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 skydiving, zip-lining, ATVing, driving on the speedway, bike tours, shooting and the like, or the more refined, cultural type who takes more to wine tasting, coffee houses, guided 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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
The age of living like a local…on vacation, is HERE!
Places. Placemaking. The magic of place! No matter which way you say it, if you’ve discovered the splendor of traveling to new places, lived the local life (yes, with their locals), eaten the food from their favorite restaurants or take-out spots, and explored natural landscapes and culture while avoiding the camera-flashing bus-tour vibe of yesterday (yes, that big city tour for the masses is fading away), then you’ll know why hundreds and thousands of Americans are getting themselves into a trip about the new trend of vacation rental property.
On the other hand…
…if you’re still wondering what this new buzzword – vacation rentals, is all about, then stay on board because you’re about to taste something amazing!
Matt Landau, travel writer and Vacation Rental Marketing Blog (VRMB), calls it The Sense of Place. Taking a traditional vacation is, well, it’s a vacation – and you can have fun on a traditional vacation, but you SIMPLY WILL NOT gain the rich Sense of Place that can be achieved from “living” like a local.
But, what’s the big buzz about? Can there really be THAT big of a difference?
Oh yes! You’ve heard of the traditional summer vacation at on the coast. You’ve seen countless ads promoting summer vacation packages for a yet another 7-day vacation to the Outer Banks of one place, to the coastal air of another, and still to the grandiose views of a given hotel near Mount Somewhere-or-other – right?
Live like a local…only you’ll be away from the humdrum of everyday
Right! But we’d bet money on saying that, for anyone that’s taken one of these offers or booked their own getaway or vacation in America’s ‘favorite’ destinations, they’ve missed the feeling of living, breathing, eating, socializing and enjoying the local life, just as if they were at home…but away on vacation. Why? Because they were not part-and-parcel of the local life from the time they arrived…and by the time they departed for the (usually) long journey home, they had not developed the sense of place that they could have achieved if they had rubbed shoulders with friendly locals-in-the-know from the get go! You see, it all comes down to the experience of the Place – and not the commercial tourist’s plastic and napkin affair, which never really gets them out of the lobby, so to speak.
But the new trend of Vacation Rental Properties changes ALL this!
Imagine that you discover (perhaps by reading or watching an ad, or on social media, or through an enamored friend or family member), that Ottawa, Yes Ottawa in ILLINOIS, holds some gorgeous small-town charm. You do a bit of web surfing and learn that the town, along with Heritage Harbor, it’s world-class marina resort and settlement, is in the heart of breathtaking Starved Rock Country where historic happenings dating back hundreds of years took place. And, you decide, “I want to take a vacation there!”
A fresh perspective on Vacations, OR Traditional (slightly over-commercialized) same-old
From this point on, one of two things happens: Either you go the traditional route, making reservations at a brand chain hotel in the area, OR you catch the magic train of Vacation Rentals, and you get in touch with Heritage Harbor’s, Harbor Inn.
Let’s just give you the benefit of the doubt, and say that you opted for the latter rather than the former (to get that sense of Place, and all that)…
Friendly locals help you to live life like they do, while you’re on vacation
Speak to a proud local from the very beginning
You would be called and greeted by a friendly voice on the other side of the line, who would take the trouble to get to know you just a bit, only to ensure that you were placed in the right cottage, villa or home, and that you had close and convenient access to the craft, facilities and amenities that were most suitable to you. A detailed guide for What to do in Starved Rock Country would be shared with you, and you would receive helpful trip tips and things to think of if you’re going to get the best of Starved Rock Country.
Be part of the community in a natural, unforced and refreshing way
On arrival, you’d be no different than any other homeowner on the Heritage Harbor development. You’d be part of a warm and friendly neighborhood, you’d have your freedom to move yet you’d receive countless greetings and offers of help, not just from the Harbor Inn’s friendly staff, but also from residents and other vacationers.
The daydream-come-true continues
To carry on the daydream (but one that comes true every day for vacationers across the Midwest)…it wouldn’t be long before you were heading up to Red Dog Grill for a meal or refreshment with newfound friends, paddling out on the blissful Illinois Waterway with someone who had been a few times more than you, or venturing out with a local into Starved Rock Country for an exploratory hike, a daring skydiving adventure, or just to watch the Bald Eagles doing life in the winter. Can you see how vacation rental properties are transforming vacations yet?
