Somewhere between a band's first roadie and their first rider, they play T.T.'s, a beer-soaked cranny in Central Square now in its third decade. For about 10 bucks a night, the club gets music geek nation on its feet with both established and rising acts from the East Coast (the Damnwells), the West Coast (the Thermals), and beyond (Denmark's Efterklang), along with local favorites like the Motion Sick and Faces on Film. Although it's true that Allston's Great Scott is increasingly booking tomorrow's Middle East and Paradise headliners today, for that pure ear-pounding, sweat-drenched, punch-drunk rock-club experience, the Bear remains the one to beat. 10 Brookline St., Cambridge, MA 2139, ttthebears.com.
Because you'll never be able to hear the nasty things you say to each other over the din. 13 Landsdowne St., Boston, MA .
On the Esplanade sporting this shop’s iconic logo? You can bet you’ll get a few high-fives along the way. That’s because Heartbreak Hill is a bona fide pavement pounders’ haven, stocked with top-rated sneakers, breathable T-shirts, ergonomic water bottles, and anti-chafe balm (because…sweat). As avid runners themselves, staffers intuitively know what you need along your journey—most important, free running clubs to help you find your tribe. 294 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA heartbreakhillrunningcompany.com.
After a sweeping $50 million upgrade, Hotel Commonwealth is in a league of its own. In addition to 96 sleek new guest rooms, the Kenmore Square gem now boasts a Red Sox-themed luxury suite and private event space overlooking Fenway Park. Add in three of the city's hottest dining and drinking spots—including Eastern Standard, which also serves up gourmet room service—and you have a home run. 500 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215, hotelcommonwealth.com.
After dropping off your bags in one of this waterfront hotel’s plush rooms or suites, each decked out in teals and taupes, order a cocktail at the in-house bar Henry’s (the Thyme After Thyme is finished with local sea salt) and take it out to the wraparound porch. Sip and savor sweeping views of Chappaquiddick and Edgartown lighthouse. Repeat. You are now officially on vacation. 131 N. Water St., Edgartown, MA 02539, harbor-view.com.
It's the thoughtful details that make weddings so unforgettable. But who has time to sweat the small stuff? Leave it to Janie Haas. A 36-year industry veteran, Haas will coordinate vendors, secure rentals, review contracts, and make sure everything is picture-perfect for your walk down the aisle. She and her planners will give you plenty of face and phone time, making the whole process stress-free and—dare we say it?—fun. 125 Coachmans Ln., North Andover, MA janiehaasevents.com.
There are plenty of things out there preventing us from sleeping, but only a few that actually help us catch some ZZZs. One, of course, is a quality mattress. The next is linens, and we're not talking about the sets wrapped in plastic and slapped with a UPC code. You'll rest easy on the luxurious Yves Delorme and Sferra sheets offered at this quaint store. 52 Charles St., Boston, MA 2114, linensonthehill.com.
City Sports has dominated this category for years, and if you're trying to pull off athlete chic no matter the cost, it's still a fine choice. Weekend warriors as concerned with price and performance as stylishness, though, should make tracks for Dick's. Here you can score everything from sturdy Russell sweats to high-performance Under Armour tees to footballs, camping tents, and bows and arrows. Alas, the only thing we couldn't find was our long-missing jump shot. 1336 Worcester Street, Natick, MA 1760, .
Some men like to shop. Then there are the rest of them. At Barneys New York, the breadth of merchandise—a bounty of socks, cuff links, wallets, watches, duffels, and other assorted man-bags—offers something for both kinds of fellows. Dandies can spend hours deliberating over the perfect pocket square, while the guy who just needs a tie can get in and out before the sweat starts to bead. 100 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 2116, barneys.com.
The six-lane, 250yard pool is crystal clear and exceptionally maintained. Water temperature gets high marks too: warm enough to draw you in, but cold enough to make you work for a sweat. If the kids are in tow, steer them toward the shallow kiddie pool or the separate diving well. Prices are very reasonable, at $3.25 for Cambridge residents and $3.75 for nonresidents/ 1640 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA .
When the only thing the family can agree on is not to sweat over a hot stove, 10-time winner Bakers' Best has got something to satisfy every craving: Dieting Dad will love the grilled vegetable, hummus, and cucumber wrap. Mom will savor the crab cakes with spicy rémoulade on the side. And the kids will fight—good-naturedly, of cours—over who gets second helpings of the cream cheese brownies. 27 Lincoln St., Newton Highlands, MA 2461, bakersbestcatering.com.
You wouldn't usually think of a rock club as the place for poetry. But the Paradise's regular habit of mixing literary readings with hard-rocking indie bands adds a welcome bit of boozy erudition to the local rock scene (not to mention one of the best singles scenes for literary twenty-and thirtysomethings). Not everything at this long-standing rock club is so namby-pamby, of course: The spacious back room where U2 once graced the stage still shakes with the bass and drips with the sweat of rock bands on the verge of hitting the big time. 967-969 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA crossroadspresents.com/paradise-rock-club/.
This gorgeously untarnished world of sweeping dunes and fresh Atlantic air is about as idyllic as nature gets. That may seem to be true of many Cape shorelines, but this one stands out from others for its spectacular and endless stretches of perfectly undisturbed white sand. With nary a touch of human architecture for miles, this slip of coast also provides a view of the sunrise that approaches the sublime. Rte. 6, Truro, MA .
Amid the vibeless businesses catering to tourists around the Common, Thinking Cup reminds us of the downtown that Bostonians deserve: grownup, urbane, and a little sexy. Outfitted with a sweeping marble counter and leather banquettes, this newcomer channels an old-school European café while crafting deeply flavorful espressos, lavish Valrhona-chocolate mochas, and mor—all using Oregon's legendary Stumptown roasts. But the apex of Thinking Cup's artisanry just might be its Pour Over: a single flawless cup, ground and brewed expressly for you. 165 Tremont St., Boston, MA 2111, thinkingcup.com.
With its sweeping vistas of the Edgartown Lighthouse and Chappaquiddick Island, the Harbor View Hotel doesn’t have to try that hard to attract guests. But instead of resting on its scenic laurels, this luxury hotel offers comfortable preppy-modern rooms, over-the-top private cottages, and a swimming pool complete with a cushy new al fresco bar and first-come, first-served fresh-baked doughnuts on Sundays. 131 N. Water St., Edgartown, MA 2539, harbor-view.com.