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BE TOP OF THE POPS THIS FATHERS’ DAY 2018!

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 skydivingzip-liningATVing, driving on the speedwaybike toursshooting and the like, or the more refined, cultural type who takes more to wine tasting, coffee housesguided 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. 

Pontoon Boating 

 

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. 

SUP hire 

 

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! 

 

Kayak hire 

 

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! 

Anchors away! 

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! 

The Starved Rock Fall Spectacle Is IN The Air

 

Heritage Harbor Ottawa will be partnering with Ride the Helo, a helicopter tour company out of Kankakee, during the month of October to bring Starved Rock Country its Fall foliage helicopter tour. The ride will clock in at around 20 minutes and bring patrons from Heritage Harbor Ottawa, up towards the Starved Rock Lock & Dam to see the incredible display of fall colors, then back to Heritage Harbor Ottawa. Rides will be offered throughout the day on October 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22.

 

Patrons will need to make a reservation to participate in this exciting experience by calling Heritage Harbor Ottawa at 815-433-5000 or by emailing hho@heritageharbor.com. Cost is $150 per passenger.

 

Each helicopter ride can seat 2 to 3 people, depending on the combined weights of the passengers and pilot. The helicopter will be piloted by one of Ride the Helo’s commercially graded pilots, many of which have been pilots for the duration of their adult lives.

 

Ride the Helo is the brainchild of Jeff Benoit and Cal Pickup, two career pilots who wanted to bring an accommodating and exciting tour experience to Central Illinois.

 

“We really pride ourselves on the fact that when we show up to an event, we provide a very clean operation with pilots that have great personalities and allow people to see the world from a different perspective,” said Cal.

 

When Cal first flew the tour that will be offered at Heritage Harbor Ottawa, he said he stayed in the air a little longer than he had planned to, because the scenery during the flight was just so beautiful he didn’t want to land.

 

One of the curators of this spectacle and Heritage Harbor Ottawa’s Director of Sales & Marketing, Tammy Barry, had this to say about the offered experience. “Many people have seen the wonders of Starved Rock by foot and recently by water because of our marina, so we figured why not by air? This stretch of riverfront and sand bluff cliffs allows for a very dimensional view of the beauty of Fall.”

 

For more information on Helicopter Rides and Heritage Harbor Ottawa, contact Tammy Barry at 815-433-5000, ext 1.

Sunbirds Flock to Heritage Harbor

A new trend is bringing more residents to the marina resort community of Heritage Harbor: Sunbirding. The reverse of the snowbird who maintains a second home down south for winter, a sunbird lives in the south year-round but flees hot summers for the temperate Midwest.

 

A lot of sunbirds live in places like Florida or Arizona where it’s hot and sunny year round. Since these southern states can become too hot during the summer, sunbirds have begun buying second homes so they can “summer” elsewhere. By escaping the heat of a southern summer for that of the milder Midwestern summer, sunbirds are able to enjoy a temperate climate year round.

 

boating

 

Why More Sunbirds are Flocking to Heritage Harbor
Many of these sunbirds are from the Midwest, so it’s a natural choice to come back to the area during the warmer months to be close to their children and grandchildren. As a marina resort community, Heritage Harbor draws sunbirds who enjoy the waterfront lifestyle. The location also places them in the heart of Starved Rock Country with numerous activities and adventures they can share with the whole family.

 

Since Heritage Harbor is comprised of pocket neighborhoods perfectly designed around a beautiful marina, a real sense of community spirit develops. For many residents, Heritage Harbor welcomes them back to a simpler time when neighbors knew one another.

 

Sunbirds tend to want homes they can enjoy as-is since their time up north is limited. The low-maintenance cottage homes are popular among those who don’t want to spend their time tackling home improvement projects. Most of the homes in Heritage Harbor offer waterfront views, and prices start in the upper $200s.

 


These active adults value the many recreational opportunities in Heritage Harbor as well as the surrounding area. Residents enjoy the convenience of daily rentals for boats, paddleboards and kayaks. Heritage Harbor’s 32-acre deep water marina and state-of-the-art docking system will support more than 400 boat slips, making this community an ideal base for summer on the water.

