Heritage Harbor Ottawa Blog

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Category: Winter

T.H.A.N.K.S

The Heritage Harbor team give THANKS for YOU!!!

The Heritage Harbor team give THANKS for YOU!!! Our beloved harbor wouldn’t be the same without each of the individuals who make up the ‘Harbor Crew.’ Here are just a few of the ways we want to express our THANKS during this holiday season.

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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

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

First Floor Living

” With everything from classic ranch style plans to cozy cottages and luxurious estates, you’re sure to find a design with the features you desire.”

Our 4 favorite home plans that are perfect for main-floor living

Main-floor living designs come in all layouts and sizes to meet your needs, budget and lifestyle. The benefits of main-floor living are numerous. Accessibility, ease of maintenance, energy-efficiency, and design flexibility are just some of the preferred aspects of such homes.
Home plans with main-level master suites have an ageless appeal—perfect for everybody regardless of age or ability. Our main-floor living floorplans allow homeowners to seamlessly transition their vacation home of today to retirement home in the future. With everything from classic ranch style plans to cozy cottages and luxurious estates, you’re sure to find a design with the features you desire.

Many homeowners desire homes in which all main living spaces are at ground level, making their home accessible and comfortable. Beyond convenience, however, our plans tend to have very open, fluid designs, making great use of square footage across all sizes. These plans almost always have open living space combining kitchen, dining, and living rooms to create a comfortable and cozy space to gather. Our builder-ready, complete home plans range from modest to sprawling–simple to sophisticated, and come in all architectural styles.

River’s Edge Villa

River’s Edge Villa model is a prime example of a complete main-floor master suite in which all main living spaces are at ground level. The upstairs bedrooms and bathroom are perfect for accommodating any guests. Follow the link to view the Villa Floorplans.

Allison Ramsey Designed and Styled | West Peninsula Finley Plan | A Perfect Fit for 30′ Pinnacle Point Homesites

The West Peninsula Finley

The West Peninsula Finley plan can be positioned on the Harbor’s edge and can accommodate a lower-level walk-out basement, giving you all the benefits of main-floor living, but with the additional pleasure of walking out to the water’s edge. This home is well-suited for vacation-to-retirement transition. Click here to view the West Peninsula Plans


Allison Ramsey Designed and Styled | The Eden Plan | A Perfect Fit for 48′ Pinnacle Point Homesites

The Eden

The Eden floor plan is well-suited for a river-facing Pinnacle Pointe homesite. This floor plan appeals to those searching for timeless architecture positioned on a premier homesite. To view the Eden and more Pinnacle Pointe floor plans, follow this link to view the Pinnacle Pointe Plans.


Allison Ramsey Designed and Styled | Whisper Creek Cottage | A Perfect Fit for 30′ West Peninsula Homesites

Whisper Creek Cottage

Whisper Creek Cottage is a classic ranch-style floor plan, offering cozy and accessible one-story living. Enjoy the harbor happenings from your featured wrap-around front porch. Follow the link to view Whisper Creek and other West Peninsular floor plans on our website.

Our home plans, designed by Allison Ramsey and Heritage Harbor architects, are packed with the latest amenities and designed to utilize all available space to create a timeless, yet functional home that you’ll enjoy spending time in for years to come. Our homes are built for living.


Are you dreaming about a waterfront lifestyle? What plan suits your lifestyle? Comment Below

SPRING has SPRUNG!

Spring has sprung, and with it, the promise of all things new! ..

New Life—New Promises!

Spring has sprung, and with it, the promise of all things new! Many of us make New Years Resolutions at the beginning of each year….and many of those resolutions soon fall by the wayside. Winter doldrums inevitably set in, and those changes we envisioned making in our lives are forgotten as the reality of day-to-day life sets back in.

Optimism—An Important Ingredient

So here we are, a few months into the year, and the ice and snow are quickly becoming memories of another winter past. Spring in the Midwest affords an unrivaled sense of optimism, so doesn’t it make sense to rather focus on our resolutions now?  New life and growth as well as longer, warmer days are the perfect ingredients for implementing successful changes.

Move It!

Have a desire to incorporate more physical activity? There’s no better time than spring to jump-start an active lifestyle! The still moderate temperatures encourage physical exertion without the discomfort of summer’s heat and humidity.  Head to the numerous state parks in Starved Rock Country to enjoy a nature walk. The trails are teeming with new signs of life as flora and fauna begin another cycle of life.  Hike or bike the I&M Canal trail or the Harbor and River Walks. Every Saturday morning, Heritage Harbor Ottawa parkrun (a volunteer-operated free weekly timed 5K) is hosted at the Harbor. This weekly event is a great way to measure your fitness growth week by week throughout the year.

Make the Connection!

