While you could spend your entire vacation within the confines of Acadia National Park, there are some worthwhile side trips in the vicinity that won't detour you far out of the park.
* At Southwest Harbor, duck into the Wendell Gilley Museum, a squat, unobtrusive building on the leafy corner of Main and Herrick. Inside, expect to be overwhelmed by flights of amazingly detailed owls, godwits, loons, curlews, eagles, mergansers, grosbeaks, chickadees, warblers and dozens of other tenderly carved species that Gilley—inspired by a carver from Cape Cod, A. Elmer Crowell—produced during a five-decade-long career that started in the 1930s and saw him recognized as one of the country’s best bird carvers.
* Perhaps the most-photographed spot on Mount Desert Island is that of the Somesville Bridge. Gracefully arching over Somes Creek, this footbridge painted white is particularly photogenic in fall.
* If you're hungry, stop by Beal's Lobster Pound in Southwest Harbor where you can point to the lobster you want from a tank full of the crustaceans and wait while they boil it for you. Don't forget the corn on the cob.