 

The entertainment onsite is another big draw. The community’s Director of Fun develops a busy summer event schedule for residents. There’s also the on-site restaurant, Red Dog Grill, that serves up fantastic waterfront views and tasty seafood and American cuisine.

 

Starved Rock Country

 

Starved Rock Country
While the waterfront is the main attraction, there’s so much more to do and see in and around Heritage Harbor. Nearby Starved Rock State Park is the best-known state park in the area, but Buffalo Rock and Matthiessen State Parks are full of hidden gems as well. Whether it’s hiking trails, waterfalls, picnic sites, or forests, the natural beauty of these open spaces tempts residents.

 

Sunbirds can also enjoy other Starved Rock Country activities such as fishing, golf, horseback riding, water skiing, biking and jogging trails, and so much more just minutes from the Heritage Harbor community.

 

Over the last decade, the historic town Ottawa has transformed into a destination city for numerous one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants. From wine and beer tasting events to local festivals, concerts, and entertainment, there’s always something exciting happening in Ottawa.

 

The cottage homes at Heritage Harbor come in an array of floor plans and prices. There are even options to build-to-suit your dream home. To learn more about the community, amenities and home plans visit www.HeritageHarborOttawa.com or call 815.433.5000 to schedule a Discovery Tour.

Heritage Harbor Begins Construction on New Waterfront Neighborhood

Villas at Herons Landing

 

Heritage Harbor is excited to introduce their newest cottage neighborhood, Villas at Heron’s Landing. Every home in this new pocket neighborhood is situated along the water. Take a peek into this special neighborhood being constructed by a trusted Starved Rock Country home developer.

 

Meet Villas at Heron’s Landing

Heritage Harbor is located in Ottawa, IL along the banks of the Illinois River, minutes from Starved Rock State Park. The Villas at Heron’s Landing offers uniquely designed cottages for sale within the Heritage Harbor resort community. This pocket neighborhood is ideally nestled between the scenic river’s edge of the Illinois River and Heritage Harbor’s 32-acre state-of-the-art marina.

 

Only 31 homes are being built in the new waterfront neighborhood, with prices ranging from the upper $200’s to the upper $300’s. There are eight different floor plans offered within Villas at Heron’s Landing. Floor plans include:

 

• Harbor Bluff I & II
• River’s Edge
• Morning Sun
• Southern Charm I & II
• Waterfront Villa I & II

 

These floor plans feature 2-3 bedrooms, 1.5-2.5 baths and range from 1,000-1,350 square feet. Open plan living, inviting front porches, private rear porches, abundant natural light, 9’ ceilings, and well-equipped master suites are just a few of the nice features you’ll find inside each home. Certain plans have unique spaces such as lofts, dining banquettes, home offices, flex rooms, and bench seats with a view. Luxurious finishes include over-sized white trim, stainless appliances, solid core doors, custom cabinetry, a 50-gallon hot water heater, hardboard lap siding, and your choice of concrete of Cambria quartz counters, to name a few.

 

No matter which floor plan buyers choose, they’ll get to enjoy all the amenities offered in this vibrant marina resort community. The onsite restaurant, Red Dog Grill is just steps away from the neighborhood and offers convenient dine-in and out options. Heron’s Landing residents have access to their own community clubhouse and swimming pool, and the adjacent marina overs a wide variety of waterfront recreation including rentals for kayaks, paddle boards and boats. Residents praise the relaxed, friendly atmosphere, the waterfront views, and the many activities events at the resort.

 


About Heritage Harbor
Located 90 minutes from Chicago, Heritage Harbor Ottawa is the gateway to all the adventure of Starved Rock Country. Heritage Harbor offers waterfront living minutes from the charming town of Ottawa and close enough to Chicago to be a second home. Ottawa has year-round outdoor recreation, boating, golf, biking, hiking, skydiving and ziplining for adrenaline junkies, and plenty of shopping and dining options.

