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Right-Size Your Lifestyle at Heritage Harbor

The Harbor Life at Heritage Harbor encourages community and life enjoyment for all.

With the almost cult-following recent television series such as Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and Tiny House, Big Living among others have acquired, people are looking to ‘Right-Size’ their lifestyles.  Clearing out the excess possessions as well as square-footage are goals of many people searching to minimize the stress of homeownership while at the same time maximizing enjoyment of life. Explore our community by visiting https://www.visitheritageharbor.com/community/

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‘Fall’ in Love with Heritage Harbor and Starved Rock Country

The natural beauty of the trees attracts visitors from far and wide as they burst forth in blazing magnificent color. The trees truly show us how beautiful ‘letting go’ can be!

As we enter the final quarter of the year, we can’t help but wistfully long for the halcyon days of summer. However, there’s a sweet resignation to the start of autumn and the restorative and restful effect it has on us—mind, body, and soul. Fall is so much more than pumpkin spice and bonfires, although those things certainly boost our enjoyment of this beloved season in the Midwest.

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You’ll want to be caught in THIS loop!

“We were not out of the lock until after dark. The marina had a guide boat lead us into the harbor, provided us with a late dinner, and exceeded all of our expectations. This is one excellent marina.” -sminard 

If you haven’t yet heard of the Great Loop, it is a continuous waterway including part of the Atlantic, Gulf Intracoastal Waterways, the Great Lakes, Canadian Heritage Canals, and the inland rivers of America’s heartland.   Any mariner who completes the full journey officially earns the ‘Looper’ title. 

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Fido’s taste of Freedom

” Local dog owners are thrilled to have a place for their pups to “run wild and free!” 

Heritage Harbor is the first to offer a space for our furry friends to run leash-free in Ottawa.  The greatly anticipated new addition of River Run Dog Park has everyone talking.  This fenced-in park is the only space in Ottawa in which owners can take their dogs for a leash-free romp, given local leash ordinances.

This amenity is available for everyone’s enjoyment at no cost, and the overwhelming gratitude has been heart-warming.  People want the best for their dogs, and freedom to run around and play is an important aspect of keeping them healthy and happy. We are enjoying viewing the posts and pictures owners have shared of their fur babies enjoying the space, and we are so happy we can offer this opportunity for pet play dates.

A tremendous amount of gratitude is owed PetSmart and Starved Rock Community Foundation, as these organizations along with Heritage Harbor have made River Run Dog Park possible.  Waste bags and disposal station are provided for your convenience.

The responses to our initial announcement say it all…local dog owners are thrilled to have a place for their pups to “run wild and free!”  Bring Fido out to Heritage Harbor and give him a taste of ‘freedom!’

Ashley Lynch and her beautiful dog enjoying the park.
*Image Supplied from Heritage Harbor’s Facebook Page
Sean Porter and his dog Bodo having fun at the River Run Dog Park. 
*Image Supplied from Heritage Harbor’s Facebook Page

Are you excited to have this amenity at Heritage Harbor??? Comment Below

Reasons to Love Living the Snowbird Lifestyle

“Each year, numerous people contemplate the option of purchasing a second home with the intention of ‘seasonal migration.’

Each year, numerous people contemplate the option of purchasing a second home with the intention of ‘seasonal migration.’ This arrangement can offer people the best of both worlds—maintaining your ties with your roots while enjoying a seasonal change of locale. We say, contemplate no more…we have the perfect ‘Northbird’ home and lifestyle for you! Visit www.visitheritageharbor.com/ottawa-il/ and you will discover why Heritage Harbor is an award winning resort community. 

If you’re considering living the Snowbird lifestyle, Heritage Harbor is what you’ve been searching for. Our various home plans featuring main-floor living ensure there is something for everyone, and an active adult lifestyle is no exception.  Make the harbor your ‘Northbird’ home and enjoy the natural beauty of the seasons in Starved Rock Country as they unfold—greenery bursting forth in the spring months giving way to the long, lush days of summer and eventually transforming into the kaleidoscope of a Midwest autumn.  The nostalgia of the seasons is one of our area’s greatest draws.

