After stints at Clio and Bondir that earned breathless praise from the likes of Zagat and this magazine, chef Rachel Miller’s first solo venture has Boston foodies programming Waze for Lynn and coming back with the zeal of converts. Miller’s tasting menus of up to 14 courses feature wildly inventive Vietnamese- and French-inspired seafood and noodle dishes — such as uni brûlée with red-curry hollandaise and torched cinnamon — that are so delicately perfect, 14 courses might not be enough. 73 Exchange St., Lynn, MA 01901, nightshadenoodlebar.com.
Precision Pilates first came recommended to us by both a former dancer with the Joffrey Ballet and a new mom trying to shed baby weight. A 50-minute reformer class later, and we now know why: Mother-daughter team Nancy Higgins and Liz Rogers have attracted top instructors who specialize in everything from weight loss and spinal rehab to pre- and postnatal work. Pilates is easy to cheat at without proper instruction, so if you’re going to subject yourself to the rigors of the reformer and the torture of the “100,” you might as well do it with people who’ll keep you honest. Danvers and Ipswich, precisionpilatesplus.com.
Looking for Newbury Street finesse without the annoying commute? Make an appointment at this salon, where master stylist Alyssa Jackson (pictured) has assembled an all-star crew of cutting and coloring pros. And with M. Lekkakos Skincare in the same building, you can also book high-quality facials, brow care, waxing, and microdermabrasion on the same day, making this a one-stop shop for virtually every beauty need. 154 Main St., Wenham, MA 01834, salonvolition.com.
While some dispensaries try to distract with a dazzling array of brightly colored bongs and other paraphernalia, ATG focuses on staffing knowledgeable bud-tenders and simply dispensing good weed. At any of the three North Shore locations, keep an eye out for hard-to-find strains of flower, a wide range of edibles, and an assortment of topicals other dispensaries in the state don’t carry. Salem, Amesbury, and Salisbury, atgma.org.
Appleton Farms has been around almost as long as the Pilgrims. Seriously: Founded in 1638, it’s one of the oldest family-operated farms in the country. But that doesn’t mean it’s stale. The 1,000-acre Trustees of Reservations property now offers a staggering array of kid-approved programming in all seasons, from petting farm animals to barnyard story hours to cross-country skiing. Though with picturesque grounds like these, even popping in to grab fresh veggies at the farm stand can be a fun adventure. 219 County Rd., Ipswich, MA 01938, thetrustees.org/place/appleton-farms.
This 75-year-old family business operates on its founders’ creed that the people who shop there are more valuable than the jewelry it sells. Not surprisingly, customer service is its hallmark, whether you’re in the market for a new pair of Roberto Coin earrings or a stunning diamond necklace from Marco Bicego. Other designers include Stephen Webster and David Yurman — not to mention almost every high-end watchmaker we’ve ever heard of. 58 Main St., Andover, MA 01810, royaljewelers.com.
Some days it’s hard to decide on a workout: Do you want a cardio sesh or the sweet relief of yoga stretches? How about a workout that combines both? For that, you’ll need to sign up for the Experience — a one-of-a-kind class offered by the Barre + Yoga Experience, a studio that won over Rhode Islanders before expanding to Plainville in 2021. The signature class guides you through a vinyasa-inspired flow while you’re wearing ankle and wrist weights, mixing in some barre moves, cardio bursts, and breath work along the way. Talk about having something for everyone. 84 Taunton St., Plainville, MA 02762, thebarreandyogaexperience.com.
Kids turning your house into a jungle gym? There’s a better way to burn off that endless energy. At TreeTop Adventures, they can get an adrenaline rush from ziplining through aerial obstacle courses featuring rolling logs, bridges, ladders, and tightropes. The best part? With 10 trails for ages seven and up ranging from beginner to expert, anyone can join in the fun — yes, even you. 200 New Boston Dr., Canton, MA 02021, treetopcanton.com.
Buying big-ticket jewelry can be stressful. After all, that Rolex or radiant-cut engagement ring is hopefully going to be worn for many years to come. For 145 years, customers have been putting their trust in Long’s Jewelers, and for good reason. The team here will not just help you pick out a stunning piece but will also repair your jewelry, treating the oldest family heirlooms with the best care. And even after more than a century in business, the local chain keeps growing. After 75 years in South Shore Plaza, the jeweler is moving to a new freestanding location in Braintree, giving locals a new spot to shop for something sparkly. Multiple locations, longsjewelers.com.
