This 2,100-acre wonderland of woodlands and beaches offers three gorgeous ways to make waves on your wedding day: by the sea, in a historical barn, or on the rolling grounds of the 1920s Great House on Castle Hill. 290 Argilla Rd., Ipswich, MA craneestateevents.co.
Owner Mark Dullea is to dirty carpets and sofas what Mr. Clean is to the rest of your house. And unlike other companies, Dullea uses non-toxic cleaning agents that won't harm the kids or upset the pets. 140 Main St., Suite 148, Charlestown, MA .
Owner Ronit Enos and her team of cheerful stylists take hair very, very seriously. Our initial consultation started off like a therapy session ("Is that what makes you unhappy about your hair?') and ended with an extreme makeover. We walked out of Enos's sleek, modern salon with our locks shiny and our confidence restored. 1 Derby St., Hingham, MA 2043, maximesalon.com.
Housed in a little shack just outside downtown Vineyard Haven, Artcliff is the epitome of an island establishment, beloved by locals and tourists alike. Slurp down your bottomless cup of joe at one of the counter stools before sinking your teeth into the delightfully uncomplicated Hot Stuff breakfast sandwich—two eggs, chorizo, jalapeño, and pepper jack on toast or an English muffin. For something with a little more local flavor, order up the Bull’s Eye—a codfish cake with two eggs and spicy hollandaise. No matter what you choose, you won’t leave hungry. 39 Beach Rd., Vineyard Haven, MA 02568, .
In a town that goes to bed early, it's nice to know there's still a place where insomniacs can get a decent bite to eat. The Franklin Café, with its candlelit tables and always-packed bar, is that place, serving up a gourmet menu until 1:30 a.m. every day—even in the late hours of a deserted Sunday night. And this is not your ordinary bar food: Chef Steve Ryan serves up sophisticated fare such as garlic grilled calamari with pesto and an unbeatable spicy black pepper—seared tuna. Steak lovers can get their fix here, too—one taste of the bone-in beef tenderloin with garlicky spinach and even the most die-hard night owl will sleep well. 278 Shawmut Ave., Boston, MA franklincafe.com.
No offense to the department-store counters we’ve frequented in the past, but our new fragrance go-to is a little less—how shall we say—in your face. Fresh skips the dizzying array of scents for a dozen or so intriguing, beautifully blended perfumes. Our favorite? "Hesperides," an intoxicating mix of grapefruit, bergamot, rhubarb, and jasmine. 121 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, fresh.com.
First-time visitors to Charlestown are invariably struck by the neighborhood's beauty and charm, a consequence in no small part of the efforts of the town's 29-year-old preservation society. This group, which works to preserve the town's landmarks and grade the neighborhood, supports its efforts with a delightful annual house tour—in the evening by candlelight, and during the day by trolley. P.O. Box 201, Charlestown, MA .
At this integrative health center four floors above Copley Square, our therapist kicked off the 80-minute massage by asking about problem areas and preferences—and actually listened. After guiding our limbs through a series of stretches on the heated table, she kneaded shoulders, back, neck, and quads with the hard pressure we crave (and often request, but don't get). And green practices (down to the organic Badger balm and body oil and linens cleaned with an eco-friendly detergent) left our inner tree-hugger at peace, too. 551 Boylston St., Boston, MA ombecenter.com.
Your parents' mechanic was honest and treated the family Cadillac like a fourth child. Car doctors like that may be endangered these days, but they aren't extinct—not while Harry Nesdekidis is still repairing carburetors, anyway. He knows his stuff when it comes to what's under your hood, and truly cares about each customer (he threw extra wiper blades into our trunk and taught us how to install them). When it comes to mending crippled cars, in Harry we trust. 19 Academy Hill Road, Brighton, MA 2135, harrysforeignamerican.com.
There's a reason places like the Harvard Club and the Four Seasons Hotel send out to Rubin's when their guests want kosher meals. This is homemade food the way your bubbie used to make it. Sure, the prices are a little steep, but the brisket melts in your mouth and the knishes are to die for, even since the deli changed hands for the first time in its 70-year history. And the guys behind the counter have that distracted "Hurry-up-and-order, I've-got-a-county-to-run" attitude that can make the hardiest New Yorker homesick. 500 Harvard St., Brookline, MA .
When it comes to pasta, Capone is the champ. Our favorite is lemon, but we wouldn't turn up our nose at wild mushroom, curry, or saffron to name just a few of the 25 flavors and four cuts which Capone's has available, most on a daily basis. What's more, the management has thoughtfully provided a chart to help you through the which-sauce-with-which-pasta maze. 14 Bow St., Somerville, MA .
Your computer is on the fritz. Your boss is on a tear. Your daughter is in a malignant teenage funk. Think: Happy place happy place I'm in my happy place. Not working? Ditch the visualization and hie yourself to venerable Newbury Street day spa Bella Santé (which, for frayed nerves farther afield, also has locations in Lexington and Wellesley). Step inside the hushed, candle-dotted waiting area, where pitchers of fruit-infused water and plush robes are at the ready. Highly trained hands will then scrub, rub, knead, slather, wrap, mist, oil, and otherwise drive your tension away, leaving skin glowing and sanity restored. Can't you just picture it? Feeling better? Good—then our work here is done. 38 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, bellasante.com.
With pours spanning the cider spectrum—from the cherry-tinged Rojo to the farmhouse-style Sweet Scrumpy—Bantam’s taproom serves up a refreshing alternative to your typical neighborhood watering hole. Claim a standing table, and make a day of it. 40 Merriam St., Somerville, MA 02143, bantamcider.com.
As head barkeep at Woodward, Codman pours house-made infusions and shakes up Scollay Slings with aplomb. There's a false rumor floating around that his charming accent is a put-on, but we'll take the hate as a reflection of his enviable status atop the city's cocktail scene. MA
In summer, it carries beautiful pastel twinsets; in winter, it's rich, thick four-ply turtlenecks. Whatever the season, this is the place to stock up on all your cashmere items. In addition to the requisite sweaters by all the top designers, you'll also find scarves, gloves, and other supersoft accessories. 114 Newbury St., Boston, MA .