Heritage Harbor Ottawa Blog

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Category: Sport

Hassle Free Boating

Enjoy boating and watercraft adventures, without the hassle of owning a boat.”

Enjoy boating and watercraft adventures, without the hassle of owning a boat.

The vibrant marina at Heritage Harbor is literally at the heart of the Harbor Life. The central feature of our beloved resort is the site of endless summer fun. Our marina is positioned on the Illinois Waterway, just 90 minutes from Chicago, and is waiting to offer you the boating experience you’ve been dreaming of.  The marina amenities, including restrooms and shower facilities, ATM, TV, WiFi, dry storage, pump out, security, and many more, are something to be rivaled.

Heritage Harbor is making a splash and big things are happening! Our 140-slip harbor is expanding the current capacity to accommodate more families. The 2018 addition of the floating Event Pavilion has expanded the entertainment capability of the resort, as we now offer facility rental for private events right on the water.

For those interested in water craft rentals, our marina offers jet ski, electric boat and pontoon boat rentals. Quest Watersports offers Hobie pedal board, SUP, and kayak rentals for your enjoyment. Our staff will ensure that all the necessary equipment is transported to the marina and will retrieve it when you’re done – no stress!

Book your watercraft of choice by visiting https://www.visitheritageharbor.com/watersports/.


If you are interested in regular boating, but would rather skip the hassles that accompany ownership, then Quest Watersport’s Quest Express membership is for you! Quest Express provides access to a range of premium boats at your leisure.  This means you can have countless boating adventures and endless fun without the burden of maintenance, storage, and other ownership hassles. you like. Just choose a boat online, pick a time to go boating, and that boat will be ready & waiting for you at the marina.  All fun, no fuss…then do it again next time, all summer long!

Try some tubing or wakeboarding behind a nimble sport boat, or perhaps a relaxing cruise on a luxury pontoon. Bring your friends & family, enjoy a spectacular day on the water, and then moor your boat when you’re done.  It’s like having your own fleet of boats and a personal butler to take care of the details!  Affordable membership plans are offered, and coaching is available if needed.

Find out more about Quest Express Boat Membership by visiting www.questwatersports.com/questexpress.htm


Book a cottage stay or take a discovery tour of real estate opportunities available at the Harbor. Spend the day on the water and then return to your Harbor Home to continue your Harbor Life experience. See you on the water! Book your stay at The Harbor Inn, online at https://www.visitheritageharborinn.com/

Learn more about Heritage Harbor at www.visitheritageharbor.com/ or call 815.433.5000


Have you ever been to the Heritage Harbor Marina? Tell us about your experience. Comment Below

Heritage Harbor Ottawa parkrun


“Searching for a fun and active way to spend a Saturday morning? Come try out parkrun at Heritage Harbor! .”


Searching for a fun and active way to spend a Saturday morning? Come try out parkrun at Heritage Harbor!

What is parkrun? It’s a free, weekly 5km timed run open to everyone. parkrun events are hosted all over the world, and visitors travel far and wide to participate in events in different locations.

Heritage Harbor is the first and currently the only parkrun event location in Illinois. Heritage Harbor parkrun is conveniently situated only 90 minutes from Chicago. We have welcomed parkrunners from several countries abroad including England, South Africa, New Zealand, Russia, Australia, and Ireland.


Every Saturday morning at 9:00am, participants and volunteers gather at Heritage Harbor, 2 Great Loop West, Ottawa, IL to enjoy this free event. See our course page for more details. There is no cost to participate, but please complete a one-time registration before your first run. Don’t forget to bring your printed barcode to ensure your finish time is recorded.


parkrun is uniquely inclusive, and all ages and fitness levels are welcome. parkrun draws all types of people, and the comradery is really a draw for many people. We’d love to have you join us for an active Saturday morning run/walk and invite you to stay for a post parkrun coffee at the Red Dog Grill. We look forward to welcoming you next weekend!


Have you been to a parkrun at Heritage Harbor? Tell us about your experience. Comment Below

BE TOP OF THE POPS THIS FATHERS’ DAY 2018!

3 things you should do with Dad in the Midwest on his special day 

 

There are those times when nothing can beat a good ol’ fashioned shout-out! Fathers’ Day is surely one of those times, and maybe you’ll join us as we lift our faces to the sunny sky, cup our mouths, and holler out loud for all the world to hear just how grateful we are for the fathers in the US of A who’ve held, helped and harbored their loved ones.  

Godspeed you Pops! 

 

My father, the harbor 

 

When a Dad is taking up his role in the family, he is like a harbor to his loved ones. Think about it – Wikipedia defines the word harbor, in its literal sense, as “a sheltered body of water where ships, boats, and barges can be docked.” But the word has also taken on a more spiritual meaning in the English language, whereby anyone or anything that offers safety, protection, and provision can be called a safe harbor.  

 

We’ve seen hundreds of Dads being the safe harbor for their families 

 

We’ve seen literally hundreds of families enjoying what we affectionately call the harbor life at Heritage Harbor, and we have noted the immensely striking and powerful  parallel between a physical harbor (one of which exists right here in the form of a world-class marina), and the role of a father in society. 

 

And this got us thinking about having Fathers’ Day at Heritage Harbor… 

 

If you’re in Illinois, and you don’t mind taking a peaceful and sedate drive through the countryside until you arrive in Ottawa IL, then you’ve just found yourself the ideal place to celebrate Fathers’ Day! And here’s why… 

 

1. To start with, you’ll be in the heart of Starved Rock Country and Ottawa IL 

 

Surrounded by the small-town charm of Ottawa Illinois 

 

Visit the site of Abraham Lincoln’s first public debate, the town where boy scouts was born, and the home of ancient mansions-turned-curio shops and restaurants. Experience the natural garden-feel of this country town as you browse its down-to-earth country experience, craft beer, locally cultivated wines, and a host of other unforgettable experiences. 

