Set back from the hubbub of downtown Edgartown, this eco-friendly, 17-room manse is quiet, unpretentious, and posh. (JFK himself once stayed here after an exhausting regatta.) Eat your made-to-order breakfast, then ride one of the cruiser bikes to the beach or to the island's farm institute to gather fresh eggs. And after that? Just linger in the Garden Room till it's time for cookies and tea. 128 Main St., Edgartown, MA 2539, hobknob.com.
Whoever said you can't please all the people all the time clearly hasn't been to the Beachcomber. Awesome views and beach access? Check. Long list of cocktails and heavy-pouring bartenders? Got 'em. Live music? Yup. As far as we can tell, the only thing missing is a cot in the corner — so we never have to leave. 1120 Cahoon Hollow Rd., Wellfleet, MA 2667, thebeachcomber.com.
Ana Hernandez understands women who dream about The Dress. Princess-worthy ball gowns, simple sheaths, lace pantsuits…her line of custom options has something to bewitch almost any bride. And she lets you be as much of a bridezilla as you please, adding sleeves if you want to keep your triceps under wraps, say, or swapping out fabrics if you decide, a few fittings in, that you really do look more fetching in ivory than white. 165 Newbury St., Boston, MA anahernandezbridal.com.
Blessed with great taste and strong buying instincts, co-owners Martha Hilfinger and Jane Schlueter have stocked their airy 900-square-foot Back Bay boutique with work-to-play separates and delicious dresses from modern favorites (3.1 Phillip Lim, Vena Cava, Vanessa Bruno) and exclusive up-and-comers (Lyell, Lofli denim). The shopping experience is a joy; if you've left your best friend at home, one of the chatty girls here will be happy to dish out reliable opinions on her behalf. 221 Newbury St., Boston, MA dressboston.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/.
It's annoying when a toned yogi informs you, as you struggle with a simple pose, that soon you'll be balancing on your chin. But under David Magone, that's not only possible, but likely—just look at the limber loyalists in the front row. The 29-year-old has created his own dynamic blend of yoga called PranaVayu, and he gives easy-to-follow instructions that are both practical and inspirational. You'll be all twisted up in no time. Insideyoga.com;yogasquare.com.
We don't like those awkward B&B breakfast-table moments with fellow guests any more than you do. Porches' six restored Victorian row houses have 47 comfortabl—and privat—'industrial granny chic' rooms. The hotel also has a pool, spa, and free WiFi (no small thing out here in the country). Another bonus: The modern art of Mass MoCA is a short walk away. 231 River St., North Adams, MA 1247, porchesinn.com.
After a visit here, your lash-batting average will be in a league of its own. The first of its kind in the country, the spa offers strip-lash application, semipermanent extensions, and, for serious fabulousness, the Signature LuxLash, which augments what genetics gave you with 120 (you read that right: 120) falsies. They're the longest-lasting in town. The store also offers an exclusive lash-safe mascara. Not that you'll need any extra volume. 232 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, luxlash.com.
Few hotels can boast politicians, dignitaries, and celebrities among their clientele. The Charles can. The Harvard Square hotel houses jazz and martini bars, a renovated presidential suite, a multimillion-dollar art collection, and two award-winning restaurants. The J. Crew—uniformed staff is discreet and efficient, while the down comforters, lavish minibars, and Origins bath products in the rooms are simply the icing on the cake. One Bennett St., Cambridge, MA charleshotel.com/.
Some people think B&Bs exist only in the country. This nine-room Beacon Hill inn proves otherwise. Its antique furniture, fireplaces, and four-poster beds impart old-world class, while DSL Internet, cable television, and whirlpool tubs offer modern comforts. Tall, narrow doors heighten the charm of the cavernous rooms, named after local luminaries like Louisa May Alcott and Oliver Wendell Holmes. 94 Charles St., Boston, MA .
There is no better place to shop for the Jewish holidays than at this Brookline grocery. All the favorites are represented, from a deli with whitefish and herring to a prepared food section of potato pancakes and knishes to rows of Manishewitz products. But that's not all: The Butcherie sells delicious homemade challah bread, and it's a terrific place to buy fresh turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner (no matter what your faith). 428 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA butcherie.com/.
Perfect Nail looks like a simply average nail-and-beauty emporium tucked into a street-level storefront behind the State House on Beacon Hill. Thank goodness appearances can be deceiving: Running the show here is Tammy Giuoag, the best eyebrow doctor in town. Tammy operates with a light touch, and shapes eyebrows according the the client's exact specifications. Her sense of proportion is right on the money, and she'll have you in and out of her salon in a flash. She's so good we almost hate to give her away. 45 Bowdoin Street, Boston, MA .
"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.
Okay, so it isn't the fanciest place in town. But wouldn't you rather have a place where your pooch feels comfortable? Groomer George has loving touches with the brushes and clippers, but you have to book a week in advance because this earthy South End favorite is a hit with commuters who drop off Fido on the way to work. Pet Shop Girls also grooms cats. 276 Shawmut Ave., Boston, MA .
Nothing ruins a good pair of Ferragamos like a scuff. Or sidewalk salt. Or dog poop. So if you've got road hazards nipping at your heels, let us suggest you sic David's on them. A Financial District landmark, this homespun business has shoeshine chairs out front for lightning-quick buff-ups. But watch where you step, would ya?