It depends from which desktop manager you're using. For example in KDE you can right-click on the desktop, chose "Create New" --> "Link to location" and select the proper folder to be browsed when you click on the link icon.
In a terminal, if you want to access a particular directory without writing its path every time, you can create an alias like:
alias cloc='cd /very/long/path/to/scratch/directory/annoyed/to/type/every/time'
If you want to open a directory using the browser from the command line, you can simply issue something in the form
depending on the browser commonly used by your desktop manager (e.g. konqueror in KDE, nautilus in GNOME, and so on). You can create an alias for this, too.