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The Official Best of Illinois 2018 Selects Heritage Harbor!!!

“Official Best of” is proud to be featuring Illinois’ top attractions with their “Official Best of Illinois 2018”. Heritage Harbor has been selected as the Best Waterfront Resort Community for 2018.

“Official Best of” is proud to be featuring Illinois’ top attractions with their “Official Best of Illinois 2018”. Heritage Harbor has been selected as the Best Waterfront Resort Community for 2018. There will be showings on Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC and other networks as the program availability allows. The program will also be available on the popular www.OfficialBestOf.com travel website.

“When the call came in to inform us that we had been selected, we were ecstatic,” states Tom Heimsoth, Developer of Heritage Harbor. “Our story began 10 years ago, and we continue to show amazing progress with many memories being created by our residents, boaters and guests.”

The “Official Best Of” was started in 2004 by Executive Producer, Brett Allen-a TV executive from St. Louis, Missouri. Brett saw a need for a researched travel resource that would also provide TV features online as an additional resource for both in and out of state travelers. As a result, “The Official Best Of” was born. Each state production showcases outstanding “best” attractions located throughout each state in a variety of categories. A research staff studies online travel sites, state tourism information, CVB resources and other sources to determine whether an attraction merits the “Official Best” seal. One distinction that sets “Official Best Of” apart from many other travel sites is that it does not accept advertising on either its television programs or its website. The selection of attractions is entirely by merit, and lesser known but worthy attractions are given the same attention as more popular ones.

Heritage Harbor joins the company of other notable Illinois attractions such as Yoder’s Kitchen – Best Family Restaurant, Hotel Baker – Best Historic Hotel and more. The presence of water is what draws many to this tranquil haven in Starved Rock Country. Both homeowners and boating enthusiasts can take advantage of the state-of-the art marina, which currently offers 150 boat slips with a future capacity of up to 460 boat slips. The resort boasts on-site swimming pools, events wharf, white sand beach area, harbor and river walk, community club house for Heron’s Landing and a full service, year-round restaurant, The Red Dog Grill. These amenities have added to the overall progress witnessed at the 142-acre waterfront resort. 

The resort has launched the Harbor Inn hospitality brand to manage the vast number of rental requests at the resort. The Cottages and Villas allow Heritage Harbor to promote overnight stays for visitors who wish to experience all that Starved Rock Country has to offer. The area offers activities and entertainment throughout the year that attract visitors to this waterfront community. 

The video footage of Heritage Harbor will be featured on the OfficialBestof.com website toward the end of the year. To book your discovery tour of the resort visit www.VisitHeritageHarbor.com or call (815) 433-5000. 

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We’d love to hear your thoughts about your adventures at Heritage Harbor!! Hit Comment Below and tell us your thoughts!

MAKE YOUR VERY OWN INDEPENDENCE DECLARATION THIS FOURTH OF JULY

Get your freedom back as you explore the mystique and wonder of the Illinois Waterway under the golden Starved Rock sun 

I say Independence Day…you say? 

The Independence Declaration of 1776, to most of us living Americans, is a huge deal! There is just no room for us to gloss over the immense importance of our independence…most especially on Independence Day! In fact (red-blooded patriots that we are) we’re turning the whole independence dial up a few clicks this July Fourth – and here’s why… 

You say Independence Day, we say find your freedom! 

As proud Americans, we thrive on the rich elements of bravado, courage and expedition in our multifaceted history. We revel and thrive in our absolutely breathtaking landscapes, high-rise buildings, economic superpower and buzzing trade centers. Yet, for all this, we often miss the importance of celebrating our own independence and exercising our own freedom as individuals and families! So, we’ve made it our soul mission (and we extend the challenge to you and your family this 4 July) to relive, revisit and revive our own personal freedoms this Independence Day. 

And we’re going do it right here on the water at Heritage Harbor 

Some are more conscious of it than others…but there probably isn’t a person on the planet that wouldn’t register at least some soothing, some invigoration, or some peace from that lapping, pouring, rushing, flowing sound of water in the country. When you add a few rolling hills, some graceful birdlife, a full range of grassy greens and leafy Lambadas, a breathtaking bluff or three, and perhaps even the exhilarating sound of a tow boat making the most of a lazy summer day…you get that oh-so-heavenly vibe, which we call the harbor life at Heritage Harbor. 