Heritage Harbor’s location in the heart of Starved Rock Country attracts families interested in the natural beauty and adventure activities characteristic of the area.  At just 90 minutes from downtown Chicago, the proximity to family is a major draw for active adults, keeping you close to family, close to home.  Your new home will become the home base and gathering place for family events and holidays in the years to come—the perfect site for making memories to cherish. 

When you’re ready to break up the long winters, take advantage of our on-site rental management program to offset some of your property investment costs. One of the benefits of owning a second home is making money renting it out in your ‘off’ season.  Since you have the final say, you can always keep your home available as a home base for winter holiday trips north to enjoy the breathtaking winter scenery and local activities.

Come visit us and take a tour and view one of our model homes. You’ll want to stay a while and make it a weekend event taking in some of the local culture. We can’t wait to welcome you to the Harbor Life at Heritage Harbor! Discover more about the community at: https://www.visitheritageharbor.com/community/

Are you excited??? Comment Below

Get Ready to ‘Un-wine-d’!

“Ottawa is getting ready to host their greatly anticipated annual 2 Rivers Wine Fest on June 7-9

WINE! FOOD! LOBSTER and the sweet sounds of JAZZ… in Starved Rock Country!

Ottawa is getting ready to host their greatly anticipated annual 2 Rivers Wine Fest on June 7-9. Those who have attended in past years can attest to the draw of a succulent lobster dinner, soulful sounds of jazz, and soothing and sultry notes of various wine and craft beers available for tasting.

It’s the perfect time to make it a weekend getaway, taking time to enjoy the downtown sites, shops, and restaurants. The natural scenery is in full bloom, making a trek to the state parks a joy to behold.
Heritage Harbor wants to be your host for the weekend. Book a stay in a charming cottage on the river to make the most of your getaway weekend.

Visit our model homes or book a tour to discover all that Heritage Harbor has to offer. Enjoy your time at Ottawa’s 2 Rivers Wine Fest, and then come back to the Harbor to un-wine-d and soak up the Harbor Life!

Are you excited for the wine fest??? Comment Below

Hassle Free Boating

Enjoy boating and watercraft adventures, without the hassle of owning a boat.”

Enjoy boating and watercraft adventures, without the hassle of owning a boat.

The vibrant marina at Heritage Harbor is literally at the heart of the Harbor Life. The central feature of our beloved resort is the site of endless summer fun. Our marina is positioned on the Illinois Waterway, just 90 minutes from Chicago, and is waiting to offer you the boating experience you’ve been dreaming of.  The marina amenities, including restrooms and shower facilities, ATM, TV, WiFi, dry storage, pump out, security, and many more, are something to be rivaled.

Heritage Harbor is making a splash and big things are happening! Our 140-slip harbor is expanding the current capacity to accommodate more families. The 2018 addition of the floating Event Pavilion has expanded the entertainment capability of the resort, as we now offer facility rental for private events right on the water.

For those interested in water craft rentals, our marina offers jet ski, electric boat and pontoon boat rentals. Quest Watersports offers Hobie pedal board, SUP, and kayak rentals for your enjoyment. Our staff will ensure that all the necessary equipment is transported to the marina and will retrieve it when you’re done – no stress!

Book your watercraft of choice by visiting https://www.visitheritageharbor.com/watersports/.


If you are interested in regular boating, but would rather skip the hassles that accompany ownership, then Quest Watersport’s Quest Express membership is for you! Quest Express provides access to a range of premium boats at your leisure.  This means you can have countless boating adventures and endless fun without the burden of maintenance, storage, and other ownership hassles. you like. Just choose a boat online, pick a time to go boating, and that boat will be ready & waiting for you at the marina.  All fun, no fuss…then do it again next time, all summer long!

