Fawcett St., Cambridge, MA .
The hip harbinger of the buzzy Union Square restaurant scene, the Indo has been pouring craft beers and feeding Somervillians and their friends since 2001—talk about foresight. What to Order: The quinoa salad with shaved fennel and grapefruit; the Hanson & Roberts Farm grass-fed cheeseburger. 75 Union Sq., Somerville, MA theindo.com.
We hesitate to draw more attention to this morning-to-midday sandwich shop, given the competition for seats. But we must evangelize the epic “eggwiches,” frittata-style patties with choose-your-own toppings such as fire-roasted peppers and fried shallots. 59 E. Springfield St., Boston, MA eatblunch.com.
Perusing Jan Gleysteen’s portfolio, one word repeatedly comes to mind: timeless. With nearly four decades of experience under his belt, the Wellesley architect knows his way around traditionalism, dreaming up classic abodes—such as a grand suburban homestead with coffered ceilings and dramatic archway—that are built to last. 888 Worcester St., Wellesley, MA 02482, jangleysteeninc.com.
Why choose a theme for your child's birthday party when she can have it all? Bashes at the Boston Children's Museum come with daylong admission, so guests can have a ball in the art studio, the land of the dinosaurs, and everywhere in between. 308 Congress St., Boston, MA 02210, bostonchildrensmuseum.org.
Bands of all genres playing on hundreds of porches and enjoyed by thousands of revelers. It's not your wildest musical dream—it's PorchFest, a Somerville staple for the past seven years. The event has been such a bonding experience for the city that similar events have since launched nearby. somervilleartscouncil.org/porchfest.
Perched 33 stories above the city with glass walls overlooking the Custom House Tower, the State Room is a blank canvas with personalization options galore. Chef David Blessing, meanwhile, serves up customized menus that are as breathtaking as the views—think tuna poke in mini cones and adorable s’mores tartlets. 60 State St., Boston, MA longwoodevents.com.
Drop the guilt along with your little one at Tartt’s. The fourth-generation owners have perfected a curriculum that balances cognitive development (sign language, Spanish) with serious fun (like Urbanity Dance–taught “baby groove” lessons). 477 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02118, tartts.com.
Blush spritzes the sun-shy with a chemical-free DHA solution that's certified organic and derived from beets. And with more than 100 shades, you'll no doubt leave with a natural-looking glow. Can't make it to Wellesley? No problem—the team makes house calls. 562 Washington St., Wellesley, MA 02482, blushtan.com.
Shoe heaven is, in fact, a place on earth—and you can find it at this second-floor salon, where heels from Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, and other stalwarts mingle with pairs from rising stars like Tabitha Simmons and Sophia Webster. In short: If your soles need saving, look no further than Saks. Prudential Center, Boston, MA 2199, saksfifthavenue.com.
Interior designer Jill Goldberg’s expertly merchandized eight-year-old shop has all the rugs, furnishings, and knick-knacks that make a house a home. You’ll leave with an Assouline book, a Brahms Mount throw, and a whole new design perspective. 12 Union Park St., Boston, MA 2118, hudsonboston.com.
Sure, it's a little dog-eared (we prefer well loved), but this Brookline Village godsend, serving young readers since 1977, will break you of your rote nightly reads with a fresh supply of soon-to-be family favorites spanning every era: In the Night Kitchen, Officer Buckle and Gloria, and the latest from Mo Willems. 237 Washington St., Brookline, MA thechildrensbookshop.net.
At this Newbury Street boutique, even customers browsing for mere bronzer receive the same top-drawer service as those splurging on Chanel's pricey threads. The cosmetics and fragrance area itself is lovely, outfitted with meticulously polished mirrors that reflect the brand's ultra-luxe makeup (and your now-even-more-gorgeous face). 5 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, chanel.com.