On a bucolic pond in Hingham, you'll find the answers to every horticultural question you've ever thought to ask—and some you probably haven't. Reed's employs a team of garden experts to educate customers with thumbs of even the palest green about hanging baskets (a particular specialty) and their assortment of more than 600 varieties of perennials. If your car isn't already loaded down with flats, stop at the garden shop on the way out: With a selection of candles and pottery, you can't go wrong. 387 East St., Hingham, MA .
There are kids so adorable they make clothes look cute, and then there are clothes so cute they make kids look adorable. This shop has plenty of the latter, with Baby Lulu tangerine plaid capris, New Potatoes red wagon—covered jumpers, and Mulberribush polos. These clothes will withstand any childhood adventure until your little one outgrows them. 1945 Ocean St., Marshfield, MA oliviarosechildrensboutique.com/.
You gotta love a 50-year-old clothier—on Route 114 in Danvers, of all places—that carries cool Ben Sherman shirts. Giblees does, along with suits, sportswear, shoes, and accessories from designers such as Hugo Boss, Zegna, Brioni, Alden, Bruno Magli, and more. The courteous staff will guide you to the racks in your particular price range, whatever that may be. 85 Andover St., Danvers, MA giblees.com/.
If you (or your waistline) can't afford Chillingsworth's seven-course dinner, make straight for its Sunday brunch. The 300-year-old estate serves scrumptious French and American cuisine amid fresh flowers and antique furniture. Chef Nitzi Rabin takes brunch fare to the next level, whipping up Chesapeake crab—cake Benedict, omelets with lobster meat, and scrambled eggs with black truffles. 2449 Main St. (Rte. 6A), Brewster, MA chillingsworth.com/.
This French-inspired restaurant is not what you'd expect to find in a quaint seaside town. The feel is trendy but unpretentious; the space is open and airy; and the wine list rivals those you might see in Boston. The food itself is a wonderfully eclectic mix of country cooking and local seafood, with everything from escargots and oysters to bacon cheeseburgers and house-made squid-ink spaghettini represented on the menu. 2 School St., Marblehead, MA 5cornerskitchen.com.
This welcome newcomer was opened last year by the owners of the popular Nantucket spot Lola 41. Lamb meatballs with hummus and yogurt sauce, and white bean purée topped with crispy ham make for excellent starters, followed by the house specialty main course: a traditional Moroccan tagine for two, served in a clay pot. The refreshing libations—try the "Pazzo Freeze," an after-dinner drink made with homemade lemon sorbet and limoncello—are the perfect complement to the hearty Mediterranean fare. 130 Pleasant St., Nantucket, MA 2554, pazzonantucket.com.
Why choose among made-to-order omelets, eggs Benedict, and malted Belgian waffles when you can have it all? The superlative Sunday brunch at Water Street, the Harbor View Hotel's on-site restaurant, features a veritable smorgasbord of everyone's favorites: savory carving-station roasts, a raw bar stocked with oysters and fresh seafood salads, and a dessert table showcasing profiteroles that proliferate beyond your wildest fantasies. 131 North Water St., Edgartown, MA 2539, harbor-view.com.
Just off tour with folk legend Joan Baez, Dar Williams is now home in Belchertown savoring the critical success of her latest CD, Mortal City. When Williams originally moved to western Massachusetts from New York, she got a job with the Boston Opera Company and aspired to become a playwright or to direct operas. But the call of the coffeehouse was too strong, and Williams's modern folk style soon drew a following that recognized a new talent on the rise.
A single designer is hardly right for every bride, but top-notch service, from first fitting to final alteration, is on every betrothed's wish list. This couture retailer stocks gowns that are dreamy, feminine, and exactly what we want for the big day. With more styles in-house than online and more-than-accomodating consultants, the hardest part will be choosing among satin, tulle, and silk. 73 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, verawangboston.com.
You don't want your girls in some garish getup out of 27 Dresses. Thankfully, a trip here makes finding the right dresses simple, owing to a tight selection of gorgeous (and, happily, understated) frocks from the likes of Coren Moore, Jenny Yoo, and Lynn Lugo. There are tons of colors, fabrics, and styles, and the service is both professional and patient. 10 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, flairbridesmaid.com.
The finest hairstylist isn't always the best wedding hairstylist. Bridal coiffure requires someone with impeccable listening skills, loads of patience (for dealing with your, ahem, entourage), and a knack for creating breathtaking updos. That's where Erik Howard comes in. The Will Charles Salon co-owner knows big-day tresses should be durable enough to withstand iffy weather and the embraces of well-wishers — not to mention dance-floor revelry. 11 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, willcharlessalon.com.
Settle into Eastern Standard's plush, cozy bar and let Cannon welcome you with an easy grin and quick, imaginative recommendations: an old-school cocktail he's revived (such as his signature Jack Rose), or maybe a little-known bottling. His obsession with fresh ingredients makes Cannon a true bar artist, though one mercifully free of snobbery—which means if you're looking to throw back something a touch more pedestrian, he'll pour that light beer and serve it with a smile. Eastern Standard, Hotel Commonwealth, 528 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA easternstandardboston.com.
Pike traffic is a proven romance killer. Which is why it's a good thing Newton has its own spot to sip, sup, and swoon. The dining room's billowy fabric sets the tone for a special evening, while the dishes from chef Michael Leviton—juicy Crystal Valley chicken; delicate Rhode Island striped bass with preserved lemon and mint—romance your palate. 1293 Washington St., West Newton, MA 2465, lumiererestaurant.com.
Chez Panisse alumni Amelia O'Reilly and Nico Monday (Alice Waters's godson) opened this summer-only gem in a former fish market last year. And boy, are we glad: The service is sophisticated, the wine list is solid, and the elegant dishes, such as house-made ravioli stuffed with ricotta and layered with spring peas and mint—or whatever happens to be on the blackboard menu that day—are simply refreshing. 33 River Rd., Gloucester, MA 1930, themarketrestaurant.com.
Can't stomach another trip to Gymboree? This sibling-owned store will outfit your little ones in classic style from the time they're born through their preteens. You'll find an excellent array of formalwear, along with well-priced everyday gear and adorable accessories. No kiddie high heels, though — sorry, Suri. 93 Central St., Wellesley, MA 2482, abigails.com.