Vacation Rental homes are Inn
The days of hotel rooms in high-rise buildings are fading away somewhat. Couples and families across the US are now drawn to vacation homes like bees to honey, and it’s not difficult to see what all the buzz is about!
AirBnB’s vast Vacation Rentals arm is probably the main reason they have grown as they have…and here’s the thing: people want to vacation in homes where they can explore as a local and experience the authentic appeal of special places. Traditional hotels are for visitors, outsiders and travelers, and are full of do-not-disturb signs that offer you little more than an in-your-face reminder that you are not at home.
Share the vacation bliss by renting your home to vacationers
What about you? Are you one of the lucky ones that own a vacation house, cottage or villa in a beautiful place? If you are, you’ll want to give some thought to placing your property on a vacation rental management program so that you can seize the opportunity of earning a second income, or at least covering a decent portion of that mortgage repayment every month. More than that, you can still enjoy your vacation spot at your leisure by communicating the dates of your stay with the rental manager in advance. It’s the new, hassle-free way to get the most out of your vacation property, both from a lifestyle and financial point of view. Heritage Harbor and The Harbor Inn, makes owning a vacation rental cottage a breeze; with grass cuttings, snow removal and landscaping being maintained by the home owner’s association, an optional general cottage maintenance program; and guests stays being managed by The Harbor Inn. It doesn’t get easier than this.
Come on – the Vacation Rental adventure awaits!
“Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.”—John Lennon
Make new friends and celebrate with old at the resort community of Heritage Harbor. Find a place where people still smile and warmly greet each other and cherish the small town feel of Ottawa. See why Heritage Harbor may be just the retirement investment that you are looking for.
People are Talking
Heritage Harbor and the surrounding Ottawa area hosts lively events year round with plenty of outdoor activities for active individuals. The lapping water of the Illinois River and sights of nature soothe souls when they need a time out. Heritage Harbor offers the perfect balance. U.S. News and World Report shares insights about the benefits of Heritage Harbor for retirees. Tammy Barry, director of sales and marketing for Heritage Harbor Ottawa, believes that the resort community offers many of the desired features of an age-restricted development. Resort amenities include lawn maintenance, on onsite restaurant, a pool and various gathering places. The all-ages development allows parents to live near their children and enjoy a roster of events suitable for an active lifestyle. Barry said:
“I consider us a stroller to walker community. I think having an age variety has brought a lot of energy to the community.”
Seniors appreciate the diversity of families and retirees in the community and many find that it helps them feel young and vibrant. The homes at Heritage Harbor can be customized for less mobile adults. You won’t feel alone in this community. Builder online magazine shared that many Midwestern retirees are flocking to the marina setting right outside of Chicago. Boomers are loving the active lifestyle, with Heritage Harbor’s 32-acre harbor, marina services, low-maintenance homes inside the prime recreational destination of Starved Rock County, and easy accessibility for friends and family. Consider finding the best environment that supports your current lifestyle and changing needs.
An Ideal Lifestyle for Retirees
Embrace the small luxuries of modern living surrounded by the natural beauty of the Illinois River area. Heritage Harbor in Ottawa is a resort community that offers activities for all ages and activity levels. Owners and visitors enjoy the picturesque marina with over 450 boat slips, accessible boat ramps and dry stack storage. Through Quest Express at the marina you can experience all the joys of boating without the hassles of owning and maintaining a boat. Pick up necessities and enjoy a bite out by the water at the ship’s store and marina-side bar & grill, The Red Dog Grill.
Make independent living a joy. Charming single story ranch-style home models are available and many floor plans have spacious first floor master bedrooms with additional room for visiting guests. Homes can be customized to individual preferences and needs. View the highlights of the homes and lifestyle available for those that dream of waterfront living.
Heritage Harbor resort living is ideal for retirees that want to smile and do more. Heritage Harbor, the Ottawa area and beyond are free to explore for the young at heart. Contact a friendly associate for additional details on waterfront living residences at (815) 433-5000.
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