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Category: Cottage Homes

‘Slip’ Into the Harbor Life at Heritage Harbor

With daylight saving time 2019 just around the corner, you should start getting your summer plans in order…

With daylight saving time 2019 just around the corner, you should start getting your summer plans in order. Heritage Harbor is planning a summer to remember full of sun, sand, water, friends and fun!

Heritage Harbor’s vibrant marina was voted Boaters’ Choice 2018 by marinas.com, and you only must stop in to see why. Just 90 minutes from Chicago, our vibrant marina is ready and waiting to give you the boating experience you’ve been looking for.  

Heritage Harbor Marina

Positioned on the Illinois Waterway, Heritage Harbor Marina offers 32 acres of harbor, boasts a harbor opening width of 200 feet, and hosts 140 boat slips ranging between 35 and 60 feet. You’ll enjoy the single-load floating docks and private dock boxes for each slip.  Due to demand, our marina is expanding with a summer 2019 addition of 20 new small-craft boat slips. We have been operating at near-full capacity and are ready to welcome more families into our harbor community with this expansion.

Illinois River 2018

The gorgeous Illinois River provides an incredible backdrop to our amazing resort. Our additional marina services and amenities set us apart. We offer poolside beverage service, concierge-level dock service, dock staff assistance with fueling, pump out, and deliveries, full-service boat dealership with an on-call mechanical staff, Internationally Accredited Marina Manager and on-call management staff, and 24/7 on-site Harbor Hosts. Restrooms and shower facilities, restaurant, ship store, swimming pool, ATM, cable/satellite TV, wireless internet, ice, dry storage, floating docks, fuel, oil recycling, pump out, and winter storage are just some of the numerous amenities available for your enjoyment at our marina. We really are a ‘home away from home’ for all who stop here.

Want to try out our harbor before making it your home away from home?

Heritage Harbor offers on-site rentals of jet skis, pontoon boats, and electric boats. The Heritage Harbor Marina is also in association with Quest Watersports, offering rentals of Hobie pedal boards, kayaks and Stand Up Paddle boards. Our staff will ensure that all the necessary equipment is transported to the marina, and we will retrieve it when you’re done—no stress! .  

Heritage Harbor Marina is a stopover point of choice for many mariners committed to completing the Great Loop. Our marina is on the map for an average of 140 loopers each season.  These loopers take advantage of all that Heritage Harbor and Historic Downtown Ottawa have to offer. Follow their example and make us your port of choice!

What are your favorite memories about waterfront resorts or marinas? Comment Below

To book a cottage, boat rental or a resort tour call us: 815.433.5000

L-O-V-E Actually

You don’t have to venture far this month to see that L-O-V-E is on many people’s minds. 

Stores are promoting all things pink, red, and heart-shaped, music reminds us that we are “Crazy in Love,” and everywhere you turn there is the siren call of some decadent confectionery tempting us to break our New Year’s resolutions with which we have so diligently persevered. Or not. Whichever way your January progressed, February is a new month full of new possibilities.

L-O-V-E Who You Share Life With           

Valentine’s Day isn’t limited to celebrating romantic love.  Cupid can be a reminder of all the forms of love in our lives. Many of us have a tribe of people we choose to do life with, and February is an excellent chance to celebrate those people.  How you choose to show your love is your choice. You may decide to bake sweet treats with your sweeties or indulge in a meal for two at your restaurant of choice.  An afternoon cup of coffee with a friend or a home visit with someone who isn’t able to get out are great ways to connect with those you care about or even to make new friends.

L-O-V-E What You Do

Finding your life’s passion is one of the most important things you will do. Living with passion and purpose is something we all strive for. We are each born with a unique life purpose, but it often takes some soul searching to find what that may look like. Do something this month to work toward finding yours! Look at the things you love to do. What comes easy to you? When have you experienced true joy? Explore those things you enjoy doing, and you will be on the path toward doing what you love and loving what you do!

L-O-V-E Where You Live

One way to enjoy life to the fullest is to really enjoy WHERE you live.  WHERE you live often greatly affects HOW you live.  A busy, vibrant city setting lends itself to a different life pace than that of a smaller town.  Do you LOVE where and HOW you live? We personally love waking up on the river, taking in the sights, smells, and sounds of the harbor life we’ve come to know and love at Heritage Harbor. Our cottages and villas have a charming coastal flair that make them irresistibly inviting (if we do say so ourselves). 

Let Cupid be your guide to finding ‘L-O-V-E actually’ this February. L-O-V-E this life you live!

What is your favorite thing to do in Starved Rock Country for valentines day?  Comment below to share with us!