You, relaxing on or near the water this Independence Day 

For you it might look like hiring a kayak and venturing out to explore the Illinois Waterway. It may mean launching your own or hired tow boat using our world-class marina facilities, and letting your hair flap wildly in the wind as you feel the speed and exhilaration of raw power on glassy waters. You could take a SUP board out on the Illinois River and soak in the Starved Rock Country sun, or you could kick those feet up and browse the skies, river banks and plains with your new binoculars. Taking a meandering walk through our waterfront-cottage neighborhoods is also likely to give you the retreat your soul has needed for so long. 

Outdoor Revival (Tomi Stonajovic) says that the health benefits enjoyed by people who spend time on or near water include (amongst many others) the soul-cleansing effect of fresh air, the immune boost of the great outdoors, the calming and sedating effects of the sounds of water lapping and flowing, and the blue-mind effect of peace and tranquility. All of the above flow with abandon at Heritage Harbor, and are just waiting to give you the independence you deserve on 4 July 2018. 

While you’re at it – bask in our American history, without it being a history lesson… 

No, Independence Day is not about rehashing the monochromatic version of our nation’s history. It IS about rediscovering that history in such a way that it comes to life in you, and brings you to life! Ottawa IL, where Heritage Harbor is located, is a crucible of natural, social and industrial history that will leave you feeling truly American all over again – no rote history lesson involved!  

Yes, we are talking about experiencing the cultural wonder of how America came into being! We are also talking about the legends and stories of First Nation tribes defending their own. And yes, we are absolutely talking about Irish, French and a host of other explorers coming upon this great piece of continent and doing all within their power to make it their own! But more (sing along) much more than this… 

More than anything, we’re talking about YOU! 

Now be careful to hear the spring in our voice, the whistle in our mood, and the buzz in our tone as we tell you that what we really want, here at Heritage Harbor, is for you to rediscover your freedom like you did the first time (maybe you are still waiting for your first experience of freedom out in the country?!). We want you to experience what it’s like to be you in a wide open landscape, surrounded by friendly, loving people!  

When was the last time you really let your hair down, wound down, and got your stress levels down by rounding up your family and turning up the fun in and around gorgeous river settings? When last did you re-experience the wonder of some small-town charm and real McCoy US history first-hand? Exactly…but again, all that can change this 4th of July 2018! 

How about now? Experience Independence Day at Heritage Harbor in Starved Rock Country this July 4th? 

Seriously, though. It’s time! We’ve been waiting for you to discover the sheer magic of this place. It’s not just about having a vacation, buying a designer waterfront cottage, and exploring the open water. It’s also about you finding the real you and enjoying what that feels like – especially when you’re surrounded by nature and those you love! 

See you on July 4! 

Sunbirds Flock to Heritage Harbor

A new trend is bringing more residents to the marina resort community of Heritage Harbor: Sunbirding. The reverse of the snowbird who maintains a second home down south for winter, a sunbird lives in the south year-round but flees hot summers for the temperate Midwest.

 

A lot of sunbirds live in places like Florida or Arizona where it’s hot and sunny year round. Since these southern states can become too hot during the summer, sunbirds have begun buying second homes so they can “summer” elsewhere. By escaping the heat of a southern summer for that of the milder Midwestern summer, sunbirds are able to enjoy a temperate climate year round.

 

boating

 

Why More Sunbirds are Flocking to Heritage Harbor
Many of these sunbirds are from the Midwest, so it’s a natural choice to come back to the area during the warmer months to be close to their children and grandchildren. As a marina resort community, Heritage Harbor draws sunbirds who enjoy the waterfront lifestyle. The location also places them in the heart of Starved Rock Country with numerous activities and adventures they can share with the whole family.

 

Since Heritage Harbor is comprised of pocket neighborhoods perfectly designed around a beautiful marina, a real sense of community spirit develops. For many residents, Heritage Harbor welcomes them back to a simpler time when neighbors knew one another.

 

Sunbirds tend to want homes they can enjoy as-is since their time up north is limited. The low-maintenance cottage homes are popular among those who don’t want to spend their time tackling home improvement projects. Most of the homes in Heritage Harbor offer waterfront views, and prices start in the upper $200s.

 


These active adults value the many recreational opportunities in Heritage Harbor as well as the surrounding area. Residents enjoy the convenience of daily rentals for boats, paddleboards and kayaks. Heritage Harbor’s 32-acre deep water marina and state-of-the-art docking system will support more than 400 boat slips, making this community an ideal base for summer on the water.

 

The entertainment onsite is another big draw. The community’s Director of Fun develops a busy summer event schedule for residents. There’s also the on-site restaurant, Red Dog Grill, that serves up fantastic waterfront views and tasty seafood and American cuisine.

