Textile designer Angela Adams takes inspiration from nature. "I'm always inspired by the natural beauty of Maine, the snow, ice, sky, fog, moss, woods," she says. That's easy to see in her rugs, curtains, pillows, and other home accessories. While her products are carried in stores such as Macy's and Anthropologie, it's worth a visit to Portland to shop at her Congress Street store.
"The best thing about visiting Maine is finding the little surprises," Adams says. Those begin right in her shop's East End neighborhood at the base of Munjoy Hill. It's an old, architecturally rich neighborhood with a nice mix of small stores, galleries, and restaurants, ranging from vintage goods to designer specialties, coffee and tea houses to nationally renowned restaurants.
Arm yourself with Greater Portland Landmarks Munjoy Hill Historic Guide, then take a walking tour of more than 50 notable sites, including the 1807 Portland Observatory, the only remaining marine signal tower on the eastern seaboard; the National Historic Register-listed Eastern Cemetery; and the Eastern Promenade. En route, sip, savor, and shop some of Congress Street treasures, such as Maine Mead's tasting room, Carlson-Turner Books, Homegrown Herb and Tea, and Otto Pizza. Consider dining at Bar Lola, The Front Room, Figa, or Blue Spoon. Pop into Ember Grove gallery, and see what's scheduled at the St. Lawrence Arts Center.
Afterwards, mosey down India Street, home to some of Portland's oldest and most beloved food institutions: Amato's, Coffee by Design, Two Fat Cats Bakery, and Micucci's, Portland's original grocery store—hidden in the back is a bakery turning out pizza, breads, and sweets.
Hungering for more? Browse Middle Street, a food-oriented traveler's mother lode, thanks to two restaurants owned by James Beard award-winning chef Rob Evans—Hugo's and the far more casual Duckfat; Rabelais, one of the country's best culinary bookstores; Deans Sweets, maker of artisan truffles; the East Ender and Pepperclub, both serving locally sourced foods prepared with pizzazz.