November always reminds me of being twelve. Too old to feel like I should have to sit at the kids’ table at the holidays, but too young to be interested in what was happening at the adults’ table – very in-between. 

Early November sees leaves that have fallen and scattered about. At times it brings a smattering of snow atop those leaves. So, what do you do while visiting the Petoskey Area when it’s too cold for kayaking, yet not cold enough to build a snowman or strap on skis? Just at the in-between stage? Layer up and check out the outdoor art.

There are murals in Petoskey and sculptures dotted throughout Boyne City, Petoskey, Harbor Springs and nearby in a variety of public places. While you’re out shopping or visiting our wineries and breweries, be sure to check out these stops:


Flowers From Sky’s the Limit – 413 Michigan Street, Petoskey – Expansive and detailed town scene incorporating several real locations from Petoskey.

Grandpa Shorter’s – 301 East Lake Street, Petoskey (at the back side off Howard Street) – Family figures from this multi-generational downtown jewel show glimpses into the history of Petoskey.

D & W Fresh Market – 1163 N Hwy 31, Petoskey (on the back of the building) – Running parallel to the nearby Little Traverse Wheelway, this mural shows the development of the beloved bike trail.

Former Petoskey News building – 319 State Street, Petoskey (across from the post office on the side of the building) – This painting commemorates one of our country’s founding fathers, statesman and inventor, Ben Franklin. 

Terry L. Dickinson first painted The Sky’s the Limit mural and then went on to do the other three.


Last River Draw Sculpture – In Old City Park, 95 N East Street, Boyne City – Lifesize and so lifelike you may want to call out to the “river rat” moving logs down the Boyne River. The sculpture celebrates Boyne City’s heritage as a lumbering community. Martha Sulfridge, artist.  

Young Ernest Hemingway – in Pennsylvania Park, East Lake Street, Petoskey – Dedicated on July 21 (Hemingway’s birthday) in 2017, the statue depicts young Ernie as shown in a 1920 photo. One noticeable difference in the sculpture and the photo? A book takes the place of a flask tucked in the author’s pocket. Andy Sackrider, artist.

Ernest Hemingway – 175 E. Main Street, Harbor Springs outside of Knox Gallery – An older Ernest Hemingway is shown here sitting down with his fishing pole. Probably thinking about the next big catch. George Lundeen, artist.

Chief Petosega – Lewis Street behind Stafford’s Perry Hotel, Petoskey – Erected in 2005, this lifesize sculpture honors Chief Ignatius Petosegay (Petoskey), a local businessman and chief of the local Odawa Native American tribe for whom Petoskey is named. Pietro Vinotti, artist.

“Ring of Bright Water II” – Oden State Fish Hatchery, 3377 U.S. 31, Oden – A playful sculpture of otters just having a good time. Kent Ullberg, artist.

Harris Gardens – North Central Michigan College, 1515 Howard Street, Petoskey – The area’s largest collection of outdoor art came to fruition through the generosity of retired businessman, Jack Harris. 26 unique sculptures offer you the chance to wander in the college courtyard and use your cell phone to find out more about each piece.

This is far from being a complete list of all the wonderful outdoor artwork you will find – if you pay attention you’ll discover bears, butterflies, children, trains and other statues and paintings, as well as huge colorful fish tucked into just the right spaces. Get out and explore during this in-between time of the year and see what other terrific artwork calls to you in the Petoskey Area.

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About the author

Diane Dakins is passionate about all the lakeside communities that comprise the Petoskey Area of northern Michigan: Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor and Boyne City. As assistant director of the Petoskey Area Visitors Bureau, she has “been there – seen that” when it comes to virtually every area attraction. Her blogs give potential visitors the scoop on planning a northern Michigan vacation.