Connecting more with our community is an inner desire many of us harbor. It can be one of the most difficult of resolutions to implement because it most often involves stepping out of our comfort zones to spend time with people we don’t yet know. The great thing about living at Heritage Harbor is that you have a built-in community network surrounding you! Our neighbors become friends and our friends have become neighbors. The resort team loads the events calendar with a variety of fun events designed to encourage connection among residents as well as members of the larger Ottawa community. Heritage Harbor Ottawa parkrun encourages fitness and community involvement through participation as either a volunteer or a 5k participant. Make it a goal to take part in one or more event next month, and you will be well on your way to making the personal connections we all so deeply crave!

Live it Up!

Maybe your intention is to live your life to the fullest. Spring at the harbor means patio dining at Red Dog Grill! Take your dining alfresco and enjoy a delicious meal while taking in the beautiful sunsets over the harbor. Renting a cottage with family and friends is a great way to spend a long weekend. Unwind and recharge while you enjoy some local boutique shopping, spa sessions, delectable cuisine, and outdoor adventures. You may even decide that the Harbor is where you’d like to spend more time. This is the season to house hunt or plan your dream home, so come see what’s on offer at the Harbor! Secure your slip at Heritage Harbor Marina this month and start your boat preparations to ensure a long season of aquatic fun for your family and friends.

Are you excited for spring??? What are your plans for this coming spring? Comment Below

However you decide to spend your lengthening days this spring, make sure you make time to stop and smell the roses…and the peonies and the hyacinths!

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

Make a Splash this Season!

If you are up for a fun challenge to start the new year off on the right foot, then Heritage Harbor’s Penguin Plunge for Make-A-Wish can help you meet your goals. Have a chilly (and fun!) jump into the Illinois River and spend some time ‘Chillin’ for Children’ while you fundraise to help grant the wishes of thousands of children nationwide.

Heritage Harbor’s Plunge team is gearing up for their 8th annual Penguin Plunge on Saturday, January 19, 2019. Last year, $130,000 was raised, resulting in 18 wishes granted. This year’s fundraising goal has been set at $175,000, and you can help make this year’s plunge a successful event!

A big thank you to this years sponsors:

  • Heritage Harbor,
  • Ottawa Firefighters Local 523,
  • Bill Walsh Automotive Group,
  • Ottawa First,
  • Gerald Automotive Group,
  • Exelon LaSalle Station,
  • Thrush Sanitation Service,
  • Tito’s Handmade Vodka,
  • Tough Rigs,
  • Resteberg Family,
  • Marquee Event Rentals-Chicago,
  • 1430 WCMY,
  • Hick’s Gas,
  • Midland States Bank,
  • Halm Electric,
  • Ladd Sound Productions,
  • The Times Newspaper,
  • LaSalle NewsTribune,
  • Aramark,
  • Conroy’s Automotive & 24 Hour Towing,
  • Dan Aussem,
  • Tess Shymanski Photography,
  • Golden Rule Lumber and Rental,
  • Jacob Aicher,
  • Sherri Lynn,
  • Band Crash,
  • Stevenson Transfer Inc.,
  • Red Dog Grill,
  • Appleway Catering,
  • Southwest Airlines,
  • Euclid Beverage,
  • MK Makery & Event Design,
  • Casey’s General Store (Ottawa, IL),
  • Walmart (Ottawa/Streator/Peru, IL),
  • WeatherTech,
  • Kay’s Keepsakes, Target (Peru, IL),
  • Larry Johnson,
  • Chicago Bears,
  • Chicago White Sox,
  • Chicago Bulls,
  • Cook Media,
  • Papa John’s Pizza (Ottawa, IL),
  • The Home Depot, and
  • Rosati’s Pizza (Ottawa, IL).

This event ensures that 100% of donations go directly to the Make-A-Wish Illinois Foundation to grant wishes of children in our local communities. Last year, more than 15,000 wishes were granted nationwide. That’s a wish granted every 34 minutes! If this event sounds like something you’d be proud to support, be sure to register here: http://site.wish.org/penguinplunge19 and fill out a pledge form here: 2019 Registration/Pledge Form. Make-A-Wish is dedicated to making every eligible child’s wish come true—register and fundraise today and you can be a big part of making that happen.

Plungers should make sure they are at Heritage Harbor by 12:00 PM on Saturday for registration. The Opening Ceremony will begin at 2:00 PM, followed by the Plunge.

Closing remarks and award ceremony will commence immediately following the last plungers. If you have any questions or would like to assist with this event, please contact Tammy at Heritage Harbor at (815) 433-5000 or email penguinplunge1@gmail.com.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday as we come together as a community to spend some time ‘Chillin’ for Children.’

Have you ever done the Heritage Harbor Penguin Plunge?  Comment below to share your experience 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!

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