Why go to Vegas when with as little as one week’s notice, you can get hitched in the company of up to 25 guests in a cozy, light-filled space on Spruce Street? Package rates vary, but each comes with an on-site officiant who definitely won’t be dressed like Elvis. 1209 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, vauxstudio.com.
Anthony DeFazio and his team expertly handle all the annoying stuff that comes with owning a pool: chemicals, cleaning, repairs, and, in one case, evicting a pesky family of ducks. Plus, they answer texts and calls quickly. (We’re talking within the hour.) rockwaterpools.com.
One-on-One Skateboard Lessons With Skate the Foundry
For $70, Skate the Foundry’s expert skateboarders will spend an hour one-on-one with your budding Lizzie Armanto or Tony Hawk at a variety of skate parks throughout the region. For $80, they’ll even come to your driveway. Because the coolest kid on the block is always the one who knows how to ollie. 120 Yorktown Plaza, Elkins Park, PA 19027, skatethefoundry.com.
Juju Salon and Organics
Forget its holistic mission, earth-friendly product lines and semi-crunchy following. The styles coming out of this five-year-old salon are nothing short of sublime, which is why even the what-the-eff-are-Birkenstocks crowd is now booking here. 713 South 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147, jujusalon.com/juju-salon.
This is where we go when we want the best. This is where we send our friends when they come to town asking about places they shouldn't miss. This is the place that, months later, those same friends are still thanking us for recommending. 260 North Pottstown Pike, Exton, PA 19341, handynasty.net.
Rob Peters, Ardmore Wine & Spirits
This a joke, right? Nope, not when it comes to Peters, who holds certifications from the Society of Wine Educators and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, among other organizations, and teaches at the Restaurant School. Main Line mavens swear by his recommendations for the best wine to pair with everything from boeuf bourguignon to tacos to pho. 62 Greenfield Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003, finewineandgoodspirits.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/StoreCatalogDisplay?storeId=10051&catalogId=10051&langId=-1.
This Port Richmond firm is responsible for the most gorgeous, refined furniture to come out of our area since Nakashima: grand live-edge walnut dining tables with cast-bronze wishbone bases, sculptural leather sling chairs, and the coolest ping-pong table we've ever seen. 3450 Salmon Street, Philadelphia, PA 19134, bddw.com.
At this 31-year-old cash-only BYOB, charming Frankie will take your order while her husband Pat cooks in the tiny kitchen — and never emerges. Come for ravioli, shrimp scampi, red-gravy dishes, and a homemade cannoli that we'll gladly put up against anything in the Italian Market. 66 Sherbrook Boulevard, Upper Darby, PA 19082, .
The Pub in Pennsauken
There's a time and place for fancy, clubby steakhouses. But when you want to go seriously retro, try the Pub, where the steaks all come off a charcoal-fired hearth, an expansive salad bar is included, and you do your feasting in a medieval dining hall on the outskirts of Camden. 7600 Kaighns Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 08109, thepubnj.com.
Trail Creek Outfitters
From hiking to trail running to yoga, the selection at TCO is vast. But what will keep you coming back are the friendly, knowledgeable staff, who are more than happy to chat about their own outdoor adventures and share insider know-how to make yours unforgettable. 487 Glen Eagle Square, Glen Mills, PA 19342, trailcreekoutfitters.com/site.
Janean Malloy at Irwin’s
Malloy is a true talent — a server who always anticipates a table’s wants and needs, deals with difficult guests with aplomb, and acts like she owns the place (in the best way possible). She’s got the kind of swagger that keeps people coming back for reasons that have nothing to do with the food or drink. 800 Mifflin Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148, irwinsupstairs.com.
Wharton School grad, twin dad and Philly resident Ted Iobst created a genius stroller that weighs 16 pounds, folds with one hand, is well-priced, and still looks cool. Wavering? Don’t; it comes with a 100-day trial run. hicolugo.com.
AMDG Exterior Contracting
AMDG shows up when they say they will, communication is easy and clear, and if there is anything you’re unhappy with—which is highly unlikely—they’ll come back out and deal with it. For work one of our editors needed done, AMDG also offered the lowest estimate by far; the end result, our colleague gushes, is impeccable. 2377 Haverford Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003, TRUSTAMDG.COM.
The tofu-stuffed vegetarian bánh mi here is as packed as a 10-inch Wawa hoagie but light-years better. But the best part—besides Tunisan-born owner Jihed Chehimi, who makes hearty bowls, salads and sandwiches—is the free bottled water and fruit that comes with every order. 37th and Spruce Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19104, .
This is where designers and stylists for brands like Free People come to score vintage inspiration. Ask nicely, and Malena might walk you around the corner to her new, semi-secret private showroom, packed with treasures (arranged by decade) that will make vintage hounds go weak in the knees. 101 West Gay Street, West Chester, PA 19380, malenasboutique.com.