Heritage Harbor Ottawa Blog

Articles Tagged with: Heritage Harbor Ottawa

Video Tour of the Flite Series Interior Unit

Flite Series Interior Unit

Click here for the video tour!

Welcome to the Flite Series!  This contemporary vacation home is an interior unit.  It features 2 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, an open plan, a full finished walk-out basement and plenty of windows to showcase those incredible views!   For more information on the Flite Series and other homes at Heritage Harbor click here.

Key Elements for Your Vacation Home Search

Vacation home sales are on the rise! Imagine the comfort and convenience of having your own vacation home located less than 90 minutes from downtown Chicago. According to Tammy Barry, director of sales and marketing here at Heritage Harbor Ottawa Resort there are five important elements buyers should consider when looking for a vacation home:

1) Lifestyle and Amenities
First, buyers should make sure any vacation home they consider offers the lifestyle and recreational amenities they value most, advises Barry. “After all, a vacation home is all about how you want to spend your valuable free time, so think hard about what activities you want to have nearby,” she said. “For instance, many buyers choose Heritage Harbor Ottawa for their vacation home because they want a boating lifestyle with a full-service harbor, a great waterfront location and the camaraderie of the marina environment. Plus, our location in Starved Rock Country offers a great active lifestyle with access to state parks for hiking, the beautiful I&M Canal Trail for biking, and areas for fishing, watching wildlife and more.”

Barry suggests vacation home buyers should spend ample time in an area before deciding to purchase a second home there in order to experience the full lifestyle the location offers and see how they will spend their time. “It’s also a great idea to visit during different seasons to see if it is a vacation home destination you can enjoy year-round,” she said.

2) Ideal location
According to Barry, it is also important for buyers to think about a second home location in terms of the logistics of traveling there. “Buyers should be realistic about how much traveling they are willing to do to get to and from a vacation home,” she said. “Most people want a location within two hours of their primary residence so they can get maximum use out of their second home without spending a lot of time in the car or having to purchase expensive airline tickets.”

She added that in a major metro area like Chicago, traffic patterns and rush hour are a factor, too. “Think about whether a location will allow you to avoid typical traffic issues,” Barry said. “For example, Starved Rock Country is a great second home choice for anyone living in the southwest or western suburbs because they don’t have to go through or around Chicago to get to Ottawa. That can be a big time savings, particularly during rush hour.”

3) Sense of Community
Many buyers are also looking for a second home where they’ll enjoy the same sense of community and belonging they have at their primary residence, noted Barry. “One of the main reasons for purchasing in a favorite vacation destination is the opportunity to put down roots and feel like you belong,” said Barry. “That’s why buyers have so much appreciation for the tight-knit community among our residents at Heritage Harbor, where neighbors really become friends, not to mention the small-town charm of Ottawa itself. Everybody knows each other and people can relax and enjoy the slower pace of the local scene.”

4) Memories to Cherish
Another top priority for a number of vacation home buyers is having a place for family and friends to spend quality time together. “Buyers often want to be able to step away from their busy day-to-day lives and go somewhere where they can focus on their loved ones and create amazing memories,” said Barry. “We have quite a few residents who think back fondly on their own childhood and the special places their families spent time together, and they want to recreate that same legacy for their own kids and grandkids.”

Barry added that for these buyers, a vacation home where they can live a simpler lifestyle with their family and friends is imperative. “At Heritage Harbor, they want to do things like skip rocks in the river with kids, sit around a bonfire with friends, or have family game night after a day out on the water,” she said. “The focus is really on the time spent together.”

5) Value and Rental Income
While a vacation home is a luxury purchase for most buyers, value is still often a deciding factor for those in the market for a second home, according to Barry. “We see many buyers who are attracted to Ottawa not only because they love the lifestyle they will enjoy here, but also because they can still get a good value on a second home compared with other popular destinations, such as Michigan and Wisconsin, where the market is maxed out and prices are higher,” said Barry. “Here, buyers realize they are still getting in early on a market where prices haven’t peaked.”

Another factor for some buyers is the home’s potential as a vacation rental property. “For many homeowners, renting out their vacation home when they aren’t using it themselves can be a good option to offset the cost of ownership,” said Barry. “Many resort communities like Heritage Harbor also offer rental management services to residents, which simplifies what goes into renting out the home such as maintenance and cleaning as well as marketing the property.”

For information on Heritage Harbor Ottawa Resort and available homes and vacation rentals, call (815) 433-5000 or visit our website.

A Simple Life at Heritage Harbor Video

Click here for a taste of the simple life.

Remember the good old days when life wasn’t so complicated? Make your way to Heritage Harbor Ottawa and experience the simple life! Ottawa is brimming with small town charm. Here, you find family-owned stores and hometown festivals and you’re always greeted with a smile. Heritage Harbor offers an easy getaway to the simple life with quaint cottages and river views.

