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Winter fun is waiting in Starved Rock Country—here’s where to find it!


Hibernating during the winter months isn’t necessary in the Midwest as there’s still plenty to do and see, vacations to be had. Much fun can be found in Starved Rock Country of Illinois along the Illinois River.

The team at Heritage Harbor resort and marina frequently help visitors and homeowners pinpoint the best winter activities in Starved Rock Countryand Ottawa, Ill. With visitors heading to the resort year-round for a rented stay in a cozy cottage and homeowners who routinely plan weekend vacations, the Heritage Harbor crew is well-equipped to keep you informed on local events. Situated just 90 minutes from downtown Chicago, Starved Rock Country is a Midwest oasis with outdoor fun, exceptional dining and shopping, and a community full of unique activities providing fun for people of all ages.

“There’s a common misconception that northern Illinois shuts down during the winter and there’s no fun to be had,” says Tammy Barry of Heritage Harbor“Nothing could be farther from the truth here in Starved Rock Country. The changing of the seasons, especially winter, opens a whole new realm of places to explore. Many visitors of Heritage Harbor say winter is actually a favorite season to explore the area.”

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There’s so much to see in in Starved Rock Country that it’s impossible to explore it all in one afternoon; there’s always something happening in the area. This year, Ottawa’s third annual Chris Kringle Market will be held in early December featuring artisan gift vendors, tasty holiday treats, traditional German-style beer, live music, and memorable activities for the whole family to enjoy. This year’s special activities include complementary carriage rides, festive carolers, ornament crafting, an ice carving demonstration, and even a visit from a live reindeer!

Before the Christmas holiday, visitors can experience a Victorian Christmas at Ottawa’s historic Reddick Mansion with Holiday Candlelight Tours or a Christmas Tea.

There is plenty of adult fun to be had as well, as local wineries in Utica, Ill., keep uncorking bottles throughout the season.  Stop in for a tasting and tour at downtown Ottawa’s Tangled Roots Brewing Company. Enjoy a hearty waterfront dining experience at Heritage Harbor’s Red Dog Grill.  The wood-burning fireplace creates a cozy atmosphere to gather around with friends and family.  Downtown Ottawa offers a variety of dining experiences for those wishing to grab a bite after some shopping.


Starved Rock Country has some of the most beautiful scenery around due to the proximity to several state parks. Starved Rock State Park has been voted the #1 attraction in the state of Illinois. Winter has played a big part in Starved Rock’s popularity.

Last year, Starved Rock State Park welcomed millions of visitors. The park’s proximity to Chicago, free admission and free parking are factors in its continued popularity. The freezing and melting that happens during the winter months creates spectacular ice sculptures that draw viewers from near and far. The canyon ice falls are a must see this winter!  The new year is ushered in with Winter Wilderness Weekend in January, in which guided hikes are provided to showcase the ice falls and nature’s winter wonderland.

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The Illinois River is a notorious winter eagle nesting ground, bringing visitors from all over the U.S. This year, Eagle Watch Weekend is Jan. 26-27, with guided tours, hands-on and make-and-take activities for kids, and other connected activities at the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center. Spotting scopes are also available to get an up-close view of these magnificent birds.

Barry says Heritage Harbor is convenient for winter visitors because many want to stay in the area longer than a few hours—there’s just too much to do to simply cruise through. Cottage Rentals by Heritage Harbor’s Harbor Inn offers visitors the option to rent a cottage on the Illinois River waterfront for a weekend. The variety of cottages offered are perfect for a family as well as a couple looking for a weekend getaway.

With Heritage Harbor being in the center of all the activity, it’s the perfect place to be.

To learn about more hidden winter gems in Starved Rock Country and Heritage Harbor Ottawa, contact Tammy Barry at 815-433-5000.


What is your favorite living active thing to do in Starved Rock Country?  Comment below to share with us!

Heritage Harbor Hits New Record Sales of Waterfront Homes

“Heritage Harbor has seen record sales on waterfront homes recently, and it is anticipated that the current sales trend will continue at an increasing rate”

Heritage Harbor has seen record sales on waterfront homes recently, and it is anticipated that the current sales trend will continue at an increasing rate. Eleven cottages in the Heron’s Landing neighborhood have been sold in the past six months, so if you have been on the fence, now’s your time to act! Snap up one of these one-of-a kind waterfront properties in the heart of Starved Rock Country, because they won’t be available for long.