 

Beyond Ottawa, Starved Rock Country offers so much to see and do all throughout the year. Spring is waterfall season, and there are great hikes that get visitors close to the falls. Summer means swimming, boating, fishing, and enjoying the Illinois River. Come fall, leaf peeping on hikes, horseback riding, or nature photography tours highlight the scene. In winter, cross country ski trails, snowmobile trails, and ATVs compete with quiet nights around the fire with friends new and old.

 

As a marina resort community, Heritage Harbor is all about comfortable waterfront living and amenities geared toward recreation. Boaters love the full-service marina complete with concrete floating docks and boat slips for residents. Homeowners who don’t have their own boat can try renting a boat for the season through the Quest Express Boat Club. Kayak, paddleboards and canoe rentals are also available.

 

 

The developers behind Heritage Harbor are committed to keeping the community welcoming through shared public places, while maintaining private spaces for residents. The professional landscaping throughout preserves the Illinois landscape with native plantings, creates defined neighborhoods within Heritage Harbor, and makes walking the dog or going for a stroll pleasant at any time of year.

 

Heritage Harbor specializes in getaway cottages, waterfront homes, and pocket neighborhoods that create a sense of connection among residents. There are investment opportunities as well as rentable cottages within Heritage Harbor.

 

Opportunities to buy into the Villas at Herons Landing are limited. Call (815) 433-5000 to learn more or reserve a discovery tour today.

Heritage Harbor ~ This is the Place Video

 

Click here for video: This is the Place

Heritage Harbor is a quaint marina resort community.  It is conveniently located 90 minutes from Chicago in beautiful Starved Rock Country on the Illinois River.  This community features elegant homes, walk-able neighborhoods, a world-class marina, dining, activities, adventure and more.  Here you will find pocket neighborhoods, traditional neighborhood designs, and inspired architecture.  This is the Place to escape, to play and to live!

 

Heritage Harbor: Your Getaway and Investment

“Buying real estate is not only the best way, the quickest way, the safest way, but the only way to become wealthy.”—Marshall Field, entrepreneur

A new opportunity is available and located only 90 minutes from Chicago. Join your friends and invest in your own getaway at the new cottage neighborhoods currently under development at the resort community of Heritage Harbor. Take your stake of nature’s glory and learn more about why people are interested in owning their own cottage at Heritage Harbor Ottawa.

An Active Lifestyle

Heritage Harbor and the surrounding Ottawa area provides residents and visitors an opportunity to engage in lively events year round. For those that enjoy wine tastings, jazz festivals and eclectic art and artisans, you won’t have to venture far to indulge your pleasures.

Outdoor enthusiasts of all ages can enjoy the best of nature right outside of their door. Cottages sit near the gentle waters of the Illinois River and nearby parks and opportunities for Eagle sightings and more keep families engaged.

Enjoy resort living without the hassle of maintenance. Residents of Heritage Harbor receive lawn maintenance, stop by an onsite restaurant, the Red Dog Grill, offering year-round dining, and take advantage of a 32-acre harbor with an extensive marina with over 450 boat slips and more. The development is geared to all ages. Individuals, growing families and seniors can mix and mingle and make the most of the changing seasons at Heritage Harbor Ottawa.

 

A Recreational Area & Great Investment

Starved Rock County is a prime recreational destination in the area. Individuals that rent or buy one of the new cottages will find the main attractions of the area easily accessible. A wide variety of homes are available and priced affordably.

Choose the home that meets your needs. Homes offered include 1 bedroom to 3 bedrooms, single-family to condo and wrap-around porches to roof-top decks. Larger homes offer more than 3,000 square feet of living space. The vacation homes are located in low maintenance communities, convenient for residents and property owners.

Know the perks of owning your own getaway and cash in. Some of the properties allow the owner the opportunity to rent out their home. Use the cottage when you want and place it in the rental pool when you are away. Heritage Harbor takes care of all of the rental details for property owners.

Get more out of life. Select a cottage in the new developments of Harbor Cottages or Villas at Heron’s Landing. Cozy one-bedroom plans, some with lofts, and a marina pool only steps away are currently available at Harbor Cottages. Vacation homes and primary residences of one, two and three-bedroom plans that include amenities such as a clubhouse and pool are offered at Villas at Heron’s Landing. Own a residence by the Best Marina in the Midwest. Plans and pricing are being finalized right now.