 

Starved Rock Country

 

Starved Rock Country
While the waterfront is the main attraction, there’s so much more to do and see in and around Heritage Harbor. Nearby Starved Rock State Park is the best-known state park in the area, but Buffalo Rock and Matthiessen State Parks are full of hidden gems as well. Whether it’s hiking trails, waterfalls, picnic sites, or forests, the natural beauty of these open spaces tempts residents.

 

Sunbirds can also enjoy other Starved Rock Country activities such as fishing, golf, horseback riding, water skiing, biking and jogging trails, and so much more just minutes from the Heritage Harbor community.

 

Over the last decade, the historic town Ottawa has transformed into a destination city for numerous one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants. From wine and beer tasting events to local festivals, concerts, and entertainment, there’s always something exciting happening in Ottawa.

 

The cottage homes at Heritage Harbor come in an array of floor plans and prices. There are even options to build-to-suit your dream home. To learn more about the community, amenities and home plans visit www.HeritageHarborOttawa.com or call 815.433.5000 to schedule a Discovery Tour.

Heritage Harbor: Your Getaway and Investment

“Buying real estate is not only the best way, the quickest way, the safest way, but the only way to become wealthy.”—Marshall Field, entrepreneur

A new opportunity is available and located only 90 minutes from Chicago. Join your friends and invest in your own getaway at the new cottage neighborhoods currently under development at the resort community of Heritage Harbor. Take your stake of nature’s glory and learn more about why people are interested in owning their own cottage at Heritage Harbor Ottawa.

An Active Lifestyle

Heritage Harbor and the surrounding Ottawa area provides residents and visitors an opportunity to engage in lively events year round. For those that enjoy wine tastings, jazz festivals and eclectic art and artisans, you won’t have to venture far to indulge your pleasures.

Outdoor enthusiasts of all ages can enjoy the best of nature right outside of their door. Cottages sit near the gentle waters of the Illinois River and nearby parks and opportunities for Eagle sightings and more keep families engaged.

Enjoy resort living without the hassle of maintenance. Residents of Heritage Harbor receive lawn maintenance, stop by an onsite restaurant, the Red Dog Grill, offering year-round dining, and take advantage of a 32-acre harbor with an extensive marina with over 450 boat slips and more. The development is geared to all ages. Individuals, growing families and seniors can mix and mingle and make the most of the changing seasons at Heritage Harbor Ottawa.

 

A Recreational Area & Great Investment

Starved Rock County is a prime recreational destination in the area. Individuals that rent or buy one of the new cottages will find the main attractions of the area easily accessible. A wide variety of homes are available and priced affordably.

Choose the home that meets your needs. Homes offered include 1 bedroom to 3 bedrooms, single-family to condo and wrap-around porches to roof-top decks. Larger homes offer more than 3,000 square feet of living space. The vacation homes are located in low maintenance communities, convenient for residents and property owners.

Know the perks of owning your own getaway and cash in. Some of the properties allow the owner the opportunity to rent out their home. Use the cottage when you want and place it in the rental pool when you are away. Heritage Harbor takes care of all of the rental details for property owners.

Get more out of life. Select a cottage in the new developments of Harbor Cottages or Villas at Heron’s Landing. Cozy one-bedroom plans, some with lofts, and a marina pool only steps away are currently available at Harbor Cottages. Vacation homes and primary residences of one, two and three-bedroom plans that include amenities such as a clubhouse and pool are offered at Villas at Heron’s Landing. Own a residence by the Best Marina in the Midwest. Plans and pricing are being finalized right now.

Contact  Heritage Harbor at (815) 433-5000 to schedule a Discovery Tour.

Fall Land and Water Event

fall land and water event

 

Thinking about owning a vacation home?  Come and visit us during our Land and Water Event on Friday, October 14th – Sunday, October 16th.  We are located at 1970 N. 2753rd Road in Ottawa, IL.  During this unique event, you will get an overview of the property, a boat ride (weather permitting) and a $25 voucher to enjoy lunch at our on-site restaurant, The Red Dog Grill.

Tour times are as follows:

11:00 AM Property Overview followed by 12:30 PM Boat Ride

1:00 PM Property Overview followed by 2:30 PM Boat Ride

3:00 PM Property Overview followed by 4:30 PM Boat Ride

Advanced registration is required and space is limited!  RSVP by calling  (815) 433-5000, emailing HHO@HeritageHarborOttawa.com, or register online here.

