Ever stopped to wonder where your shoes come from? Peter Sacco did. Deeply troubled by the economic inequality he saw while on vacation in Central America, he dedicated his life—and his business—to finding a way to help. The designer’s high-quality, made-to-order leather boots and loafers are created by craftspeople in Guatemala who are paid 75 percent above the market rate, providing them with a livable wage. In other words, there’s plenty of soul in these classic soles. Bow Market, One Bow Market Way, Somerville, MA 02143, adelanteshoes.com.
After seven decades in Boston, this iconic outdoor outfitter packed its bags last summer and made the epic voyage across the Charles River, where it set up camp in a huge storefront in the heart of Central Square. Other than the location, not much has changed: The store is still stuffed with a gazillion backpacks, boots, headlamps, and everything else you’ll need for your next outdoor adventure. Go ahead, climb every mountain. 565 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139, hiltonstentcity.com.
One visit to Trunk Club’s recently opened Boston clubhouse and you’ll be inventing occasions to have a suit made. The swanky digs are just one perk of this personal-styling service’s merger with Nordstrom; another is the access clients have to designer accessories in the department store’s catalog. Sip a cocktail while your stylist takes 26 precise body measurements and then helps you choose everything from the buttons and fabric lining right down to the Gucci loafers. 501 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116, trunkclub.com.
In a city with a short autumn and an even shorter spring, dedicated treadmill studios, where runners pound pavement in a climate-controlled environment, are becoming increasingly popular. And this new spot inside Equinox’s Chestnut Hill outpost runs laps around the competition with its dance-club ambiance (classes sync lights and music to your speed), oxygen-enriched air, and custom Woodway treadmills. Wave goodbye to monotonous training sessions—Precision will have you marathon-ready in no time. 200 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, equinox.com.
Whether you crave fresh bell peppers or a fat little Christmas tree strapped to your car with a smile, Wilson Farm satisfies. It's pastoral—think fall hay mazes and an unspoiled barnyard area with roving animals—but modern enough for the harried shopper: To-go items, including chicken potpie and strawberry shortcake, have salvaged many a dinner. Maybe that's because Alsatian chef Raymond Ost—you might remember him from Sandrine's Bistro—heads up the farm store's kitchen. 10 Pleasant St., Lexington, MA 2421, wilsonfarm.com.
With a commitment to sustainability in the form of its own wind turbines, a long-running compost program, and a robust pick-your-own schedule for kids and wannabe farmers, Cider Hill gives back to the community it feeds. Its care of craft also shows up in the three-season farm stand, where you'll find Cider Hill's own produce haul, pasture-raised eggs, and honey made by bees on-site, along with those namesake cider doughnuts, baked fresh every day. 45 Fern Ave., Amesbury, MA 1913, ciderhill.com.
When you're over hipster onesies and cheeky monogrammed totes, venture to Nomad for rare objects that will remind your favorite dinner-party host of travels to exotic lands. The quiet two-story shop stocks folk art from Mexico, lanterns from India, jewels from Morocco, and other international treasures that change regularly. 1741 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02140, nomadcambridge.com.
Displayed in glass cases and backlit boxes like museum treasures, the handcrafted baubles at Quadrum are proof positive that fine jewelry needn't be boring. Here, raw diamonds, black tourmaline crystals, and ocean-blue opal star in bold pieces that work as well for a formal gala as they do for a dinner out with friends. Even better, the team often invites the artisans who create them into their space for special events, offering an inside look at the creative process behind your new favorite necklace. The Shops at Chestnut Hill, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, quadrumgallery.com.
In this case, quality wins over quantity. You're not going to find floor-to-ceiling racks of denim in every style and wash here. What you will find is a tightly edited selection of jeans for men and women from high-end designers such as Isabel Marant, Alexander McQueen, and Rick Owens. These are not your average dungarees for casual Fridays; these are fashion pieces with nonpareil design elements that will never, ever be made into cutoffs. 34 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116, alanbilzerian.com.
We'll admit, a bikini wax is not the most enjoyable reason to visit Exhale's pristine Arlington Street outpost—but the spa's serene vibes, privacy-ensuring labyrinthine layout, and fully stocked locker rooms make an, ahem, hair-raising visit as bearable as humanly possible. And thanks to the efficient deployment of the non-irritating, soy-based wax, all it takes is a few deep breaths before you're refreshed and on your way. 28 Arlington St., Boston, MA 02116, exhalespa.com.
No need to choose from a menu of froufrou facials at Balans, Boston's first all-organic spa. Here, each 60- or 75-minute session is completely customized to your skin, targeting concerns ranging from acne to aging with a selection of plant-based products from Maria Հkerberg. Need an extra boost? Try the brand-new roseroot-stem-cell treatment, which promises to stimulate collagen production and reduce wrinkles. 216 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116, bostonbalans.com.
Memories fade, but photographs last forever. Thankfully, you can trust Cambria Grace to be everywhere you are and everywhere you can’t be on your wedding day. The Boston shutterbug’s camera is like an invited friend, bringing unparalleled intimacy to every teary-eyed gaze and loving embrace it captures. These aren’t stiffly posed portraits; they’re art prints meant to be framed, hung, and cherished for a lifetime. cambriagrace.com.
The gurgle of the cast-bronze fountain in the Italianate open-air courtyard. The glow of the green glass lamps on Bates Hall’s long reading tables. Set the scene for your own epic love story at the BPL. With an array of dramatic party spaces and creative, personalized cuisine from the Catered Affair, the Renaissance Revival treasure is less library and more fairy-tale romance in the making. bpl.org; thecateredaffair.com/bpl. 700 Boylston St., Boston, MA .
Martha’s Vineyard is known for many things, from crispy fried clams to breathtaking beaches. But top-notch craft-cocktail bars wasn’t one of them—that is, until 20byNine came along. You can’t go wrong with a Manhattan, which comes close to the classic drink’s platonic ideal. After just one, you might be bold enough to cozy up to your bartender and ask for that day’s “smash,” a rotating off-menu creation. 16 Kennebec Ave., Oak Bluffs, MA 02557, 20bynine.com.
Sure, you can buy a decent bike anywhere, but the friendly folks at Wheelworks make the hunt stress-free. Once you've made your pick—be it a fixed-up second-hander or a brand-new designer bike—cycle easy knowing that anytime you need expert servicing, the team will take care of it. On warmer days, staffers line up the refurbished rides outside the store for easy browsing. 145 Elm St., Somerville, MA 02144, wheelworks.com.