Click Here to Book your Free Waterfront Discovery Tour of the resort

Connection is Key

January. February. Two months of the year that can really seem to drag in the Midwest if we let them..

January. February. Two months of the year that can really seem to drag in the Midwest if we let them. Sometimes it feels as if there are only a few options to start out the new year. Declutter all the things that don’t ‘Spark Joy,’ or hibernate and binge watch our favorite shows until the sun starts to melt through the winter wonderland outside our windows.  

What if there were another option? While decluttering and resting during the winter months have their place, we like to think the better option for this time of the year is connection. What better time is there than now to meet up with current friends and family or to make new connections in the community around you. Less yardwork, no summer sport commitments, and a reprieve from holiday expectations leave our evenings and weekends free to explore the area around you and to further establish connections with your community. It’s important to put down roots where we live, to meet strangers who may just become new friends!

Wondering what to do? Try out a local craft evening or pursue a new hobby of interest. Grab a group for dinner out or attend a tasting at a local brewery or wineryJoin an active group and head outside for some cross-country skiing, ice skating, or hiking. The benefits of getting fresh air even in winter are vast, and a little bit of nature can go a long way toward staving off cabin fever and can even help keep you healthy.

You may wish to attend a local concert or art evening, sign up to volunteer for a cause you care about, or for a cooking class. You may also wish to open up your home, inviting others to a supper or book club, themed potluck, board game evening, or a game-day celebration.  

Just remember, the hardest part is getting started! Try to schedule or plan one event or meet-up once a week. Let’s choose to spend our time forming bonds with those around us, putting down roots, and developing community.

What are your favorite ways to get out in the winter months? Comment Below

See which event you want to join next at Heritage Harbor by visiting

Discover Waterfront Living at One of These Exciting Trade Shows in January

The Illinois River may be frozen, but things are heating up at Heritage Harbor as we prepare to head out to various trade shows this month.

Brave the elements to find out why 2018 was Heritage Harbor’s most successful year of sales and learn about our new neighborhoods.  Heritage Harbor was voted best waterfront resort in the Midwest in the Official Best Of Illinois 2018. Come and visit and you’ll soon see why.

If boating and all things water-related are your scene, you’ll want to attend the Chicago Boat Show, which drops anchor on January 9-13, 2019 at McCormick Place in downtown Chicago. Check out the Official Show Guide for a complete list of exhibitors, products, attractions and seminar schedules to help you plan your day.

For those interested in the adventure of waterfront living, you won’t want to miss the Lake Home & Cabin Show in Schaumburg, Illinois on January 11-13. This show is custom built for those looking to buy a second home. It’s a one-stop event of answers, inspiration, and great ideas. You will find everything from rustic furnishings, architects and builders, sporting and outdoor gear, custom products and accessories, and anything you can think of for your getaway. Make sure to check the schedule to attend relevant how-to seminars and demonstrations.

Thinking ahead to retirement and active living? Then you’ll want to visit us at the Ideal Living Resort & Retirement Show in Schaumburg, Illinois on January 19-20. Low-maintenance adventurous living is at the forefront of Heritage Harbor’s vision. Come and explore how to restore your soul and live a life of adventure in Starved Rock Country.

Following this month’s shows, we will feature at several of the upcoming Home and Garden Shows. Be sure to look out for info!

Can’t make our shows? Contact your lifestyle consultant to book your tour today at (815) 433-5000 or visit www.visitheritageharbor.com.

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What is your favorite living active thing to do in Starved Rock Country?  Comment below to share with us!

Click Here to Book your Free Waterfront Discovery Tour of the resort

Tis the Season to be….


This is such an exciting time of the year as we wrap up the old, and usher in the new!  There are so many ways to make the most of this festive season in Starved Rock Country. Our Illinois River scenery is unrivaled as the falling snow turns the landscape into a glittering winter wonderland.

Tis the Season to be….

Festive

This is such an exciting time of the year as we wrap up the old, and usher in the new!  There are so many ways to make the most of this festive season in Starved Rock Country. Our Illinois River scenery is unrivaled as the falling snow turns the landscape into a glittering winter wonderland.  Whether you choose to enjoy the scenery firsthand with a hike, jog, or cross-country ski or from the warmth of a fire and steaming mug of something hot indoors, be sure to spend some time soaking up the stunning views at the harbor.  You may even catch a glimpse of one of the many eagles that frequent the area during the winter season. The Red Dog Grill offers live piano music on Wednesday evenings to set the backdrop for a relaxing time spent with friends and family. Come for the day or stay for the weekend in a cozy cottage on the river. You may decide this is the place you can make home!

