Heritage Harbor Ottawa Blog

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Category: Starved Rock Country

Illinois Residents Fleeing the State…Or Not? #family #enjoyillinois

With so much negative news in the press, it can be hard to know what news to trust. Believe what you will, what we know here at Heritage Harbor is that there have been record sales on homes and vacation rentals this year.  Many people are deciding to retire and settle down close to family, and that means staying in-state.  At just 90 minutes from downtown Chicago, Heritage Harbor and Starved Rock Country are a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.

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Could this be the life you searching for?

“See why people are flocking to Heritage Harbor – The Hidden Gem of the Midwest”

An ideal day looks unique for different people; however, there are a few key underlying elements that tend to be similar. At the heart of what people are drawn to are the lifegiving aspects of connection, nature, and living an active life full of purpose. A life lived with passion and purpose is attractive, inspiring, and highly sought-after. A quick 90-minute drive leads you from the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago to the refreshing waterfront community of Heritage Harbor in the heart of Starved Rock Country. We recognize what your soul is searching for and can’t wait to share the Harbor Life with you!

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Country Living is What You Make It!

At Heritage Harbor, we enjoy all the perks of ‘country life’ without all the labor country life usually requires.

Country Living is What You Make It!

What image comes to mind when you hear the phrase “country living?”  Oftentimes, what we imagine country living to entail includes the notion of rustic, farmhouse living on acres of land surrounded by animals and lots of work.  What if we were to tell you that country living is what you make it?!

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Right-Size Your Lifestyle at Heritage Harbor

The Harbor Life at Heritage Harbor encourages community and life enjoyment for all.

With the almost cult-following recent television series such as Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and Tiny House, Big Living among others have acquired, people are looking to ‘Right-Size’ their lifestyles.  Clearing out the excess possessions as well as square-footage are goals of many people searching to minimize the stress of homeownership while at the same time maximizing enjoyment of life. Explore our community by visiting https://www.visitheritageharbor.com/community/

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‘Fall’ in Love with Heritage Harbor and Starved Rock Country

The natural beauty of the trees attracts visitors from far and wide as they burst forth in blazing magnificent color. The trees truly show us how beautiful ‘letting go’ can be!

As we enter the final quarter of the year, we can’t help but wistfully long for the halcyon days of summer. However, there’s a sweet resignation to the start of autumn and the restorative and restful effect it has on us—mind, body, and soul. Fall is so much more than pumpkin spice and bonfires, although those things certainly boost our enjoyment of this beloved season in the Midwest.

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You’ll want to be caught in THIS loop!

“We were not out of the lock until after dark. The marina had a guide boat lead us into the harbor, provided us with a late dinner, and exceeded all of our expectations. This is one excellent marina.” -sminard 

If you haven’t yet heard of the Great Loop, it is a continuous waterway including part of the Atlantic, Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, the Great Lakes, Canadian Heritage Canals, and the inland rivers of America’s heartland.   Any mariner who completes the full journey officially earns the ‘Looper’ title. 

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Fido’s taste of Freedom

” Local dog owners are thrilled to have a place for their pups to “run wild and free!” 

Heritage Harbor is the first to offer a space for our furry friends to run leash-free in Ottawa.  The greatly anticipated new addition of River Run Dog Park has everyone talking.  This fenced-in park is the only space in Ottawa in which owners can take their dogs for a leash-free romp, given local leash ordinances.

This amenity is available for everyone’s enjoyment at no cost, and the overwhelming gratitude has been heart-warming.  People want the best for their dogs, and freedom to run around and play is an important aspect of keeping them healthy and happy. We are enjoying viewing the posts and pictures owners have shared of their fur babies enjoying the space, and we are so happy we can offer this opportunity for pet play dates.

A tremendous amount of gratitude is owed PetSmart and Starved Rock Community Foundation, as these organizations along with Heritage Harbor have made River Run Dog Park possible.  Waste bags and disposal station are provided for your convenience.

The responses to our initial announcement say it all…local dog owners are thrilled to have a place for their pups to “run wild and free!”  Bring Fido out to Heritage Harbor and give him a taste of ‘freedom!’

Ashley Lynch and her beautiful dog enjoying the park.
*Image Supplied from Heritage Harbor’s Facebook Page
Sean Porter and his dog Bodo having fun at the River Run Dog Park. 
*Image Supplied from Heritage Harbor’s Facebook Page

Are you excited to have this amenity at Heritage Harbor??? Comment Below

Reasons to Love Living the Snowbird Lifestyle

“Each year, numerous people contemplate the option of purchasing a second home with the intention of ‘seasonal migration.’

Each year, numerous people contemplate the option of purchasing a second home with the intention of ‘seasonal migration.’ This arrangement can offer people the best of both worlds—maintaining your ties with your roots while enjoying a seasonal change of locale. We say, contemplate no more…we have the perfect ‘Northbird’ home and lifestyle for you! Visit www.visitheritageharbor.com/ottawa-il/ and you will discover why Heritage Harbor is an award winning resort community. 

If you’re considering living the Snowbird lifestyle, Heritage Harbor is what you’ve been searching for. Our various home plans featuring main-floor living ensure there is something for everyone, and an active adult lifestyle is no exception.  Make the harbor your ‘Northbird’ home and enjoy the natural beauty of the seasons in Starved Rock Country as they unfold—greenery bursting forth in the spring months giving way to the long, lush days of summer and eventually transforming into the kaleidoscope of a Midwest autumn.  The nostalgia of the seasons is one of our area’s greatest draws.

Heritage Harbor’s location in the heart of Starved Rock Country attracts families interested in the natural beauty and adventure activities characteristic of the area.  At just 90 minutes from downtown Chicago, the proximity to family is a major draw for active adults, keeping you close to family, close to home.  Your new home will become the home base and gathering place for family events and holidays in the years to come—the perfect site for making memories to cherish. 

When you’re ready to break up the long winters, take advantage of our on-site rental management program to offset some of your property investment costs. One of the benefits of owning a second home is making money renting it out in your ‘off’ season.  Since you have the final say, you can always keep your home available as a home base for winter holiday trips north to enjoy the breathtaking winter scenery and local activities.

Come visit us and take a tour and view one of our model homes. You’ll want to stay a while and make it a weekend event taking in some of the local culture. We can’t wait to welcome you to the Harbor Life at Heritage Harbor! Discover more about the community at: https://www.visitheritageharbor.com/community/

Are you excited??? Comment Below

Get Ready to ‘Un-wine-d’!

“Ottawa is getting ready to host their greatly anticipated annual 2 Rivers Wine Fest on June 7-9

WINE! FOOD! LOBSTER and the sweet sounds of JAZZ… in Starved Rock Country!

Ottawa is getting ready to host their greatly anticipated annual 2 Rivers Wine Fest on June 7-9. Those who have attended in past years can attest to the draw of a succulent lobster dinner, soulful sounds of jazz, and soothing and sultry notes of various wine and craft beers available for tasting.

It’s the perfect time to make it a weekend getaway, taking time to enjoy the downtown sites, shops, and restaurants. The natural scenery is in full bloom, making a trek to the state parks a joy to behold.
Heritage Harbor wants to be your host for the weekend. Book a stay in a charming cottage on the river to make the most of your getaway weekend.

Visit our model homes or book a tour to discover all that Heritage Harbor has to offer. Enjoy your time at Ottawa’s 2 Rivers Wine Fest, and then come back to the Harbor to un-wine-d and soak up the Harbor Life!

Are you excited for the wine fest??? 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

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