 

Starved Rock Country – the best kept secret of the Midwest 

 

Yes, there are tens of thousands of people in Chicagoland who have actually never visited Starved Rock Country. Worse, many of these have never even heard of this – the best kept secret of the Midwest…that should never have been a secret in the first place! 

 

High-adrenaline and extreme OR cultured and sedate – it’s here for you! 

 

Starved Rock Country is blessed with the landscape and the conditions to dazzle the adventure-seeker. Whether your Pops is the high-adrenaline type who enjoys skydivingzip-liningATVing, driving on the speedwaybike toursshooting and the like, or the more refined, cultural type who takes more to wine tasting, coffee housesguided tours, hiking and fishing, you can bet your bottom dollar that Starved Rock Country has what it takes to keep both you and he thoroughly engaged in the experience. 

 2. Dine your Dad at the Increasingly Famous Red Dog Grill 

 

Red Dog Grill is becoming a major attraction at Heritage Harbor. We’re not sure if it’s the exquisite marina views, the direct spectator opportunity of the various boating and watersport activities that happen on the Illinois Waterway, or if it’s the simply spectacular gourmet meals…but whatever it is – it’s working! So come on over and treat your old man to all the above – you won’t regret it! 

 3. Fathers’ Day fun on the water 

 

But let’s cut to the chase – it’s summer! It may have been slow in coming, but it’s here, right!?! And Fathers’ Day has that special summer feeling about, too. Jump in with a splash as you celebrate your Dad. 

If boating blows his hair back 

 

Whether your Pops has a thick head of hair or if he’s thinning on top just a little, he’ll love the wind slipping past his face as you take him on a tour of the Illinois Waterway in one of our Jetskis which are for hire. 

Pontoon Boating 

 

Hire a pontoon boat and take a country cruise down 20 miles of smooth water. Pick up some snacks from the Tikki Bar, and be sure to bring your binoculars along so that you can survey the teeming water and birdlife, and revel in the exquisite views of the Illinois Waterway. 

SUP hire 

 

Is your Dad a stand-up guy? If so, stand with him as he flexes those core muscles on one of our hired SUP boards – it’s literally like walking on water! 

 

Kayak hire 

 

Keep a good balance by hiring some kayaks and peddling your way along the water. Your tour can be as far as you want it to be. Take a slow peddle down to the islands, or venture to the other side of the river and get an up-close experience of the beautiful fauna and flora of the Illinois River banks. 

Give your Dad the Fathers’ Day he’ll never forget – for all the right reasons. Get him to Starved Rock Country, and give him the celebration he deserves. 

We’ll see you on the water! 

Anchors away! 

The Top Tow Boating Location in The Midwest

20 Miles of Boating Bliss along the Illinois Waterway 

Tow boaters are coming out in force as a long and dreary winter’s icy fingers slowly lose grip of the Illinois Waterway. The air is crisp, the water is flowing, the sun is beginning to shine, and any tow boater who’s really a tow boater wholeheartedly intends to make good of it all!  

Tow boating between Marseilles Lock and Starved Rock Lock 

What many of us boarding and ski enthusiasts don’t know, is that, basking in the Starved Rock Country Sun, is a stretch of nearly 20 miles of smooth, ski-worthy waterways that should really be called the mecca of tow boating in the Midwest. 

Situated between the Marseilles and Starved Rock Lock, the water is mostly still and undisturbed, which is great for powering up and crafting the perfect wake. As your board skims along the glassy surface, you charge up for the next thrill maneuver and aim to pull off the trick which you will boast about in the weeks to follow, the rush is real. We all dream of pulling off the perfect Heelside Mobe or Whirlybird, but the truth is, whether you’re a beginner, trying your first Toeside Edge, or are more advanced, there is no doubt, that this body of water will give you the thrill you are seeking. And let’s not forget that this stretch of the Illinois waterway warms up much earlier than the great lakes, so you can drop the wetsuit much earlier than you think.  

More on the Illinois Waterway 

A quick Wikipedia read-up reveals that the “Illinois Waterway system consists of 336 miles (541 km) of water. The Waterway was a project designed to provide a navigable channel from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River. The Starved Rock Lock and Dam was constructed between 1926 and 1933 as an element of the Illinois Waterway.  The body of water up river from the Starved Rock Lock and Dam provides the perfect place to get great views of nature while you gear up for your next tow. 

Perfectly positioned, state-of-the-art marina infrastructure 

If you are a water sports and towboat enthusiast, then you will discover that Heritage Harbor’s state-of-the-art marina facilities and waterfront dining at the Red Dog Grill, is the perfect location to launch and end your boating day.  Together with neat, well-maintained and cutting-edge marina facilities, you will realize that you are quite literally in the tow boating haven of the Midwest. Let us not forget to mention that should you want to make your trip into a boating vacation then the Harbor Inn has wonderfully appointed rental cottages for your next stay.  

Whetting the appetite of Tow Boaters in 2018 

Boats.com gets the juices going as they profile some of the top tow boats for skiing, wakeboarding and value-for-money.  

For straight-up water skiing, check out the specifications of the MasterCraft ProStar and Malibu TXi MO river-rage machines. If Wake surfing and Wakeboarding is your gig, then, according to Boats.com, you’ll do well to explore the capabilities of the Tigé RZX3 or the Malibu M235. 

We look forward to seeing you on the water this summer! Let’s make it HUGE! 
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