Giving

The holiday season is such a busy one for many. Gifts to purchase and wrap, meals to plan and prepare, events to host and attend. It can be so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle that we forget to look out for the opportunities around us in which we can share our time and blessings.  The holidays can be lonely for those who live away from or have lost family members. Offering to share an afternoon or evening of your time can make a world of difference to another. Many organizations conduct toy or gift drives for those who would like to share their blessings.  Giving is the real reason of this season!

Heritage Harbor is proud to host its annual Penguin Plunge for Make-A-Wish on the 19th of January. Follow us on Facebook to learn how to be a part of this exciting charitable event.

Heritage Harbor’s Penguin Plunge for Make-A-Wish

Reflective

The conclusion of another year leads one to a state of reflection and contemplation. Reflecting on the year behind us, we contemplate the areas we want to improve upon.  Looking ahead, we make goals for how we intend to lead the next year of our lives.  Whether your goals include more adventure and fun, time spent with friends and family, health and fitness, low-maintenance living, or even a profitable investment, Heritage Harbor is the place to make it happen!

From our family to yours, thank you for a very memorable 2018! Be sure to follow us as we are set to launch two new neighborhoods in 2019. We wish you a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!!!!

What is your favorite Christmas thing to do in Starved Rock Country?  Comment below to share with us!

Grateful. Thankful. Blessed


We are fortunate in our great country to have Thanksgiving week as one in which we spend time in reflection on our blessings. We look at our lives with appreciation and give thanks for the blessings bestowed upon us.  As a whole, we have so much to be grateful for, and we’d like to take the opportunity to share our thoughts with you!

GRATE

Grateful.

At Heritage Harbor, we are so Grateful for YOU! Each individual who plays a role in the everyday or seasonal flow of events is greatly appreciated because you ARE Heritage Harbor. Without you, our harbor community just wouldn’t be the same.   Community can be defined as, “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” Each boater, homeowner, or resident contributes to this feeling of fellowship as we share our common goal of creating a place where everyone is welcome, fun can be had, and life is lived.

Thankful.

We are so Thankful for the staff and employees that give so much time and energy throughout the year to make things run smoothly. We are thankful for our patrons, guests, and those who have chosen to make this their home. The diversity of visitors provides an interesting camaraderie. At just a 90-minute drive away, we are thankful for our proximity to Downtown Chicago and all this great city has to offer. We love welcoming those from the city to our harbor for a chance to unplug from the busy and reconnect with nature in our waterfront cottages.  We love that the four seasons of the year in Starved Rock Country each offer a different captivating experience.

be grateful
bless

Blessed.

We are Blessed to be based in Starved Rock country in the midst of such extensive natural beauty. The area is graced with an abundance of wildlife and natural landscapes to admire in every season of the year. Our location allows us to provide a harbor and place of respite for the Great Loopers on their journeys, and we love that we can connect with these travelers. The amenities at Heritage Harbor continue to be a blessing to many wishing to lead active lifestyles whether it be boating, watersports, walking or jogging the Harbor Walk, participating in parkrun on Saturday mornings, or playing sand volleyball. We are blessed to have a helpful, caring community around us who are willing to help out when need arises, and to live in an area with a diverse local culture to enjoy at our leisure.

We wish to extend a very Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and we hope you know how truly thankful we are for each of you! ~The Heritage Harbor Team

What is your favorite thanksgiving thing to do in Starved Rock Country?  Comment below to share with us!

Winter fun is waiting in Starved Rock Country—here’s where to find it!


Hibernating during the winter months isn’t necessary in the Midwest as there’s still plenty to do and see, vacations to be had. Much fun can be found in Starved Rock Country of Illinois along the Illinois River.

The team at Heritage Harbor resort and marina frequently help visitors and homeowners pinpoint the best winter activities in Starved Rock Countryand Ottawa, Ill. With visitors heading to the resort year-round for a rented stay in a cozy cottage and homeowners who routinely plan weekend vacations, the Heritage Harbor crew is well-equipped to keep you informed on local events. Situated just 90 minutes from downtown Chicago, Starved Rock Country is a Midwest oasis with outdoor fun, exceptional dining and shopping, and a community full of unique activities providing fun for people of all ages.

“There’s a common misconception that northern Illinois shuts down during the winter and there’s no fun to be had,” says Tammy Barry of Heritage Harbor“Nothing could be farther from the truth here in Starved Rock Country. The changing of the seasons, especially winter, opens a whole new realm of places to explore. Many visitors of Heritage Harbor say winter is actually a favorite season to explore the area.”

