Whether you’re looking to soak up your hangover with pork belly and grits, satisfy your sweet tooth with French toast pancakes, or stay on your health kick with salmon and avocado toast, there’s something on Ledger’s Sunday-brunch menu worth getting out of bed for. And you won’t want to sleep on the cocktails, either, including the “Electric Relaxation,” featuring cognac, cr&_egrave;me de cacao, RumChata, and chocolate, as well as a 22-ounce bloody mary made with organic Prairie vodka and “secrets.” 125 Washington St., Salem, MA 01970, ledgersalem.com.
It makes sense that this Amesbury gem is centered around family, given that it’s been run by the same one for three generations. With a hard-cider bar, food trucks, a bee observatory, and a trike yard and giant sandbox for the wee ones, there’s plenty of fun on the 145-acre farm for every age group. Kids and grownups alike, meanwhile, will love making memories while picking their own ripe, juicy fruit all summer and fall long. 45 Fern Ave., Amesbury, MA 01913, ciderhill.com.
What happens when an adventure-seeking photographer and a florist with an eye for design join forces? They create a charming boutique filled with small-batch wares, cheeky greeting cards, and locally made confections that make every day sweeter. In addition to stocking their shop with covetable home goods and gifts (leather-wrapped salad spoons, adorable baby onesies), pals Sarah Landry and Katie Rocheford have been spreading “good vibes” during the pandemic with their oh-so-popular flower and balloon bars. Bring on the celebrations, please. 10 Pleasant St., Newburyport, MA 01950, saltandgrove.com.
So often a salon visit is like a blind date — one that leaves you wondering what you’ll look like when it’s all over. Not at ultra-thorough Salon Beau: A consultation begins with a meticulous prescreening, during which clients send the team three hair photos from various angles as well as thoughts on creative inspiration and favorite styles. They also ask about appointment personas (are you chatty? Zen?), reasons for leaving a prior stylist, and even follicular care priorities. The personal attention pays off, with gorgeously styled locks and absolutely zero surprises. 63 Park St., Andover, MA 01810, thesalonbeau.com.
A beach day is always family-friendly, but add in Paragon Boardwalk’s old-fashioned carousel and a toes-in-the-sand beer garden for the grownups, and you have the makings of one epic summer afternoon. If you’re feeling adventurous, sign the kids (and yourself) up for standup paddleboard lessons with Paddle Surf MA. Hull, MA 02045, paragonboardwalk.com.
Verde’s gorgeous cuts, highlights, and extensions aren’t just good-looking — they’re good for the environment, too. As a zero-waste, certified sustainable salon, this beloved Braintree coiffeur recycles, repurposes, or composts hair clippings; turns salon waste into clean energy; and uses eco-friendly products. The space itself is a natural beauty, too, with enough blond wood and greenery to turn your hair appointment into an unexpected escape. 89 Hancock Street, Suite 103, Braintree, MA 02184, verdesalon.org.
Let’s be honest: When you say you want al fresco dining, what you really want is waterfront dining. And no place does that better than this recently opened northern-Italian spot in Hull’s Steamboat Wharf Marina, where the views of the water and World’s End on the expansive patio are worth the visit alone. Be sure to stop by at sunset to experience the namesake red sky with a glass of your favorite red and a bubbling-hot pizza from the restored vintage brick oven. 48 George Washington Blvd, Hull, MA 02045, redskyhull.com.
It’s the answer to most dining dilemmas: sophisticated enough for dinner with the parents or second dates but mellow enough for kids, with a roomy patio and a menu that’s just as large (don’t miss the colossal burger). You might spy owner Garrett Harker mingling on the bocce court, where little ones can frolic without raising eyebrows. Best of all, the patio is heated year round, so you can dine outside even when temps dip. 321 Arsenal St, Watertown, MA 02472, branchlinearsenal.com.
Mimosas, freshly baked pastries, and a raw-bar-and-charcuterie tower for you and as many friends as you can fit around the table — what more could you ask for on a leisurely weekend afternoon? At the Inn at Hasting Park’s prix-fixe champagne brunch, a lot more, actually — namely, elevated breakfast classics such as 48-hour beef brisket hash and buttermilk pancakes topped with apple compote and pecans. With seating in a cozy fireplaced dining room or al fresco every Saturday and Sunday, it’s an occasion brunch, even when the occasion is just being with the people you love again. 2027 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, MA 02421, innathastingspark.com.
Kids need to blow off steam after a year in quarantine? Let them roam free at this rugged adventure park in rural Berlin, which offers ropes courses, zip lines, and, best of all, theme nights perfect for hard-to-please tweens, from beach parties to Halloween celebrations with special effects. 154 River Rd. W., Berlin, MA 01503, boundlessadventures.net/ma-park.
Moxie’s Kerry Zirpolo is the secret weapon for many a suburban doyenne, not to mention quite a few city dwellers who appreciate her warmth and value. There’s just one chair, so you’ll receive plenty of personal attention as Zirpolo dishes out honest feedback about what will work for your face and then takes her time snipping and highlighting. Known for her ability to fix color conundrums, she’s also eager to go edgy with balayage and asymmetrical cuts, if you so please. 691 Belmont St., Belmont, MA 02478, moxiebelmont.com.