We are taking a cruise and one stop is Bar Harbor. We will be there from 8am until
5pm. We were hoping to not take a tour with the cruise line. Once we tender to
Bar Harbor, are there things to do on our own?
Trying hard to curb my sarcasm gene here but, you're visiting a town of roughly 5000 residents, there will be at least two other cruise ships there with you, each with 3000 people hungry to do the one perfect thing and avoid the crowds.
Walk around the town and snicker at all the tourists, take the bus tour to Sandy Beach, Jordan Pond and Cadillac Mtn. Embrace and enjoy the crowds, they are you. There's nothing you can do there alone, so just enjoy the magnificence!
You can also use the free shuttle bus system to access one of many trail heads in Acadia and go for a hike: http://www.exploreacadia.com One of the buses will take you to Jordan Pond, where you can hike a bit and then have tea and popovers on the lawn.
You can walk around the village following the Museum in the Streets sign posts detailing local history. You can walk to and tour the Abbe Museum, see the stained glass windows at Saint Saviour's church, or walk over to the College of the Atlantic campus. You can walk over to Bar Island at the time of low tide and hike the trail there.
Sounds like great things to do. Thanks for your thoughts!