We are putting the finishing touches on seven Villas making them move-in ready. These villas have been designed and built with hospitality comfort in mind. Experience no delay when it comes to maximizing your return on your new waterfront investment should you choose to take advantage of the on-site Harbor Inn rental management program.

If you’d like a little more customization, there are still a couple of lots that are shovel ready, so you can be involved in the design process.

This is the last phase of waterfront cottages in the $219k-$350k price range on the East Peninsula, as we will soon be releasing larger estate lots on the remainder of the peninsula. You will be hard-pressed to find more spectacular waterfront views at this price point, So if there was ever a good time to benefit from a low-interest rate mortgage, it would be now!

Secure your inRESTment today! Contact your lifestyle consultant, Tammy or Bridget, at 1-815-433-5000 or email us at hho@heritageharborottawa.comto book a Discovery TourWe look forward to welcoming you to the Harbor-Life!


What is your favorite living active thing to do in Starved Rock Country?  Comment below to share with us!

Live an Active Life at the Harbor

“Who says you need to wait until the New Year to start living your best life? The best time to start is NOW! “

Who says you need to wait until the New Year to start living your best life? The best time to start is NOW!  Heritage Harbor has all you need and more to live a healthy and active lifestyle.

Heritage Harbor’s river access lends itself to a multitude of water sports, and Heritage Harbor Marina and Quest Watersports have all your rental needs taken care of. Take advantage of the last few weeks of warmth and take a Stand Up Paddle board out for a spin, test out a kayak, or go big and rent a ski boat and spend the day tubing, water skiing, or boogie boarding. 

As the days shorten and cool off, you may decide to take your active lifestyle back on solid ground. Starved Rock Country has no shortage of adventure trails and state parks to explore. If cycling is your choice, Heritage Harbor has access to the Historic I & M Canal trail. Runners and walkers alike have access every Saturday at 9am to parkrun, a free timed 5K event on the Harbor Walk.

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Heritage Harbor homeownerJeff Gerald has found a happy, healthy, fit lifestyle to love. Gerald is a committed parkrun participant who has found success and support in the parkrun community. Jeff is Heritage Harbor Ottawa parkrun’s first 50th milestone achiever. At the one year celebration of Heritage Harbor Ottawa parkrun, Jeff shared that, “In my almost 59 years on this planet I hadn’t ever run or even walked 5K/3.1 miles; now I do it EVERY Saturday at 9am!!! It got me into an exercise routine that lead me into doing Orange Theory 3 days a week. I have been a vegetarian/pescatarian since October all thanks to parkrun! Over 50 lbs lost, and I will be running again Saturday at 9am!” Community and accountability are essential when it comes to healthy habit formation, and Jeff has proven that the harbor community offers that.

What is your favorite living active thing to do in Starved Rock Country?  Comment below to share with us!

Click Here to Book your Free Waterfront Discovery Tour of the resort

Experience Starved Rock Country’s Magnificent Miles of Fall Color


“Starved Rock Country has its own “Magnificent Miles.” 
You may have experienced the Magnificent Mile in Downtown Chicago, and may have been blown away by the holiday colors, sounds and smells, but Starved Rock Country has its own “Magnificent Miles.” Although the colors of the leaves, sounds of birds and rustling undergrowth, as well as the earthy smells of these miles may be very different, they are nonetheless magnificent to behold.

Come see the fall colors of Starved Rock Country!

Ottawa, IL has the unique advantage of being surrounded by multiple state parks with endless trails and natural wonders to behold. The area’s stunning landscape is bursting forth with Nature’s ‘last hurrah’ as the green leaves don their fall finest in the yellows, oranges and reds of the autumn season. One can get lost in the natural beauty of the rivers, forests, bluffs and canyons.

Here are four of Ottawa’s best spots to include when planning your tour of the magnificent fall colors.

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1. Starved Rock State Park

Starved Rock has been voted the #1 attraction in the state of Illinois, as is evident the minute you enter the park. As you drive along winding roads, the trees envelop you and you realize you are truly in “Nature’s Valley.” The park is beautiful at any time of the year with its 18 sandstone canyons, 14 cascading waterfalls, and 13 miles of trails to explore the abundant wildlife, but Starved Rock State Park truly shines in the fall. In September and October, the park features a vibrant expanse of oak, maple and elm trees with the brightest colors around. The park’s hills and bluffs allow for a tiered view of the majestic colors allowing observers to take in more colors at once.

