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!
“I had to talk her onto the boat. Now I can’t talk her off it!”- the typical looper.
Can you imagine voyaging through Canadian provinces and a minimum of 14 states on a one of a kind boating trip? This trip has sparked the imagination and has tested the resolve of Canadian and American boaters and nature enthusiasts. Organizations exist, such as the America’s Great Loop Cruiser’s Association (AGLCA), to help individuals plan their first trip through North America. Couples get quickly addicted to doing the Loop and to making memorable side trips along the way. Learn more about the Great Loop and why people are stopping at Heritage Harbor Ottawa.
What is The Great Loop?
Do you have a dream of navigating Ottawa’s waterways and making your way to the Great Lakes and down through America’s heartland? Then The Great Loop is just the ticket for you.
Boat owners looking forward to becoming an official “Looper” can boat through a continuous waterway and explore the Atlantic, Canadian Heritage Canals, the Great Lakes and more. While taking the trip, boaters can stop off and visit estuarine research reserves, national marine sanctuaries, Heritage Harbor in Ottawa, the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, the Erie Canal and Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Boaters may choose to start their trip from Chicago and sail south, eventually entering the Mississippi River. There are a number of ways to enter and exit the loop and many places to explore while traveling The Great Loop.
Image via The Great Loop
The Perfect Stop Along Your Journey
Sail the gentle waters of the Illinois River and stop off at Heritage Harbor Ottawa to enjoy a bite and a cold drink at their onsite restaurant, the Red Dog Grill, with year-round dining. Secure your boat at one of their more than 450 boat slips in their state-of-the-art marina, pick up those must-have necessities and take care of any surprise maintenance issues. Cottages and larger homes are available for rent or purchase in low maintenance communities and a prime recreational destination, Starved Rock County, is close by.
It does not take a luxury boat to make the 6,000 mile journey. If first time loopers need a break, stops like Heritage Harbor Ottawa provide the necessary comforts, supplies and tips to help boaters refuel and reenergize for the next leg of their trip. Heritage Harbor visitors can get detailed information about the Ottawa area and local businesses from a Heritage Harbor associate. Heritage Harbor Ottawa and the city of Ottawa provides access to grocery stores, laundry facilities, post offices and restaurants. Heritage Harbor Ottawa staff and local business owners often help boaters with specific requests, discounts or a drive back to the dock. Doing the Loop is an experience that often reveals the best in those around you.
Break from the routine and join the tight-knit group of boaters planning their next loop. Share stories of your journey with friends and family and reach out to us with any questions about the Ottawa area and a stay at Heritage Harbor Ottawa. Contact a friendly associate at Heritage Harbor at (815) 433-5000 for additional insights about our amenities, boat slips and vacation rentals today.
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.
“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.
An emerging real estate movement is redefining the average American vacation home — the Not So Big House movement.
Recently, resort community Heritage Harbor Ottawa was a sponsor of the design series weekend “Living Large … in a not so big house,” in Naperville, IL, which hosted architect Sarah Susanka. The well-known architect was behind the launch of the “Not So Big” movement of house design, which means making homes better, not bigger.
Susanka says the market reflects a need for smaller, better-designed houses because they return the qualities customers seek, which include a sense of home and high quality craftsmanship. It’s not more square footage and ever-expanding ceilings that give a sense of comfort or a great community.
“When someone buys a Mercedes Benz or Jaguar, they look for quality, comfort, and detail,” Susanka tells Architecture Week. “Size has nothing to do with the appeal of these cars. If you wanted nothing but space, you could buy a truck. Why is it, then, that some people feel compelled to buy huge houses with empty, cathedral-like spaces that offer few comforts of home?”
The idea of that a sense of “home” having more to do with quality than quantity is also reflective in the waterfront homes at Heritage Harbor Ottawa. The resort resides in historic Ottawa, Ill., in the center of Starved Rock Country — also a target location for a Baby Boomer generation on the hunt for an adventure lifestyle.
There are a range of waterfront properties at Heritage Harbor, which also has a full-service marina with more than 450 boat slips, restaurant on-site, in-ground pool, walking path and year-round events. At Heritage Harbor there are well-designed, beautiful houses — whether used as a vacation or primary home — to fit everyone’s lifestyle. There are single-family cottages, row homes, Cape Cod inspired town homes, coach homes and more. All are designed for a lifetime of low-maintenance, such as maintenance-free exteriors, so not only is quality chosen over quantity, there are resort amenities at your disposable and the resort is in a prime location — there’s less daily stress to deal with.