A Day at Heritage Harbor Video

Click and enjoy this video tour ~ A Day at Heritage Harbor Ottawa!

Heritage Harbor Ottawa is the premier Marina Resort Community in the heart of Starved Rock Country.  We are conveniently located 90 minutes from downtown Chicago in the historic town of Ottawa.  Our community is nestled along the scenic Illinois river and features charming homes, walk-able neighborhoods, a world-class marina, dining, activities, adventure and amenities.   Watch the video and see the many reasons why, “This is the Place”.

6 Reasons Why Homeowners Built Their Vacation Home at Heritage Harbor

Waterfront living at its best! Heritage Harbor is located along the Illinois river and within the charming historic town of Ottawa. There is a variety of homes that range from quaint cottages to expansive single family homes. The possibilities are endless! Here are a few reasons why people have chosen Heritage Harbor:

Convenient for hosting family and friends
“One thing that we really love about our home is that everything that we could possibly need is on the main floor. All the other bedrooms and downstairs are for family and friends to come visit.” – Homeowners Ann & Harry

Ann and Harry used to own a home in Wisconsin, but they didn’t like the 2.5-hour drive and all the maintenance. Heritage Harbor is less than an hour away and offers little-to-no maintenance. They were not boaters when they purchased their vacation home, but now take full advantage of the Quest boat club where they can enjoy the benefits of boating, without having to own a boat. They also enjoy golfing, hiking and all the in-town activities of Ottawa.

State of the Art Marina
“I couldn’t believe the quality of the docks. I’ve been boating my whole life, and this marina can match and exceed almost any marina you’ll see on Lake Michigan.” – The Franco Family

Initially the Franco Family wasn’t looking for a second home – they were just interested in boating. Aside from boating, they fell in love downtown Ottawa, the friendly people, and being able to spend more time with both their immediate and extended family in such a friendly community.

A Sense of Community
“We live in a beautiful community. It’s very friendly, open, relaxing and enjoyable. It’s not a lake home and it’s not a cottage. You really have to come experience what it’s all about.” – The Morse Family

The Morse Family is from Batavia, IL. They are boat owners who were searching for a family-friendly place to get away and relax. They describe themselves as “outdoor people” who enjoy biking, boating and hiking.

Outdoor Living and Activities
“The amenities, river, boat club, hiking trails, bike paths and the outdoor living… this was the perfect fit for us. The one thing I noticed immediately was the nature.” – The Clancy Family

A family of five, the Clancys like to run, bike, fish, kayak and swim. They love having a place where the kids can get outside and have an adventure, and they feel Heritage Harbor has been great for their lifestyle and as an investment.

Quality of Construction
“I was very impressed with the quality of construction, the quality of the finishes, and how much you get for your money just an hour from Chicago.” – Homeowners Cindy & Bill

Bill and Cindy live in Naperville, IL with their teenage children. Previously, they were not boaters, so they appreciate having maintenance-free boating through Quest Boat Club. Their family also enjoys downtown Ottawa and the local festivals.

Charming Historic Town of Ottawa
“It’s perfectly private out here, yet we have access to the downtown area. It’s got the best of both worlds and downtown Ottawa has become incredibly beautiful.” – Homeowners Paul & Reggi

Paul and Reggi moved from Geneva, IL and made Heritage Harbor their primary residence. They appreciate the great people, dining and scenery. The low-maintenance, resort-feel of the community makes them feel like they are always on vacation.

Those are just a few of the many reasons why this is the place! There are currently 3 river front lots, 4 harbor front lots, and various interior lots available for your dream home. There is something for everyone! For more information, visit our website or give us a call 815-433-5000.

Watchful Eyes Await the American White Pelican in Starved Rock Country

All bird watchers and nature lovers should heed the call. Spring is on its way and with it migrating birds worth noting. The American White Pelican, once in danger of extinction, will make its way to Starved Rock Country and the Illinois River. Visitors to Heritage Harbor and the Ottawa area can catch them en route to Starved Rock Country. Find out more about this long-awaited bird and how to find the best locations to await a glimpse of the American White Pelican.

What You Need to Know

These long-billed, majestic fliers can easily adjust to changing wind patterns. Peter Chaswell, of The Verb ‘To Bird’, said,

“Nothing else flies like that [White Pelicans], serene, untroubled, almost daring the air to throw them an updraft so that they can make a subtle, nearly invisible adjustment to their flight feathers and continue unperturbed…”

These birds were once close to extinction but are now rebounding with the ban of DDT and other harmful pesticides. Visitors should know:

  • The American White Pelican is a member of the family order Pelecaniformes and has webbed toes, bills as long as or longer than their heads, and an expandable throat pouch. American White Pelicans have bodies that can be up to 5 feet in length and wing spans approaching 9 feet. They have long necks and white wings with black tips. They arrive Illinois in spring and stay as late as October and take a “V” formation while migrating with flocks that can consist of hundreds to thousands of birds.
  • They will roam nearly 50 miles from base when feeding. Nests will be built in a depression on the ground, though some birds have nested in trees. One to five cream or blue-white eggs are laid and incubate for 28 to 30 days. Both parents feed and care for the young.
  • They are not divers but instead adult birds swim and submerge pouches to gather a meal in shallow water. While swimming, they behave like dabbling ducks, and can tip their heads underwater for fish. They are also known to work as a group to gather fish.
  • The most likely places to spot them on land is along rivers and inland lakes within Illinois. These birds seem to prefer the western part of the state, in particular along the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. They can also be spotted in the Chicago area and near large lakes, ponds and even gravel pits throughout the state.