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There’s so much to see in in Starved Rock Country that it’s impossible to explore it all in one afternoon; there’s always something happening in the area. This year, Ottawa’s third annual Chris Kringle Market will be held in early December featuring artisan gift vendors, tasty holiday treats, traditional German-style beer, live music, and memorable activities for the whole family to enjoy. This year’s special activities include complementary carriage rides, festive carolers, ornament crafting, an ice carving demonstration, and even a visit from a live reindeer!

Before the Christmas holiday, visitors can experience a Victorian Christmas at Ottawa’s historic Reddick Mansion with Holiday Candlelight Tours or a Christmas Tea.

There is plenty of adult fun to be had as well, as local wineries in Utica, Ill., keep uncorking bottles throughout the season.  Stop in for a tasting and tour at downtown Ottawa’s Tangled Roots Brewing Company. Enjoy a hearty waterfront dining experience at Heritage Harbor’s Red Dog Grill.  The wood-burning fireplace creates a cozy atmosphere to gather around with friends and family.  Downtown Ottawa offers a variety of dining experiences for those wishing to grab a bite after some shopping.


Starved Rock Country has some of the most beautiful scenery around due to the proximity to several state parks. Starved Rock State Park has been voted the #1 attraction in the state of Illinois. Winter has played a big part in Starved Rock’s popularity.

Last year, Starved Rock State Park welcomed millions of visitors. The park’s proximity to Chicago, free admission and free parking are factors in its continued popularity. The freezing and melting that happens during the winter months creates spectacular ice sculptures that draw viewers from near and far. The canyon ice falls are a must see this winter!  The new year is ushered in with Winter Wilderness Weekend in January, in which guided hikes are provided to showcase the ice falls and nature’s winter wonderland.

Winter Wilderness

The Illinois River is a notorious winter eagle nesting ground, bringing visitors from all over the U.S. This year, Eagle Watch Weekend is Jan. 26-27, with guided tours, hands-on and make-and-take activities for kids, and other connected activities at the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center. Spotting scopes are also available to get an up-close view of these magnificent birds.

Barry says Heritage Harbor is convenient for winter visitors because many want to stay in the area longer than a few hours—there’s just too much to do to simply cruise through. Cottage Rentals by Heritage Harbor’s Harbor Inn offers visitors the option to rent a cottage on the Illinois River waterfront for a weekend. The variety of cottages offered are perfect for a family as well as a couple looking for a weekend getaway.

With Heritage Harbor being in the center of all the activity, it’s the perfect place to be.

To learn about more hidden winter gems in Starved Rock Country and Heritage Harbor Ottawa, contact Tammy Barry at 815-433-5000.


What is your favorite living active thing to do in Starved Rock Country?  Comment below to share with us!

Heritage Harbor Hits New Record Sales of Waterfront Homes

“Heritage Harbor has seen record sales on waterfront homes recently, and it is anticipated that the current sales trend will continue at an increasing rate”

Heritage Harbor has seen record sales on waterfront homes recently, and it is anticipated that the current sales trend will continue at an increasing rate. Eleven cottages in the Heron’s Landing neighborhood have been sold in the past six months, so if you have been on the fence, now’s your time to act! Snap up one of these one-of-a kind waterfront properties in the heart of Starved Rock Country, because they won’t be available for long.

We are putting the finishing touches on seven Villas making them move-in ready. These villas have been designed and built with hospitality comfort in mind. Experience no delay when it comes to maximizing your return on your new waterfront investment should you choose to take advantage of the on-site Harbor Inn rental management program.

If you’d like a little more customization, there are still a couple of lots that are shovel ready, so you can be involved in the design process.

This is the last phase of waterfront cottages in the $219k-$350k price range on the East Peninsula, as we will soon be releasing larger estate lots on the remainder of the peninsula. You will be hard-pressed to find more spectacular waterfront views at this price point, So if there was ever a good time to benefit from a low-interest rate mortgage, it would be now!

Secure your inRESTment today! Contact your lifestyle consultant, Tammy or Bridget, at 1-815-433-5000 or email us at hho@heritageharborottawa.comto book a Discovery TourWe look forward to welcoming you to the Harbor-Life!


What is your favorite living active thing to do in Starved Rock Country?  Comment below to share with us!

Live an Active Life at the Harbor

“Who says you need to wait until the New Year to start living your best life? The best time to start is NOW! “

Who says you need to wait until the New Year to start living your best life? The best time to start is NOW!  Heritage Harbor has all you need and more to live a healthy and active lifestyle.

Heritage Harbor’s river access lends itself to a multitude of water sports, and Heritage Harbor Marina and Quest Watersports have all your rental needs taken care of. Take advantage of the last few weeks of warmth and take a Stand Up Paddle board out for a spin, test out a kayak, or go big and rent a ski boat and spend the day tubing, water skiing, or boogie boarding. 