Every year, Starved Rock State Park holds a Fall Colors Weekend. During the event, guides provide free hiking tours leading to various overlooks and canyons within the park where people can enjoy the breathtaking colors whilst learning the science behind the fall color phenomenon. The 2018 Fall Colors Weekend is Oct. 20-21 from 9-5 pm, with a guided tour leaving the Visitor Center at 10am each day.

2. Matthiessen State Park

Not far from Starved Rock State Park is one of our family’s favorites state parks with prime viewing of fall’s changing colors. Matthiessen State Park offers five miles of trails that wind through fragrant cedar forests and pass by waterfalls and canyons, leading to incredible vantages where you can snap photos of Central Illinois’s stunning beauty. Park and picnic facilities make this state park a popular choice for a day outing. We enjoy hiking Matthiessen each year during various seasons, but the fall color show is unrivaled.

3. Catlin Park

This 333-acre county park features bluffs, an oak-hickory forest, steep ravines covered in maple trees, pine and a mixture of other trees scattered throughout along the landscape. With a wide variety of trees and plant life, Catlin Park is one of Ottawa’s hotspots for fall foliage. Catlin is a birdwatcher’s and photographer’s dream. The park has 14 different trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding, so grab your hiking shoes, bicycle or saddle and enjoy a day on the trails surrounded by the magnificent fall scenery.

4. Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway

Named one of the 30 Great Midwest Fall Color Getaways by Midwest Living, the Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway promises some of the best natural sights in Central Illinois. The byway begins in Ottawa at Washington Park and passes through over 100 nature-related sites along the Illinois River Valley on its way to Havana, where the byway ends. Along the trail, you can take in the stunning fall foliage and other natural beauty of the area while making stops in quaint towns along the way. The Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway also passes through Starved Rock State Park, Matthiessen State Park and Catlin Park, making it possible to hit all of Ottawa’s best spots for fall colors in one trip.

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Make a weekend of it!

Take full advantage of all that Starved Rock Country has to offer and plan a weekend getaway.  Harbor Inn at Heritage Harbor has something for everyone. Rent a cozy cottage for a couple’s getaway, or reserve something larger to accommodate a family. Our cottages are just steps away from the resort amenities, water sports, waterfront restaurant Red Dog Grill, and much more. Be sure to contact your lifestyle consultant, Tammy or Bridget, via 1-815-433-5000 or email at hho@heritageharborottawa.com to book a Discovery Tour. Discovery Tours booked before the end of October will get to experience a cottage tour by water.

Beautiful hiking trails.

Abundant wildlife.

Breathtaking waterfalls.

Awe inspiring sunsets.

Whatever you decide to do this fall, we hope you enjoy the change of seasons as much as we do. Happy Fall, ya’ll!!! What are you most excited about this fall?? Comment below to share with us!

The Scoop on the ‘Loop’

The Great Loop is a continuous epic journey that consists of ­­­travel along the Canadian Heritage Canals, Great Lakes, inland rivers of America’s heartland, Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, and the Atlantic.  “

The Great Loop is a continuous epic journey that consists of ­­­travel along the Canadian Heritage Canals, Great Lakes, inland rivers of America’s heartland, Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, and the Atlantic.  There are several loop entrances and exits as well as numerous places to explore along the way, so no two trips are ever quite the same. An official ‘Looper’ is any recreational mariner who completes the journey. If you are interested in more information, visit America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association for an Interactive Great Loop Map, Great Loop Radio, webinars, and Member events.

Heritage Harbor is a stopover point of choice for many mariners committed to completing the Great Loop. Our very own local marina is on the map for an average of 140 loopers each season. How can you get to know some of the Loopers?  Loopers love to socialize. They take advantage of the local entertainment scene. You can find them enjoying a drink at the Tiki Bar or Red Dog Grill, dancing to the live music shows on the weekends, or enjoying a trip through Historic Downtown Ottawa.

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Why choose Heritage Harbor as a stopover? 

Heritage Harbor’s Marina boasts an average depth of over 7 feet, favorable for deep hull vessels.  Boaters can refuel using the available diesel and gas pumps. Harbormaster, Jeremy Fowler, offers a river navigation course at the marina. The Red Dog Grill waterfront restaurant is a favorite watering hole for those looking for a delicious meal with a water view. Loopers have access to a courtesy vehicle to restock their galley, do laundry, or to spend time ashore enjoying all that Historic Downtown Ottawa has to offer.