 

About Heritage Harbor Ottawa Resort

Heritage Harbor Ottawa Resort is a 142-acre master-planned marina resort community of 600 homes located on the Illinois River in Ottawa, Ill., just 90 minutes from downtown Chicago. Featuring a 32-acre marina surrounded by pocket neighborhoods of waterfront custom homes, condominiums, cottages and townhomes, Heritage Harbor Ottawa is a unique residential option in Starved Rock Country for those seeking a vacation, retirement or full-time home on the water. 

 

 

The Simple Life for Vacation Home Owners

The Simple Life

Located along the Illinois River in Ottawa, Ill., Heritage Harbor Ottawa is a 142-acre development of single-family homes, townhomes, vacation cottages, carriage homes and condos, centered on a 32-acre harbor with a full-service marina and year-round restaurant. With its boating amenities, waterfront living and nearby recreational attractions, such as Starved Rock State Park and the I&M Canal Trail, the community offers an ideal resort lifestyle for those seeking a vacation, retirement or full-time residence.

“Many of our buyers are a bit nostalgic about how they want to spend their precious free time with their family and what they are looking for in a vacation home,” said Tammy Barry, director of sales and marketing for Heritage Harbor Ottawa. “Often they think about their own childhood and how they would pack up the station wagon and go away for the weekend. When they come to Ottawa and Heritage Harbor, they love our small-town atmosphere and simpler way of life that not only harkens back to another time, but also lets them focus on building terrific memories with their family and friends.”

Charming downtown Ottawa

Barry noted the Ottawa community is a big contributor to the lifestyle vacation-home owners appreciate at Heritage Harbor. “This is a small town where business owners know their customers and greet them by name, which really adds to the sense of belonging when you own a second home here,” she said. “Plus, we still have a butcher’s shop, an independent grocery store, a weekly farmer’s market and a liquor store that even delivers. Our locally owned businesses create a sense of place that’s harder to come by in areas that are dominated by chain stores and big national brands. People tend to slow town and enjoy the experience of patronizing area businesses, rather than rushing through errands in order to cross items off their to-do list.”

She added that Ottawa is home to a number of community events and festivals that add to its charming atmosphere. “There are things happening throughout the year, such as Riverfest in the summer and our annual Scarecrow Fest in the fall, which encourage area residents to come out and enjoy our downtown district,” she said. “It’s a lively little town where you’re always likely to run into someone you know, whether you’re at one of our summer festivals or simply taking time to window shop as you walk through downtown.”

Ottawa’s relaxed pace of life and small-town feel extend to the streets of Heritage Harbor, where a series of pocket neighborhoods are designed to build a sense of community among residents. Green spaces with seating areas, community fire pits and meandering walking paths encourage homeowners to socialize. “One very traditional feature we include in many of our home designs is a wide, inviting front porch,” said Barry. “Back when most homes had front porches, families would often sit outside in the evening, visiting together and chatting with neighbors who walked by. We worked hard to recreate that same friendly atmosphere at Heritage Harbor through our streetscape and our home designs.”

Quaint and inviting cottages

A recreation-based lifestyle with plenty of outdoor activities and easy access to nature is another appealing part of the “simple life” at Heritage Harbor Ottawa. “Our vacation-home owners are looking for a complete change of pace from their day-to-day life and a place where they can not only enjoy the activities they love, but also share them with family and friends,” said Barry. “We often work with buyers who grew up in a family with a boat or lake cottage and want to give that same experience to their own kids. For them, having a home at Heritage Harbor and boating on the Illinois River is how they spend quality time together and create memorable family experiences.”

In addition to boating, Heritage Harbor is a convenient home base for hiking in Starved Rock State Park, biking on the I&M Canal Trail and enjoying a variety of other outdoor pursuits.

“We say it’s a slower pace of life, but it’s anything but boring with everything the area has to offer,” said Barry. “What our buyers really love is that this region lets them truly unplug and slow down, in the sense of having time to spend on the people and activities that matter to them most.”

Currently available at Heritage Harbor Ottawa are custom home sites priced from $92,500, vacation cottages priced from $209,990, townhomes priced from $284,900 and immediate-delivery single-family homes priced from $329,900.*

For information on Heritage Harbor Ottawa Resort and available homes, call (815) 433-5000 or visit www.heritageharborottawa.com.

*Pricing subject to change.