Looking for unique pieces you won’t find elsewhere on the South Shore (or the rest of the country, for that matter)? Marie Flaherty travels the world to find them, so you don’t have to, working directly with co-ops, fair-trade organizations, and individual artists to source one-of-a-kind Indigenous, tribal, and folk art. Enter her store and be wowed by the color and design of everything from a South African basket woven with rainbow-colored wires to maximalist earrings and necklaces from Ecuador. 51 Front St., Scituate, MA 02066, shopnativeonline.com.
There’s nothing worse than spending hours in a salon chair only to come out with a too-short cut or hair that’s suddenly much blonder than you wanted. Thankfully, when we went in for an appointment at Wyldflower Hair Studio — the brainchild of Amanda Gillespie and Kristin Williams, two veteran stylists with more than 20 years of experience — our stylist listened to our vision, delivering glowing and subtle highlights and a blowout that lasted for days. 25 S. Main St., Cohasset, MA 02025, wyldflowerhairstudio.com.
Lexington will go down in history for two reasons: starting a revolution and being home to this Relais & Châteaux inn. The four-star Forbes Travel Guide property lures travelers with tony accommodations that don’t skimp on luxury (think: in-room fireplaces, marble bathrooms, and handprinted wallpaper). But it’s worth checking in even just for Sunday brunch: Back for the season, the Culinary Garden outdoor space — with wooden farm tables and garden boxes of basil, lemongrass, and other fresh herbs found on the menu — is as idyllic as a night tucked into the Matouk linens. 2027 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, MA 02421, innathastingspark.com.
A visit to this showroom is nothing short of an experience, with swanky lounge areas, a grand piano, and a bar where you can relax with a drink. But let’s get to what you’re really here for — the jewelry and watches. Whether it’s a bold turquoise-and-diamond sparkler from Messika or a Rolex stunner that catches your eye, the store’s museum-like cases make it easy to find your next wearable piece of art. 5 Concord Rd., Sudbury, MA 01776, dateandtimema.com.
It was arm and leg day when we came in for a 45-minute session on the “TONEy” — the Lexington-born franchise’s custom-engineered equipment but we felt this workout in our head, shoulders, knees, and toes. A hybrid of resistance training, yoga, and Pilates, Btone uses adjustable springs and a sliding platform to test your core (and your willpower). Yet the fast pace, sing-along jams, and encouraging instructor kept us so motivated we almost forgot we were working out — almost. Multiple locations, btonefitness.com.
It’s not just our hair that has grown great lengths since Haven won Best Salon west of Boston last year: The team has since added a stylist, massage therapist, and two aestheticians — with plans to keep expanding. Needless to say, your options for a day of pampering are plentiful at this holistic salon, but we’ll be back for the refreshing cut and meticulously painted balayage that left our locks looking like a work of art. 14 Church St., Hopkinton, MA 01748, havenbeautyma.com.
If you don’t want your pizza crust charred at Mida’s Newtonville outpost, you’ll have to request it. And that’s just the way it should be at this Italian-inspired hot spot, which churns out New Haven–style pies that are well done in more ways than one. Also well done? Chef Douglass Williams’s homemade pastas (think: mushroom pappardelle and tagliatelle with clams) and the light-and-lovely cocktail list, which plays well with a fresh, modern ambiance perfect for everything from weekend brunch with friends to date nights close to home. 261 Walnut St., Newton, MA 02460, midarestaurant.com.
Where else can you cuddle a baby goat, ride a pony, cool off in a splash pad, and barrel down an enormous slide all in one day? The truth is that’s just scratching the surface of the activities at this animal lover’s wonderland in Sterling. Kids will relish the opportunity to be a farmer for the day and frolic in Imagine-Acres, with its jumbo jump pad, sand and water areas, and entire town of playhouses. Parents, meanwhile, will appreciate the cleanliness (strategically placed sinks for rinsing those germy hands!) and the excellent on-site barbecue joint for filling up after all the fun. 145 Redstone Hill Rd., Sterling, MA 01564, davisfarmland.com.
Yeah, we know it’s been three years since lockdown, but we’re not looking to get out of our athleisure any time soon. And thanks to Legit’s stylish selection, we don’t have to: From floral statement sweatshirts by Essentiel Antwerp to edgy, wear-with-everything tanks by Cotton Citizen, we trust owner Jen Schneiderman’s taste for what’s on-trend. Plus, we’re digging her new lifestyle collection with equally spunky accessories for the home (see: Pretti.Cool’s “Garbage Collection” milk jug vase). 33 Boylston St., Ste. 3350, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, legitactivewear.com.