Starved Rock State Park has been welcoming flocks of the American White Pelican for the past decade with a few bachelor pelicans making the park their home most of the year. This area and Heritage Harbor, with its location along the Illinois River, makes for prime locations to feast your eyes on the magnificent American White Pelican. Contact a friendly associate for more information on the best viewing sites at (815) 433-5000.

Bask in Wonder While Waterfront Living on the Illinois River

Waterfront Living on the Illinois River

“We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened.”- Mark Twain

Isn’t it time to sit back and gaze up at the night, with the sounds of lapping water at your feet? There is not anything worth more than that peace found while surrounded by the glories of nature.

The Illinois River affords one and all the means of an escape from the ordinary and a return back to oneself. Find out more about this great river and how it has served and continues to serve the people of Illinois.

Some Illinois River History

There is nothing like simply starting at the beginning. The lifeblood of the Illinois ecosystem was formed when glaciers melted and trickled down the valley over 15,000 years ago. The river has seen its share of the first inhabitants and explorers with a rich history of Native American settlement and French exploration. The Illinois River has been a source of natural beauty, transportation, recreation and commerce since the beginnings of human settlement along its embankments. In the past, steamboat captains have made their way from Illinois to Mississippi and then to New Orleans. Today, personal boats and craft can see many of the sites our forefathers did while meandering down the Illinois River.

For those that set out for a drive along the Illinois River, the Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway is one of only 126 routes in 44 states to be designated as one of America’s Byways. The route need to offer one or more of six qualities to qualify—nature, scenery recreation, culture, history and archaeology. This byway includes routes on both sides of the river, connecting over 100 nature-based and historical destinations within the stunning valley.

The river and valley formed thousands of years ago can be viewed by land or by water and serves as a gateway to the rich history and nature of Illinois.

The Illinois River Today

Pleasure-seekers turn to the Illinois River to unwind. The Illinois River has seen development that embraces the requirements and small luxuries of modern living, while honoring the beauty of the area. Heritage Harbor in Ottawa is one such place. The state of the art marina has over 450 boat slips and includes access to boat ramps and dry stack storage. Those scheduling a weekend trip or longer can take care of all of their needs at the ship’s store and marina-side bar & grill, The Red Dog Grill.

Its location on the Starved Rock pool of the Illinois River offers visitors world-class boating amenities and picturesque waterfront properties. The area is near two major interstate highways and is only 90 minutes from downtown Chicago, making it a convenient escape from the everyday.

Heritage Harbor Conservation Cove is a sheltered area nestled within Ottawa that provides the perfect spot to spy the wildlife that abounds in the area. Visitors can see egrets, herons and even migrations of the American White Pelican, a species of bird that recently faced the possibility of extinction.

It is here at Heritage Harbor that you can open yourself to the vast beauty of the area and take a wondrous boating tour akin Huck Finn, but with a few more luxuries. Heritage Harbor, the Ottawa area and beyond are yours to explore for those with the inclination and the imagination. Contact a friendly associate for more information on the best loops and residences at (815) 433-5000.

Living Larger in Smaller Homes Movement Gains Popularity

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

Free Appetizers For First 20 Local Customers At Crawdad’s Bar & Grill

(Ottawa, IL) – Appetizers are “on the house” for the first 20 local diners that purchase an entree at Crawdad’s Bar & Grill during the weekend of May 29th as part of the restaurants’ 2010 Season Grand Opening Celebration at Heritage Harbor Marina.

“We are very excited to officially open the doors to Crawdad’s for 2010 after so many months of snow and rain,” said operator, Donna Wood. “I’m confident that customers will find our menu items refreshing and our prices reasonable.” Wood also operates Captain’s Cove on Dee Bennett Road.
Among the fare to be featured at the restaurant will be an array of sandwiches, appetizers, daily specials and a long list of specialty drinks from the full-service bar. Crawdad’s will also offer entertainment and special events on the weekend starting Memorial Day Weekend.
Crawdad’s Restaurant overlooks the Heritage Harbor Marina and offers the idea setting to take in some incredible sunsets and beautiful summer days. The restaurant will be serving food on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 11-8:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11-9 p.m. The full-service bar remains open later, weather permitting. For more information or to check the entertainment schedule you can call (815) 433-5000 or visit www.heritageaharborottawa.com.

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