Make sure to have Heritage Harbor be on your list of must-see stops along your epic journey.  

We have been very excited to host some loopers already this season!  Can you see your boat?

Starved Rock Country Fall Bucket List

“Fall has officially arrived!!! Cooler evenings, clear sunny days, the arrival of pumpkin spice everything”

Many people would say that Fall is their favorite season, and those in Starved Rock Country have much to be excited about!!! The natural environment in Starved Rock Country is unrivaled as trees are preparing to reveal their true glory in a kaleidoscope of color.

If you haven’t made your Fall Bucket List yet, here are 25 ideas to get you in an “Autumn State of Mind.”

  • Hit the trails at Starved Rock or another Illinois State Park.
  • Participate in Bike-a-rita; bike from Heritage Harbor to Buffalo Rock and back.
  • Check out Scarecrow Fest on September 29 in Downtown Ottawa, and if you’re feeling adventurous, enter your own Circus-themed Scarecrow!
  • Plan to take part in Utica’s 49th annual Burgoo Festival, one of the longest-running and largest fall festivals in northern Illinois. This year’s event is scheduled for October 6th and 7
  • Light up the backyard bonfire and toast some hot dogs and marshmallows.
  • Attend a football game and tailgate with fans.
  • Book your Water Sports rental and take advantage of the last few weeks of aquatic fun on the Illinois River.
  • Bake an autumnal treat or visit Ottawa Bakery to indulge in a tasty treat.
  • Invite friends over for a pumpkin carving or scarecrow building contest.
  • Make caramel apples and kettle corn and host a games evening with friends.
  • Grab your witchy pals for Witches Night Out in Starved Rock Country at Pitstick’s Pavilion on October 13 for a bewitching ladies-only evening.
  • Take an Illinois River cruise to get a view of the fall spectacular from the water.
  • Brew some pumpkin spice coffee and go for a fall foliage drive
  • Schedule a Girls’ wine and craft night. Makery on Mill provides scheduled craft evenings as well as the option for private events.
  • Capitalize on the cooler weather and have a garage cleanout session.
  • Take a family trip to the orchard. Boggio’s Orchard in Granville has something for everyone with weekend festive fun, pumpkins, apple cider, cider donuts, corn maze, and petting zoo. Be sure to check out their annual Pumpkin Harvest Craft Show on September 29-30.
  • Host or attend an outdoor scary movie night.
  • Go on a spooky ghost tour or view the Ghosts of Ottawa Past at Reddick Mansion.
  • Experience a stay in a Harbor Inn cottage at Heritage Harbor with exclusive Illinois River fall foliage views.
  • Dine al fresco at a local restaurant. Soak in the harbor views at Red Dog Grill, or for a downtown view, try the new A.S.H. location on LaSalle St, Ottawa.
  • Schedule a family photoshoot to take advantage of the rich fall color palette.
  • Cook up something savory with squash or pumpkin.
  • Participate in a weekly Parkrun event at Heritage Harbor in Ottawa or take a leisurely bike ride along the I & M Canal.
  • Indulge your inner adventure-seeker with a Skydive Chicago
  • Schedule a date for the Wine and Art Walk on November 3 in downtown Ottawa.

Whatever you decide to do this fall, we hope you enjoy the change of seasons as much as we do. Happy Fall, ya’ll!!! What are you most excited about this fall?? Comment below to share with us!

The Official Best of Illinois 2018 Selects Heritage Harbor!!!

“Official Best of” is proud to be featuring Illinois’ top attractions with their “Official Best of Illinois 2018”. Heritage Harbor has been selected as the Best Waterfront Resort Community for 2018.

“Official Best of” is proud to be featuring Illinois’ top attractions with their “Official Best of Illinois 2018”. Heritage Harbor has been selected as the Best Waterfront Resort Community for 2018. There will be showings on Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC and other networks as the program availability allows. The program will also be available on the popular www.OfficialBestOf.com travel website.

“When the call came in to inform us that we had been selected, we were ecstatic,” states Tom Heimsoth, Developer of Heritage Harbor. “Our story began 10 years ago, and we continue to show amazing progress with many memories being created by our residents, boaters and guests.”