As the days shorten and cool off, you may decide to take your active lifestyle back on solid ground. Starved Rock Country has no shortage of adventure trails and state parks to explore. If cycling is your choice, Heritage Harbor has access to the Historic I & M Canal trail. Runners and walkers alike have access every Saturday at 9am to parkrun, a free timed 5K event on the Harbor Walk.

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Heritage Harbor homeownerJeff Gerald has found a happy, healthy, fit lifestyle to love. Gerald is a committed parkrun participant who has found success and support in the parkrun community. Jeff is Heritage Harbor Ottawa parkrun’s first 50th milestone achiever. At the one year celebration of Heritage Harbor Ottawa parkrun, Jeff shared that, “In my almost 59 years on this planet I hadn’t ever run or even walked 5K/3.1 miles; now I do it EVERY Saturday at 9am!!! It got me into an exercise routine that lead me into doing Orange Theory 3 days a week. I have been a vegetarian/pescatarian since October all thanks to parkrun! Over 50 lbs lost, and I will be running again Saturday at 9am!” Community and accountability are essential when it comes to healthy habit formation, and Jeff has proven that the harbor community offers that.

What is your favorite living active thing to do in Starved Rock Country?  Comment below to share with us!

Click Here to Book your Free Waterfront Discovery Tour of the resort

5 Tips for Creating Community

‘There are no strangers here; only friends you have not met yet.’

There is no need to go out searching for friends when you are surrounded by a special community like Heritage Harbor’s. If you want good neighbors, you first need to become one yourself! Master these techniques, and you will be well on your way to creating the community you crave.

We live in the digital age—the most connected era in all of history—yet statistics show we’re lonelier than ever. We live in a chatty world, but we have lost the power to communicate. We’re starving for connection that can’t be found in a tweet or text, but only face-to-face in community.’
Kristin Schell -The Turquoise Table

1. Find ways to be intentionally thoughtful and generous

Whether you are new to your community or just need to catch up with neighbors you haven’t seen in a while, small acts of kindness can go a long way. Invite your neighbors for a walk along the Harbor Wall or for a visit at the North Beach. Have a play date at the jungle gym or pool. Stop for dessert or a sundowner cocktail at Red Dog Grill. Invite neighbors along for a pickup game of frisbee or sand volleyball. Heritage Harbor and downtown Ottawa have endless opportunities for fun for people of all ages and stages. Heritage Harbor resident, Margie, brightens the days of her neighbors by sharing fresh cut zinnias from her garden in thoughtfully worded message jars. Letting neighbors know you are thinking of them in any way opens the doors for meaningful relationships and connection.

2. Find ways to be helpful

friendly community

People gravitate toward those who are genuine and generous. Watch for ways to help your neighbors—help carrying groceries, shoveling snow, watching pets—and you will find that you endear yourself to those around you!

3. Get Involved in Neighborhood Activities and Events

parkrun

You can always find something happening at Heritage Harbor during the summer season. From weekend live music events to weekly parkrunparticipation. From float in or beach movie nights to cocktails at the Tiki Bar. From watersports to community block parties or bonfires. You are sure to find something to become involved in to really take part in the Harbor Life. Attending events is a great way to step out and meet the people you share an address with. You will have a shared memory to speak about the next time you see your neighbor stepping out of their house. On the other hand, don’t wait for an event to happen if you can make it happen! Resident, Linda, is an inspired homeowner who is passionate about creating community and has planned or assisted with many resort events including Bike-a-rita, cooking classes, and parkrun milestones.

4. Keep Your Home Tidy and Inviting

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A welcome front porch and tidy front yard invites guests to enter your home haven. Clear the clutter and create an inviting space that makes guests feel at home. Developing hospitable habits will help make your house the ‘place to hang!’ Like Jen Schmidt’s book challenges, “Just open the door!

5. Communicate

community hood

Speak. Out loud. Forget your phones…texts, tweets, Facebook likes have their place, but to create authentic community, face-to-face communication is essential. Start by finding out the basics, and then set up a time and place to delve further

‘Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.

Rollo MayEven more important than speaking in conversation is the art of listening. Henri Nouwen said, “Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality by which you invite strangers to become friends, to get to know their inner selves more fully, and even to dare to be silent with you.” Show your neighbors they matter by entering into conversation with them. Be sure to keep your communication positive! Nobody likes a Nosy Nellie who knows gossip about everyone.

We’d love to hear how you grow relationships in your community!Hit Comment Below and tell us your thoughts!

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