If your kids are balking at the prospect of a walk, tempt them with a trek to this spooky site. A gentle one-mile round-trip walk takes you to a 174-foot cave, once a hiding spot for a 17th-century pirate. Go between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays, when the park ranger props open the heavy iron door, then descend a wooden staircase and explore the tunnel within. ci.lynn.ma.us/citydepartments_lynnwoods.shtml..
After hunching over a keyboard all week, nothing does a body better than a full-body massage. Enter the newly renovated Bliss facility at the W Hotel, which offers a "Blissage" treatment perfect for wound-up muscles. Using hydrating creams and warming oils from the Bliss line, therapists tailor each massage to your concerns, taking care of knots you didn't even know existed. 100 Stuart St., Boston, MA 02116, blissworld.com.
This newly revamped neighborhood café is effortlessly sexy—no mood lighting or drippy molten chocolate cake. Instead, it offers cozy seating (especially at the prime table by the exposed kitchen) mixed with warm hospitality, plus shareable Italian-inflected plates from Rialto alum Brian Rae. Follow up the house-made pastas—rich buckwheat lasagna with sage pesto; chestnut-and-goat-cheese ravioli with squash and brioche crumbs—with a bottle of Italian wine and a plate of braised chicken thighs with pistachio-glazed pork belly. 669A Centre St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130, centrestreetcafejp.com.
Sure, seafood is easy to come by on the Cape. But you're reading this magazine, so you’re looking for the best. Pack your cooler and sunscreen and snag a picnic table at Sesuit Harbor Café: Yes, you’ll wait in a line out the door, sit outside rain or shine, and BYOB, but once those heaping trays of lobster rolls, fried scallops and clams, and Cape Cod Bay oysters are in front of you, you’ll understand. sesuit-harbor-cafe.com/.
Covered in vinyl stickers and rainbow string lights, J.P.’s Midway Café looks like a classic dive bar, but it’s also the spot to sing your heart out every Thursday starting at 10 p.m. A favorite of Boston’s younger queer crowd—but welcoming to everyone—the evening starts with regulars crooning to ’90s and early-aughts hits and ends with wild dance parties. 3496 Washington St., Jamaica Plain, MA midwaycafe.com/.
A great bookstore does more than bring you the latest blockbuster—it promises to surprise you. And so it is with the eclectic readings staged at Brookline Booksmith. From eye-opening appearances by authors such as sci-fi icon Neal Stephenson and former Teen Vogue editor in chief Elaine Welteroth to horizon-expanding initiatives like the Transnational Literature Series (which focuses on books about migration, displacement, and exile), the Booksmith offers a steady stream of programming that promises to keep your bedside table stocked. 279 Harvard St., Brookline, MA brooklinebooksmith.com.
Don’t worry, this isn’t your middle schooler’s violin recital: Rising from the insuppressible enthusiasm of maestro Benjamin Zander—who founded the (senior) Boston Philharmonic Orchestra 40 years ago—this ensemble of fantastically talented 12- to 21-year-olds delivers exactly what you want from a night at the orchestra: to be blown away. Whether playing the notoriously difficult Mahler (one of the maestro’s specialties) or another canonical composer, they deliver youthful energy and just a touch of wonder. bostonphil.org.
Dreamed up by the all-star team behind Nantucket’s Galley Beach, Afterhouse stands apart from would-be rivals with cozy garden-level digs and a curated drink menu full of globally sourced vino. Snag a seat at the wood-topped bar to sip your way through a bevy of Italian whites, French rosés, and Napa reds, all ideal complements to the bistro’s stellar lineup of fish-forward small plates. afterhouse.net/.
This neighborhood meat market specializes in ethically sourced, hormone-free meats—all raised on pasture within 250 miles of Somerville—and nose-to-tail butchery. That means you’ll see hard-to-find proteins such as livers and blushing lamb’s hearts, along with house-made sausages, pork cutlets, chicken, and slabs of brisket. Want to try them all? Subscribe to M.F. Dulock’s meat club and take home new cuts every month. 201A Highland Ave., Somerville, MA mfdulock.com.
Dream dinner parties start at this design-forward tabletop shop. Curated by owner Linda de Valpine—a seasoned retail vet who gave up a decades-long career in merchandising to open Greentail Table in 2014—the covetable array of locally made Caskata canapé plates, shapely glass decanters, acacia-wood serving boards, Ekelund table runners, and other chic must-haves will have your guests asking, “Where did you find that?” 343 Watertown St., Newton, MA greentailtable.com.
In the land of beach bars and clam shacks, C Salt is a breath of fresh (salt) air. This tiny house looks more like a ski chalet than an oyster bar, but the locals who pack the dining room don't let that distract them. From an open kitchen, chef Jonathan Philips turns out root-beer-braised short ribs and a spicy tuna tartar tostada with avocado-cilantro aioli worth bottling. The clincher: the coldest, stiffest martini we've ever enjoyed. 75 Davis Straits, Falmouth, MA 02540, csaltfalmouth.com.
Hitching your sense of self to a big ol' oil company's logo might seem like a manifestation of corporate personhood, but the sign advertising the Venezuelan energy outfit Citgo, which towers over Kenmore Square, provides a quick way for people to situate themselves in Boston. Not only does its design make it one of those rare neon signs that looks good when the sun's shining, Fenway Park and its Instagram-ready tableaux are just a stroll away. Kenmore Square, Boston, MA 02215, .
This Porter Square gem won us over with its chewy, emmer-flour-based farro casarecce alone, tossed with red-wine-braised duck, sweet cherries, and foie-gras butter on the night we tried it. But in truth, any of chef Michael Pagliarini’s pastaspainstakingly crafted on a reclaimed-white-oak table at the back of the restaurantare worth the trip. Cap off your pasta odyssey with a creamy scoop of pistachio gelato. 1682 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 2138, giuliarestaurant.com.
When it comes to bar pizza on the South Shore, there are important standards to meet. Are the to-go pies placed between two cardboard plates and slid into a brown paper bag? Is the crust hand-pinched in the pan to give it the perfect crunch? Is the joint cash only? And, most important: Do the locals love it? Lynwood checks all the boxes. For bar pizza the way it’s meant to be experienced, commit to the house special, which comes loaded with baked beans (trust us), onions, and salami. 320 Center St., Randolph, MA 2368, lynwoodcafe.com.
First comes love, then comes the wedding florist, who can singularly set the tone for your big day. Ensure a blossoming affair with Rose Mattos and Erin Heath’s ethereal bouquets and centerpieces, characterized by stunning foliage, fruiting branches, and local, seasonal blooms. Some of their recent floral feats include wrapping lush white flowers around a wooden archway, stringing garland on a vintage Volkswagen, and swathing tree branches in lace. foretdesignstudio.com.