Key Elements for Your Vacation Home Search

Vacation home sales are on the rise! Imagine the comfort and convenience of having your own vacation home located less than 90 minutes from downtown Chicago. According to Tammy Barry, director of sales and marketing here at Heritage Harbor Ottawa Resort there are five important elements buyers should consider when looking for a vacation home:

1) Lifestyle and Amenities
First, buyers should make sure any vacation home they consider offers the lifestyle and recreational amenities they value most, advises Barry. “After all, a vacation home is all about how you want to spend your valuable free time, so think hard about what activities you want to have nearby,” she said. “For instance, many buyers choose Heritage Harbor Ottawa for their vacation home because they want a boating lifestyle with a full-service harbor, a great waterfront location and the camaraderie of the marina environment. Plus, our location in Starved Rock Country offers a great active lifestyle with access to state parks for hiking, the beautiful I&M Canal Trail for biking, and areas for fishing, watching wildlife and more.”

Barry suggests vacation home buyers should spend ample time in an area before deciding to purchase a second home there in order to experience the full lifestyle the location offers and see how they will spend their time. “It’s also a great idea to visit during different seasons to see if it is a vacation home destination you can enjoy year-round,” she said.

2) Ideal location
According to Barry, it is also important for buyers to think about a second home location in terms of the logistics of traveling there. “Buyers should be realistic about how much traveling they are willing to do to get to and from a vacation home,” she said. “Most people want a location within two hours of their primary residence so they can get maximum use out of their second home without spending a lot of time in the car or having to purchase expensive airline tickets.”

She added that in a major metro area like Chicago, traffic patterns and rush hour are a factor, too. “Think about whether a location will allow you to avoid typical traffic issues,” Barry said. “For example, Starved Rock Country is a great second home choice for anyone living in the southwest or western suburbs because they don’t have to go through or around Chicago to get to Ottawa. That can be a big time savings, particularly during rush hour.”

3) Sense of Community
Many buyers are also looking for a second home where they’ll enjoy the same sense of community and belonging they have at their primary residence, noted Barry. “One of the main reasons for purchasing in a favorite vacation destination is the opportunity to put down roots and feel like you belong,” said Barry. “That’s why buyers have so much appreciation for the tight-knit community among our residents at Heritage Harbor, where neighbors really become friends, not to mention the small-town charm of Ottawa itself. Everybody knows each other and people can relax and enjoy the slower pace of the local scene.”

4) Memories to Cherish
Another top priority for a number of vacation home buyers is having a place for family and friends to spend quality time together. “Buyers often want to be able to step away from their busy day-to-day lives and go somewhere where they can focus on their loved ones and create amazing memories,” said Barry. “We have quite a few residents who think back fondly on their own childhood and the special places their families spent time together, and they want to recreate that same legacy for their own kids and grandkids.”

Barry added that for these buyers, a vacation home where they can live a simpler lifestyle with their family and friends is imperative. “At Heritage Harbor, they want to do things like skip rocks in the river with kids, sit around a bonfire with friends, or have family game night after a day out on the water,” she said. “The focus is really on the time spent together.”

5) Value and Rental Income
While a vacation home is a luxury purchase for most buyers, value is still often a deciding factor for those in the market for a second home, according to Barry. “We see many buyers who are attracted to Ottawa not only because they love the lifestyle they will enjoy here, but also because they can still get a good value on a second home compared with other popular destinations, such as Michigan and Wisconsin, where the market is maxed out and prices are higher,” said Barry. “Here, buyers realize they are still getting in early on a market where prices haven’t peaked.”

Another factor for some buyers is the home’s potential as a vacation rental property. “For many homeowners, renting out their vacation home when they aren’t using it themselves can be a good option to offset the cost of ownership,” said Barry. “Many resort communities like Heritage Harbor also offer rental management services to residents, which simplifies what goes into renting out the home such as maintenance and cleaning as well as marketing the property.”

For information on Heritage Harbor Ottawa Resort and available homes and vacation rentals, call (815) 433-5000 or visit our website.

A Simple Life at Heritage Harbor Video

Click here for a taste of the simple life.

Remember the good old days when life wasn’t so complicated? Make your way to Heritage Harbor Ottawa and experience the simple life! Ottawa is brimming with small town charm. Here, you find family-owned stores and hometown festivals and you’re always greeted with a smile. Heritage Harbor offers an easy getaway to the simple life with quaint cottages and river views.

A Day at Heritage Harbor Video

Click and enjoy this video tour ~ A Day at Heritage Harbor Ottawa!

Heritage Harbor Ottawa is the premier Marina Resort Community in the heart of Starved Rock Country.  We are conveniently located 90 minutes from downtown Chicago in the historic town of Ottawa.  Our community is nestled along the scenic Illinois river and features charming homes, walk-able neighborhoods, a world-class marina, dining, activities, adventure and amenities.   Watch the video and see the many reasons why, “This is the Place”.

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