Try some tubing or wakeboarding behind a nimble sport boat, or perhaps a relaxing cruise on a luxury pontoon. Bring your friends & family, enjoy a spectacular day on the water, and then moor your boat when you’re done.  It’s like having your own fleet of boats and a personal butler to take care of the details!  Affordable membership plans are offered, and coaching is available if needed.

Find out more about Quest Express Boat Membership by visiting www.questwatersports.com/questexpress.htm


Book a cottage stay or take a discovery tour of real estate opportunities available at the Harbor. Spend the day on the water and then return to your Harbor Home to continue your Harbor Life experience. See you on the water! Book your stay at The Harbor Inn, online at https://www.visitheritageharborinn.com/

Learn more about Heritage Harbor at www.visitheritageharbor.com/ or call 815.433.5000


Have you ever been to the Heritage Harbor Marina? Tell us about your experience. Comment Below

Heritage Harbor Ottawa parkrun


“Searching for a fun and active way to spend a Saturday morning? Come try out parkrun at Heritage Harbor! .”


Searching for a fun and active way to spend a Saturday morning? Come try out parkrun at Heritage Harbor!

What is parkrun? It’s a free, weekly 5km timed run open to everyone. parkrun events are hosted all over the world, and visitors travel far and wide to participate in events in different locations.

Heritage Harbor is the first and currently the only parkrun event location in Illinois. Heritage Harbor parkrun is conveniently situated only 90 minutes from Chicago. We have welcomed parkrunners from several countries abroad including England, South Africa, New Zealand, Russia, Australia, and Ireland.


Every Saturday morning at 9:00am, participants and volunteers gather at Heritage Harbor, 2 Great Loop West, Ottawa, IL to enjoy this free event. See our course page for more details. There is no cost to participate, but please complete a one-time registration before your first run. Don’t forget to bring your printed barcode to ensure your finish time is recorded.


parkrun is uniquely inclusive, and all ages and fitness levels are welcome. parkrun draws all types of people, and the comradery is really a draw for many people. We’d love to have you join us for an active Saturday morning run/walk and invite you to stay for a post parkrun coffee at the Red Dog Grill. We look forward to welcoming you next weekend!


Have you been to a parkrun at Heritage Harbor? Tell us about your experience. Comment Below

First Floor Living

” With everything from classic ranch style plans to cozy cottages and luxurious estates, you’re sure to find a design with the features you desire.”

Our 4 favorite home plans that are perfect for main-floor living

Main-floor living designs come in all layouts and sizes to meet your needs, budget and lifestyle. The benefits of main-floor living are numerous. Accessibility, ease of maintenance, energy-efficiency, and design flexibility are just some of the preferred aspects of such homes.
Home plans with main-level master suites have an ageless appeal—perfect for everybody regardless of age or ability. Our main-floor living floorplans allow homeowners to seamlessly transition their vacation home of today to retirement home in the future. With everything from classic ranch style plans to cozy cottages and luxurious estates, you’re sure to find a design with the features you desire.

Many homeowners desire homes in which all main living spaces are at ground level, making their home accessible and comfortable. Beyond convenience, however, our plans tend to have very open, fluid designs, making great use of square footage across all sizes. These plans almost always have open living space combining kitchen, dining, and living rooms to create a comfortable and cozy space to gather. Our builder-ready, complete home plans range from modest to sprawling–simple to sophisticated, and come in all architectural styles.

River’s Edge Villa

River’s Edge Villa model is a prime example of a complete main-floor master suite in which all main living spaces are at ground level. The upstairs bedrooms and bathroom are perfect for accommodating any guests. Follow the link to view the Villa Floorplans.

Allison Ramsey Designed and Styled | West Peninsula Finley Plan | A Perfect Fit for 30′ Pinnacle Point Homesites

The West Peninsula Finley

The West Peninsula Finley plan can be positioned on the Harbor’s edge and can accommodate a lower-level walk-out basement, giving you all the benefits of main-floor living, but with the additional pleasure of walking out to the water’s edge. This home is well-suited for vacation-to-retirement transition. Click here to view the West Peninsula Plans


Allison Ramsey Designed and Styled | The Eden Plan | A Perfect Fit for 48′ Pinnacle Point Homesites

The Eden

The Eden floor plan is well-suited for a river-facing Pinnacle Pointe homesite. This floor plan appeals to those searching for timeless architecture positioned on a premier homesite. To view the Eden and more Pinnacle Pointe floor plans, follow this link to view the Pinnacle Pointe Plans.


