What do former Olympians, triathletes, and collegiate cycling champs know about bikes? A lot—and many of them work at Wheelworks. So whether you're a commuter, recreational cyclist, or professional competitor, the amiable staff here can help you select the right bike, adjust your gears, and direct you straight to the nearest bike path—all in the name of a good ride. 145 Elm St., Somerville, MA wheelworks.com/.
A good cook knows a sharp knife is the fundamental ingredient of any recipe, and Kitchen Arts is the place to find a knife that will satisfy your inner Mario Batali. (It also sells sharpening steels for gourmands who want a surgeon's edge.) Once you get past the knives, you're ready for the nirvana of kitchen tools and accessories here, from tea strainers and seafood forks to copper pots and pans. 161 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
Because the pants are preshrunk and consummately flattering. Because the tops are sexy and comfortable. Because (heads up, yoga dudes) the men's apparel is styled like normal, nonhumiliating athletic gear. And because Lululemon's eco-friendly workout mats, gym bags, and other yoga accessories mean that you can strike a pose, discover your center, and leave behind the outside world—in more or less the same pristine shape in which you found it. 337 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, lululemon.com/boston/newbury.
If the accessories you keep in heavy rotation include a diamond-studded Leslie Greene bracelet, cultured Mikimoto pearls, and an arty Casa Gi ring, chances are you're a Long's customer. This branch of the esteemed local chain stocks more than 50 diamond, fashion, and bridal brands, as well as a collection of exclusive estate and vintage pieces. Flashy not your thing? Pick up a sleek timepiece by top-tier watchmakers like Cartier or Baume & Mercier. 250 Granite Ave, Braintree, MA 2184, longsjewelers.com.
Oprah's a fan, and so are we. Here's why: Inside the luxuriously appointed dressing rooms at this lace and silk emporium, bra specialists give no-pressure, tape-measure-free assessments (get past the fact that they're handling your goodies, and you'll find their approach rather effective). They then lay out scads of sexy yet practical possibilities from the likes of Aubade, Simone Péréle, and Chantelle. Customers leave with bags full of underpinnings that aren't just pretty, but actually—mercifully—fit, too. 100 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 2116, myintimacy.com.
Four eyes never looked so good. Optica offers homegrown and imported couture for the face, as well as a staff that bends over backward to match a customer's eye shape and face size to the right pair of high-quality specs. Exquisite frames by Cartier and Sama share shelf space with the store's own designs, which range from nearly weightless modern shields to new takes on iconic classics, Prudential Center, Boston, MA .
La Ruche owner Brooke Laughlin gives Martha Stewart a run for her questionably earned money with the precious stationery and invitations she stocks at her colorful Newbury Street shop. More creative than stuffy, the lines by Dempsey & Carroll, Surtout Pour Vous, and the Wren Press run the gamut from monogrammed note cards to customized printed invitations. Choose from sweet ribbon-topped birth announcements, pony-shaped children's party invitations, even sophisticated cocktail invites. 164 Newbury St., Boston, MA .
Located just a few blocks from the Porter Square T stop, this store beckons with a welcoming allure. Once inside, the right side of your brain is in overdrive. You may find yourself suddenly wanting to throw a party or wishing you were moving to a new address, just as an excuse to buy the unique invitations and announcement cards. In the back of the store is a separate room filled with a huge selection of stationery and in every possible shade and paperweight. An added plus: Workshops in bookbinding and paper-making are offered. 1810 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA paper-source.com.
Whether you just want to buy a Wiffle ball set on your way to the park or a top-notch pair of dumbbells, City Sports carries all the athletic support you need for any sport. There's an ocean of running shorts, warmups, and skiwear to sift through, as well as an amazing collection of helmets, eyewear, balls of every sort, and odds and ends like weight-lifting gloves and nose plugs. Some locations even offer tennis racquet stringing and in-line skate rentals. 168 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA citysports.com/.
If the beach beckons and you're pressed for time, the Back Bay Lord & Taylor is still the best bet for a last-minute bikini. Otherwise, hop the city limits and head to Bloomingdale's, where the racks are chock-full of Shoshanna, Milly, and other buzzy brands. Factor in the spacious (and credibly lit) fitting rooms at Bloomie's, and Route 9 shapes up as your road to victory. The Mall at Chestnut Hill, Chestnut Hill, MA 2467, bloomingdales.com.
Anyone who's used inferior movers knows the torture of watching them slowly load a single box onto the truck. You won't need to stifle the urge to grab a handcart and goose the friendly Gentle Giant guys, who gather up as much as they can carry, unload, and literally sprint back for more. And that brawn doesn't come at the cost of finesse: Everything arrives at your new home unscathed. 29 Harding St., Somerville, MA 2116, gentlegiant.com.
So you're a little lazy. Or overworked. Or simply a really, really bad cook. No one has to know—not with Gonson around cover your tracks. Armed with fresh ingredients culled from local growers and farmers' markets, the Cambridge-based chef swoops into homes throughout the Hub, leaving a week's worth of healthy meals in her wake. And she's not afraid to share her tricks, offering kitchen and pantry organization and private gourmet-grocery shopping, too.
You are not a Kennedy. Your chances of getting asked to the family's up-island compound are, frankly, slim. So what? You can still live like American royalty at the nearby Beach Plum Inn. Its 11 rooms and cottages are flush with shabby-chic furnishings and Egyptian cotton linens. Its BYOB restaurant is lauded for upscale surf and turf. And the view of the surrounding gardens and Menemsha Harbor is, in a word, unrivaled. 50 Beach Plum Ln., Menemsha, MA 2535, .
There are pets, and then there are babies who just happen to have fur. For the four-legged companions in the latter camp, the Urban Hound is ready to stand in as surrogate parent. The 8,500-square-foot boutique hotel has pristine private suites and large indoor and outdoor play areas. The service menu includes grooming and an on-site training program that will have you wondering who's had more fun on vacay—you or them. 129 Malden St., Boston, MA urbanhounds.com.