” 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/Read More
” 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.Read More
“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.Read More
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!
3 things you should do with Dad in the Midwest on his special day
There are those times when nothing can beat a good ol’ fashioned shout-out! Fathers’ Day is surely one of those times, and maybe you’ll join us as we lift our faces to the sunny sky, cup our mouths, and holler out loud for all the world to hear just how grateful we are for the fathers in the US of A who’ve held, helped and harbored their loved ones.
Godspeed you Pops!
My father, the harbor
When a Dad is taking up his role in the family, he is like a harbor to his loved ones. Think about it – Wikipedia defines the word harbor, in its literal sense, as “a sheltered body of water where ships, boats, and barges can be docked.” But the word has also taken on a more spiritual meaning in the English language, whereby anyone or anything that offers safety, protection, and provision can be called a safe harbor.
We’ve seen hundreds of Dads being the safe harbor for their families
We’ve seen literally hundreds of families enjoying what we affectionately call the harbor life at Heritage Harbor, and we have noted the immensely striking and powerful parallel between a physical harbor (one of which exists right here in the form of a world-class marina), and the role of a father in society.
And this got us thinking about having Fathers’ Day at Heritage Harbor…
If you’re in Illinois, and you don’t mind taking a peaceful and sedate drive through the countryside until you arrive in Ottawa IL, then you’ve just found yourself the ideal place to celebrate Fathers’ Day! And here’s why…
1. To start with, you’ll be in the heart of Starved Rock Country and Ottawa IL
Surrounded by the small-town charm of Ottawa Illinois
Visit the site of Abraham Lincoln’s first public debate, the town where boy scouts was born, and the home of ancient mansions-turned-curio shops and restaurants. Experience the natural garden-feel of this country town as you browse its down-to-earth country experience, craft beer, locally cultivated wines, and a host of other unforgettable experiences.
Starved Rock Country – the best kept secret of the Midwest
Yes, there are tens of thousands of people in Chicagoland who have actually never visited Starved Rock Country. Worse, many of these have never even heard of this – the best kept secret of the Midwest…that should never have been a secret in the first place!
High-adrenaline and extreme OR cultured and sedate – it’s here for you!
Starved Rock Country is blessed with the landscape and the conditions to dazzle the adventure-seeker. Whether your Pops is the high-adrenaline type who enjoys skydiving, zip-lining, ATVing, driving on the speedway, bike tours, shooting and the like, or the more refined, cultural type who takes more to wine tasting, coffee houses, guided tours, hiking and fishing, you can bet your bottom dollar that Starved Rock Country has what it takes to keep both you and he thoroughly engaged in the experience.
2. Dine your Dad at the Increasingly Famous Red Dog Grill
Red Dog Grill is becoming a major attraction at Heritage Harbor. We’re not sure if it’s the exquisite marina views, the direct spectator opportunity of the various boating and watersport activities that happen on the Illinois Waterway, or if it’s the simply spectacular gourmet meals…but whatever it is – it’s working! So come on over and treat your old man to all the above – you won’t regret it!
3. Fathers’ Day fun on the water
But let’s cut to the chase – it’s summer! It may have been slow in coming, but it’s here, right!?! And Fathers’ Day has that special summer feeling about, too. Jump in with a splash as you celebrate your Dad.
If boating blows his hair back
Whether your Pops has a thick head of hair or if he’s thinning on top just a little, he’ll love the wind slipping past his face as you take him on a tour of the Illinois Waterway in one of our Jetskis which are for hire.
Hire a pontoon boat and take a country cruise down 20 miles of smooth water. Pick up some snacks from the Tikki Bar, and be sure to bring your binoculars along so that you can survey the teeming water and birdlife, and revel in the exquisite views of the Illinois Waterway.
Is your Dad a stand-up guy? If so, stand with him as he flexes those core muscles on one of our hired SUP boards – it’s literally like walking on water!
Keep a good balance by hiring some kayaks and peddling your way along the water. Your tour can be as far as you want it to be. Take a slow peddle down to the islands, or venture to the other side of the river and get an up-close experience of the beautiful fauna and flora of the Illinois River banks.
Give your Dad the Fathers’ Day he’ll never forget – for all the right reasons. Get him to Starved Rock Country, and give him the celebration he deserves.
We’ll see you on the water!
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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