The “Official Best Of” was started in 2004 by Executive Producer, Brett Allen-a TV executive from St. Louis, Missouri. Brett saw a need for a researched travel resource that would also provide TV features online as an additional resource for both in and out of state travelers. As a result, “The Official Best Of” was born. Each state production showcases outstanding “best” attractions located throughout each state in a variety of categories. A research staff studies online travel sites, state tourism information, CVB resources and other sources to determine whether an attraction merits the “Official Best” seal. One distinction that sets “Official Best Of” apart from many other travel sites is that it does not accept advertising on either its television programs or its website. The selection of attractions is entirely by merit, and lesser known but worthy attractions are given the same attention as more popular ones.

Heritage Harbor joins the company of other notable Illinois attractions such as Yoder’s Kitchen – Best Family Restaurant, Hotel Baker – Best Historic Hotel and more. The presence of water is what draws many to this tranquil haven in Starved Rock Country. Both homeowners and boating enthusiasts can take advantage of the state-of-the art marina, which currently offers 150 boat slips with a future capacity of up to 460 boat slips. The resort boasts on-site swimming pools, events wharf, white sand beach area, harbor and river walk, community club house for Heron’s Landing and a full service, year-round restaurant, The Red Dog Grill. These amenities have added to the overall progress witnessed at the 142-acre waterfront resort. 

The resort has launched the Harbor Inn hospitality brand to manage the vast number of rental requests at the resort. The Cottages and Villas allow Heritage Harbor to promote overnight stays for visitors who wish to experience all that Starved Rock Country has to offer. The area offers activities and entertainment throughout the year that attract visitors to this waterfront community. 

The video footage of Heritage Harbor will be featured on the OfficialBestof.com website toward the end of the year. To book your discovery tour of the resort visit www.VisitHeritageHarbor.com or call (815) 433-5000. 

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We’d love to hear your thoughts about your adventures at Heritage Harbor!! Hit Comment Below and tell us your thoughts!

Life’s A Beach! Knots Landing

Life’s A Beach!

Or at least it should be!!! If yours isn’t exactly ‘beachy’, then you’re in luck! The Heritage Harbor crew has been hard at work planning and creating yet another new oasis of fun for your entertainment pleasure. Knots Landing is a fun collection of relaxing areas, including North Beach, the Harbor Walk, Activity Wharf, and the Event Center Pavilion. Knots Landing is your ‘one-stop-wharf’ for all entertainment needs.


Relax…Unwind…Get in a flip-flop state of mind at the North Beach

Looking for a place where you can unwind, sink your toes in the sand, and soak in the harbor views? North Beach will be your retreat of choice! Our soft white sand beach is fully equipped with lounge chairs, umbrellas, fire pit, and games for your recreational pleasure. Settle into the comfortable reclining loungers under an umbrella, and feel the stress melt away. Situated right on the harbor, you can watch the goings on of our vibrant marina. The Beach Shack at Knots Landing will soon make its appearance, offering visitor information, drink service, and light snacks for beach goers on weekends, holidays, or for special events.


Guess what’s currently in the works?

The large floating Activity Wharf will reside below North Beach. This floating structure will provide water sport equipment rental services, the opportunity for pop-up artisan kiosks, group exercise classes, and other great activities. The sky is the limit! The Wharf adjoins the Event Center Pavilion and acts as the grand entrance to be utilized as a pre-event and reception area for social gatherings.


You don’t want to miss this…

Reserve the floating Event Center Pavilion for your next private special event and dazzle your guests with a memorable experience. This floating entertainment space can comfortably accommodate around 200 people, and is well-suited for any event including weddings, parties, classes and seminars. This unique gathering place is one-of-a kind and will be the location of many resort special events including music festivals, beer gardens, and other community social gatherings.

Knots Landing will be unrivaled in Starved Rock Country for entertainment and fun as an outdoor activity and event space.


Upgrade Your Inner Explorer by Discovering Your Perfect Vacation Rental Property

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! 

Experience Valentine’s Day in Starved Rock Country, Illinois

EXPERIENCE VALENTINE’S DAY IN STARVED ROCK COUNTRY, ILLINOIS

Right here at Heritage Harbor Ottawa

If valleys and hills could sing, Starved Rock Country would be an endless song of bravery, passion and fortitude. Singing with chivalrous forté and gentle
piano, many a story of valiant love and bravado would resound from the region’s many breathtaking rocky heights and mystical river settings.

