If you think you can see all there is to see in a day, you are out of your mind! MDI is a place you can come back to year after year and still find new areas to explore. That is if you get out of your car. Fodor's suggests these highlights:
If You Have 3 Days
If you have three days on Mount Desert Island, stay in Bar Harbor. There's plenty of things in this popular resort town to keep you occupied on your first day -- from bustling boutiques to interesting museums. On Day 2, stop at the Hulls Cove Visitor Center to pick up information about special events, then head to Acadia National Park. A drive around Park Loop Road is a great way to learn the lay of the land. Stop along the way -- a lot of the scenic overlooks have informational signs you may find interesting. Finish up the Park Loop Road journey by driving to the top of Cadillac Mountain to enjoy the sunset. On Day 3, rent a bike and explore the network of carriage roads that crisscross the island. Take in the spectacular view of Jordan Pond from the observation deck of the Jordan Pond House, a restaurant known for its massive popovers with lots of strawberry jam. For the afternoon's entertainment, hike the South Bubble Mountain (easier) or Penobscot Mountain (more challenging).
If You Have 5 Days
Follow the three-day itinerary above. On Day 4, drive to Northeast Harbor, the summer home of many of the country's wealthiest families. Take in the Asticou Azalea Garden and Thuya Gardens. On your last day, take a sightseeing cruise in the morning. In the afternoon, head to Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, taking in Somesville and Southwest Harbor along the way.