“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!
“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.
We’d love to hear your thoughts about your adventures at Heritage Harbor!! Hit Comment Below and tell us your thoughts!
Get your freedom back as you explore the mystique and wonder of the Illinois Waterway under the golden Starved Rock sun
I say Independence Day…you say?
The Independence Declaration of 1776, to most of us living Americans, is a huge deal! There is just no room for us to gloss over the immense importance of our independence…most especially on Independence Day! In fact (red-blooded patriots that we are) we’re turning the whole independence dial up a few clicks this July Fourth – and here’s why…
You say Independence Day, we say find your freedom!
As proud Americans, we thrive on the rich elements of bravado, courage and expedition in our multifaceted history. We revel and thrive in our absolutely breathtaking landscapes, high-rise buildings, economic superpower and buzzing trade centers. Yet, for all this, we often miss the importance of celebrating our own independence and exercising our own freedom as individuals and families! So, we’ve made it our soul mission (and we extend the challenge to you and your family this 4 July) to relive, revisit and revive our own personal freedoms this Independence Day.
And we’re going do it right here on the water at Heritage Harbor
Some are more conscious of it than others…but there probably isn’t a person on the planet that wouldn’t register at least some soothing, some invigoration, or some peace from that lapping, pouring, rushing, flowing sound of water in the country. When you add a few rolling hills, some graceful birdlife, a full range of grassy greens and leafy Lambadas, a breathtaking bluff or three, and perhaps even the exhilarating sound of a tow boat making the most of a lazy summer day…you get that oh-so-heavenly vibe, which we call the harbor life at Heritage Harbor.
You, relaxing on or near the water this Independence Day
For you it might look like hiring a kayak and venturing out to explore the Illinois Waterway. It may mean launching your own or hired tow boat using our world-class marina facilities, and letting your hair flap wildly in the wind as you feel the speed and exhilaration of raw power on glassy waters. You could take a SUP board out on the Illinois River and soak in the Starved Rock Country sun, or you could kick those feet up and browse the skies, river banks and plains with your new binoculars. Taking a meandering walk through our waterfront-cottage neighborhoods is also likely to give you the retreat your soul has needed for so long.
Outdoor Revival (Tomi Stonajovic) says that the health benefits enjoyed by people who spend time on or near water include (amongst many others) the soul-cleansing effect of fresh air, the immune boost of the great outdoors, the calming and sedating effects of the sounds of water lapping and flowing, and the blue-mind effect of peace and tranquility. All of the above flow with abandon at Heritage Harbor, and are just waiting to give you the independence you deserve on 4 July 2018.
While you’re at it – bask in our American history, without it being a history lesson…
No, Independence Day is not about rehashing the monochromatic version of our nation’s history. It IS about rediscovering that history in such a way that it comes to life in you, and brings you to life! Ottawa IL, where Heritage Harbor is located, is a crucible of natural, social and industrial history that will leave you feeling truly American all over again – no rote history lesson involved!
Yes, we are talking about experiencing the cultural wonder of how America came into being! We are also talking about the legends and stories of First Nation tribes defending their own. And yes, we are absolutely talking about Irish, French and a host of other explorers coming upon this great piece of continent and doing all within their power to make it their own! But more (sing along) much more than this…
…More than anything, we’re talking about YOU!
Now be careful to hear the spring in our voice, the whistle in our mood, and the buzz in our tone as we tell you that what we really want, here at Heritage Harbor, is for you to rediscover your freedom like you did the first time (maybe you are still waiting for your first experience of freedom out in the country?!). We want you to experience what it’s like to be you in a wide open landscape, surrounded by friendly, loving people!
When was the last time you really let your hair down, wound down, and got your stress levels down by rounding up your family and turning up the fun in and around gorgeous river settings? When last did you re-experience the wonder of some small-town charm and real McCoy US history first-hand? Exactly…but again, all that can change this 4th of July 2018!
How about now? Experience Independence Day at Heritage Harbor in Starved Rock Country this July 4th?
Seriously, though. It’s time! We’ve been waiting for you to discover the sheer magic of this place. It’s not just about having a vacation, buying a designer waterfront cottage, and exploring the open water. It’s also about you finding the real you and enjoying what that feels like – especially when you’re surrounded by nature and those you love!
See you on July 4!
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.
The Heritage Harbor Team
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