Allison Ramsey Designed and Styled | Whisper Creek Cottage | A Perfect Fit for 30′ West Peninsula Homesites

Whisper Creek Cottage

Whisper Creek Cottage is a classic ranch-style floor plan, offering cozy and accessible one-story living. Enjoy the harbor happenings from your featured wrap-around front porch. Follow the link to view Whisper Creek and other West Peninsular floor plans on our website.

Our home plans, designed by Allison Ramsey and Heritage Harbor architects, are packed with the latest amenities and designed to utilize all available space to create a timeless, yet functional home that you’ll enjoy spending time in for years to come. Our homes are built for living.


Are you dreaming about a waterfront lifestyle? What plan suits your lifestyle? Comment Below

SPRING has SPRUNG!

Spring has sprung, and with it, the promise of all things new! ..

New Life—New Promises!

Spring has sprung, and with it, the promise of all things new! Many of us make New Years Resolutions at the beginning of each year….and many of those resolutions soon fall by the wayside. Winter doldrums inevitably set in, and those changes we envisioned making in our lives are forgotten as the reality of day-to-day life sets back in.

Optimism—An Important Ingredient

So here we are, a few months into the year, and the ice and snow are quickly becoming memories of another winter past. Spring in the Midwest affords an unrivaled sense of optimism, so doesn’t it make sense to rather focus on our resolutions now?  New life and growth as well as longer, warmer days are the perfect ingredients for implementing successful changes.

Move It!

Have a desire to incorporate more physical activity? There’s no better time than spring to jump-start an active lifestyle! The still moderate temperatures encourage physical exertion without the discomfort of summer’s heat and humidity.  Head to the numerous state parks in Starved Rock Country to enjoy a nature walk. The trails are teeming with new signs of life as flora and fauna begin another cycle of life.  Hike or bike the I&M Canal trail or the Harbor and River Walks. Every Saturday morning, Heritage Harbor Ottawa parkrun (a volunteer-operated free weekly timed 5K) is hosted at the Harbor. This weekly event is a great way to measure your fitness growth week by week throughout the year.

Make the Connection!

Connecting more with our community is an inner desire many of us harbor. It can be one of the most difficult of resolutions to implement because it most often involves stepping out of our comfort zones to spend time with people we don’t yet know. The great thing about living at Heritage Harbor is that you have a built-in community network surrounding you! Our neighbors become friends and our friends have become neighbors. The resort team loads the events calendar with a variety of fun events designed to encourage connection among residents as well as members of the larger Ottawa community. Heritage Harbor Ottawa parkrun encourages fitness and community involvement through participation as either a volunteer or a 5k participant. Make it a goal to take part in one or more event next month, and you will be well on your way to making the personal connections we all so deeply crave!

Live it Up!

Maybe your intention is to live your life to the fullest. Spring at the harbor means patio dining at Red Dog Grill! Take your dining alfresco and enjoy a delicious meal while taking in the beautiful sunsets over the harbor. Renting a cottage with family and friends is a great way to spend a long weekend. Unwind and recharge while you enjoy some local boutique shopping, spa sessions, delectable cuisine, and outdoor adventures. You may even decide that the Harbor is where you’d like to spend more time. This is the season to house hunt or plan your dream home, so come see what’s on offer at the Harbor! Secure your slip at Heritage Harbor Marina this month and start your boat preparations to ensure a long season of aquatic fun for your family and friends.

Are you excited for spring??? What are your plans for this coming spring? Comment Below

However you decide to spend your lengthening days this spring, make sure you make time to stop and smell the roses…and the peonies and the hyacinths!

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