And speaking of breathtaking…

So here’s the thing – Valentine’s Day’s a-comin’!
You’re running out of time? You’re looking for some good suggestions and hints that will help you
to arrange that perfect Valentine’s Day experience for you and your special somebody?

Got it! Well, best we get on with it before it’s too late. After all, if all is fair in love and war, then you
don’t want to be making it easy for your competition. Just saying 😉

Dreaming and Dining with St. Valentine in Starved Rock Country

If you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day getaway, and you’re…let’s just say it…Romantic…then you may want to get the low-down on what is on offer for you in and around Illinois this February 14!

Heritage Harbor Ottawa: Your first stop, and the fast-becoming first-love of Ottawa Illinois Valentine vibes just 90-minutes from the ‘burbs

Heritage Harbor Ottawa is a master-planned resort development in Ottawa, Illinois.

Located just 90 minutes from Chicago, the development is quickly becoming a favorite for boaters and watersport enthusiasts in the fall and summer months, and for birders and romantics in the winter and spring months.

Love is in the air, and vacation rentals are on the winter water’s edge…

The vacation rental cottages and reunion homes that are available at Heritage Harbor are nestled beautifully around a master-planned marina resort. Surrounded by the untouched natural beauty of a winter wonderland setting, your soul will be awakened by the call of the Bald Eagles teeming in the skies in February month.

Dining with red hot love

Whisk your Love into the warmth and exuberance of the “Dine With Us” Valentine’s Evening at Heritage Harbor’s Red Dog Grilll – a fine restaurant run by fine chefs with a fine set of culinary skills that will set flame to your special time away. Book now to secure your table and prepare for an unforgettably romantic dining experience.

Here’s 4 Helpful Valentine’s Day Ideas for a Day-Night Stay in and Around Starved Rock Country
1. August Hill Winery and the Illinois Sparkling Company

Run by a notable winemaker, Mark Wenzel, August Hill Winer will give you a sip and a taste (and maybe more) of the locally
cultivated August Hill range of wines.

If you and your Valentine are more into the sparkle, the Illinois Sparkling Company will also scintillate your palates with their traditionally-made sparkling wine that would put any French Champagne through its paces.

If you’re inclined to take a wine tasting tour, make a loop past the Illinois River Winery and Clarks Run Creek Gifts and Wine Tasting. Who knows, you may leave as the new member of one or more wine clubs offered by these wineries (depending, of course, on how far your tasting endeavors went ;)).

2. Cosy up and gaze up at Starved Rock Bald Eagles

The Bald Eagles arrive in Starved Rock country in December and don’t leave until March. So, if you and your mate are up for a bit of fresh air on your face and the dreamy settings of white-headed raptors soaring in the skies, communing in the bare trees on snow-white backgrounds, and frolicking on the ice, you’d do no better than to book your stay at  Heritage Harbor Ottawa or one of the other vacation rental options in Ottawa or Utica – who knows, you may be overtaken by the Valentine spirit and do some frolicking of your own ☺!

3. A romantic escape to a 19th Century mansion

For a tasteful sojourn into old-style chivalry and honor, walk arm in arm with your love on the winding paths of the Hegeler Carus Mansion property. Hear, read and immerse yourselves in the romantic yet true and historic journey of the Hegeler and Carus families who lived and flourished in the mansion from the late 1800s until 2004.

Shop the Hegeler and Carus look, if you really care to do so, or simply allow your imagination to run free as you tour the mansion, browse its quaint and captivating little shops, explore its many nooks and crannies, and finish off with a delightful meal at its in-house (no pun intended, but let’s just leave it there if you please) restaurant.

4. The heart of starved rock – Starved Rock State Park

As we mentioned, Starved Rock is charged with the bravery, passion and loyalty of some of the First Nation tribes that were indigenous to the area. A Valentine’s Day and night stay in Starved Rock Country would be incomplete without taking a turn at Starved Rock State Park to experience the natural beauty, rich and
intriguing history, and open-air freedom of what we have all come to know and love as Starved Rock Country.

Take a trolley tour that will give you Bald Eagle views from the warmth of a heated vehicle (the weather may make a walking tour unpleasant). While you’re about it, you’ll learn about the great clash between the Illinois and Ottawa tribes, their loyalty, courage and fight, and the way this epic event was forever marked in time. You’ll love your time spent together, and you’ll love that you chose to celebrate love right here in Starved Rock Country, Ottawa, Illinois.

Ciao!
The Heritage Harbor Team

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