And according to 2011 data, many Boomers are avoiding possible later stress now by jumping on and seizing real estate opportunities.
MarketWatch.com reported in September 2011 that many in the Boomer generation are deciding to buy a vacation home now that will eventually become their primary residence. In 2010, the National Association of Realtors reported that 34 percent of people who purchased vacation homes planned on using it as their primary home at some point in the future.
Plus, it’s just a good investment, says George Harvey, resort and second home chairman for the National Association of Realtors.
Last month, Harvey told the Charleston Business Journal that many second-home buyers start out as repeat vacationers before venturing into the real estate market. When they do invest in a vacation home it’s not only for personal pleasure, he says, as many Boomers aren’t retiring completely, but instead transitioning to part-time work. Real estate is viewed as an investment for the future.
“We’re in a perfect place for real estate investment (in the resort market),” Harvey said. “The worst is behind us and the upside is looking good.”
Ottawa, Illinois, and Heritage Harbor is the ideal place to start the next phase of life for those looking to make life transition, while making a smart investment. The locale of Ottawa in La Salle County fills all of the needs for those living or vacationing at Heritage Harbor as it does for anyone wanting to live an adventure-type lifestyle. But a great perk is that the location still allows everyone fast and easy access to Chicagoland and its suburbs. Not to mention, the historic town and vistas hold a spectacular beauty.
Those who call Heritage Harbor home are never too far away from the hustle and bustle of city life, but are far enough away to relax and enjoy life. No one has to make a choice of one or the other. At Heritage Harbor Ottawa, everyone has the flexibility to create their perfect lifestyle in the ideal waterfront home.
For more information, to schedule a tour of a Heritage Harbor waterfront home or for directions to the resort community, contact Heritage Harbor at 815-433-5000
River Games 2010 is confirmed for JULY 16-18, 2010. After a hugely successful inaugural event in 2009, River Games Returns to Heritage Harbor Ottawa! Co-sponsored by www.all-actionsports.com, Quest Watersports and Chicago MasterCraft, participants are expected to number in the hundreds again – out for free pulls behind MasterCraft boats, camping, food, fun, and an end-of-day “Air and Water” show.
The die-hards arrive Friday evening and either camp on site at Heritage Harbor, stay in the marina on their boats, or live it up aboard a luxury cruiser via Heritage Harbor’s “Boat and Breakfast” program. Ski, wake and surf coaching and pulls are the main activity through the afternoon on Saturday – along with great food & beverages provided by Crawdad’s Bar & Grill. The day’s activities are launched from a floating platform anchored off Heritage Harbor’s east peninsula, which supports a constant flow of participants cycling onto several MasterCraft boats underway throughout the day. The backdrop is a gorgeous, unspoiled stretch of the Illinois Waterway bounded by trees and stone cliffs.
Riders young and old as groups and families enjoy this fantastic event – whether a first timer, new to the sports or seasoned vets looking to push the envelope just a bit more. A live radio remote, local news film crew and a few photographers are expected to be on hand to document the event again this year for general press and sport specific outlets.
Saturday evening’s emceed show will start with a skydive exhibition courtesy of www.skydivechicago.com and closes with some serious double-ups, and included shoreline passes by the regions best athletes showing everything in between, from barefoot tricks to wake surfing. After, a DJ’d gathering campfire side and at Crawdad’s for the overnighters who stick around for more great weather on Sunday.
Come camp Friday through Sunday or make it out for the big Day Saturday July 17 starting at 10am, 1988 N. 2753rd Road, Ottawa, IL 61350
We want to invite you to visit our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/HeritageHarborOttawa . You can see our Homes, our Marina, and learn about the Adventure Lifestyle available at Heritage Harbor Ottawa.
If you love waterfront homes, vacation homes, boating and endless activities…you will love Heritage Harbor. If you have visited New Buffalo, Lake Geneva, Galena or other vacation communities, we invite you to come to beautiful Starved Rock country. You can spend a weekend, spend the summer or stay for a permanent vacation.
Make Heritage Harbor Ottawa home port for your next great adventure!
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