Cruise ships drop anchor in Frenchman Bay on the northeast side of Mount Desert Island, then tender visitors to the Bar Harbor Town Pier in smaller passenger launches. The harbor itself is lovely, and a handful of whale-watching, seal-spotting, and lobster-boat tours depart directly from the pier. There's an information center just across West Street.
Bar Harbor is pedestrian-friendly and small enough that you can hoof it anywhere in town. A few taxis generally hover around the pier when cruise ships come in, but it's also just a three-block walk to the Village Green, where the free Island Explorer shuttle buses come by every half hour (every hour in the fall). The Island Explorer takes you to a handful of locations inside Acadia National Park, as well as several of the island's scattered villages. Right next door to the Town Pier in the Harbor Place building, Oli's Trolley (1 West St., 207/288–9899) offers one-hour ($15) narrated tours of the island.
Climb Cadillac Mountain. Stunning views from 1,528 feet are yours at the end of the quintessential Acadia day hike.
Ride the Carriage Trails. The park's preserved old roadways are idea for bike travel.
Whale-Watching. Seals and puffins are guest stars on whale-spotting trips that leave from Bar Harbor.
Shop Bar Harbor. Find art, souvenirs, outdoor gear, and more in the shops and galleries downtown.