What a fabulous place. Thoughtful, engaging docents know their stuff about the incredible collections housed here: archaeology, history, biology, art, industry, government. A wonderful place for all ages to enjoy. You'll leave with a better understanding why this is called "the Great State of Maine."
Paleoamerican Exhibit ©2009 David H. Lyman
If you want to make a day of it, the State House is just next door. Also consider exploring Old Fort Western, a 1754 National Historic Landmark fort, store and house that is just a few minutes away.
Next visit I'll factor in enough time for lunch, although choosing will be hard. One of my faves is Slates in Hallowell -- an arty little village along the Kennebec River that has interesting locally-owned businesses to explore. Or just a bit further on from Hallowell is the eclectic A-1 Diner in Gardiner.
And then there's the hard to pass up Morse's Sauerkraut on Route 220, just a couple miles in from Route 17. If you can make it past all the tempting European treats and into a booth, order anything with sauerkraut. (Although I can't seem to get past ordering the same thing every time -- Pastrami reuben!) Sampling the tableside crocks of pickles and contemplating the selection of mustards to accompany my lunch always makes the short wait for food fly.
If you want to know more and see more of the state, take the day to explore Augusta. This easy daytrip is less than an hour away from the Birchwood Motel in Camden. A fine plan for any type of weather.