Contact  Heritage Harbor at (815) 433-5000 to schedule a Discovery Tour.

Winter Bucket List: Snowmobiling Outside Chicago

Winter brings with it the opportunity for amazing outdoor adventures for people who are brave enough to get outside and get active.  One of the hottest winter activities is snowmobiling, which offers you the opportunity to see incredible sights while getting an adrenaline high riding a snowmobile.   Hopefully mother nature will cooperate soon so winter can be enjoyed to the fullest!

Ottawa, IL Snowmobiling
Under 90 minutes outside of Chicago, the Illinois and Michigan Canal offers snowmobiling trails that crisscross four Northern Illinois State Parks. The Canal passes through parts of the Channahon State Park, William G. Stratton State Park, Gebhard Wood State Park and Buffalo Rock State Park, delivering over 61 miles of white powder. As long as there are four or more inches of snow, the Canal trails are available for use by snowmobiles 24 hour a day.

The scenic town of Ottawa offers easy on/off highway access to Buffalo Rock, at which point drivers can connect to other parts of the trail. Along the way, riders will parallel the twists and turns of the Illinois River. The bare trees allow for scenic river views and potentially the chance to spot wildlife. The canal trail passes historic 1800’s stone aqueducts, the Seneca Grain Elevator, and multiple canal locks.

One of the more unusual attractions on the Illinois and Michigan Canal trail, the Effigy Tumuli, lies near Buffalo Rock State Park. Created in 1983 by artist Michael Heizer, the environmental sculptures evoke Native American burial mounds.

Snowmobile Safety Tips
If you’re new to snowmobiling, packing for the winter excursion can feel intimidating. When you’re out on the trails, you’ll have occasional access to restrooms and land-line telephones in state park rest areas. Other than that, you’ll need to carry in what you need – and carry it out as well.

For small excursions, plan to bring lunch, water, binoculars, goggles, a camera, and extra winter gear. It’s always a smart idea to carry an emergency first aid kit and emergency tool kit, in case something breaks on your snowmobile. Flashlights or head lamps are always a good “just in case” idea, as are flares, a GPS, a whistle, and an emergency radio.

Snowmobiling is a fun and safe winter sport, but there is risk associated with it. To protect your family, do not allow children to ride on a snowmobile if they are under the age of 6. While driving a snowmobile looks cool, youth under age 16 should not be allowed to do it. It takes skill and strength to maneuver a snowmobile, especially if conditions turn icy. Ice makes it difficult to steer and can pose a danger, even for experienced drivers.

Conveniently Located

When getting out of the greater Chicago area for winter recreation, it’s always important to plan for traffic. If your family spends a lot of time cross country skiing or snowmobiling in the winter, or boating in the summer, it can be helpful to purchase a second home in the scenic countryside. Ottawa may be famous as the home of Starved Rock, but this town has a lot to offer year round in terms of recreation, community, and quality of life. Heritage Harbor Ottawa offers riverside accommodation close to Chicago. An hour from Chicago and minutes from Starved Rock, Heritage Harbor offers vacation rental cottages, vacation homes, a marina, and a restaurant. It is the perfect base camp for a snowmobiling vacation or second home.

With such rich year round amenities and points of interest, Ottawa makes the ideal base for winter and summer family fun. Visit now to explore the area, find your favorite trails, and be inspired.

Do You See What I See in Starved Rock Country?

It’s time for Bald Eagle watching!

With mild winter temperatures, it is all the more inviting to get out those trusty binoculars and peer out to catch a glimpse of America’s favorite feathered fowl. Catch the migration of thousands of eagles as they visit Starved Rock Country. The Annual Eagle Watch Weekend in January allows visitors to view the majestic Bald Eagle from atop Starved Rock! Find out more about Eagle watching, a popular event drawing visitors from all over.

Know Before You Go
These white capped birds were once on the verge of extinction and declared an endangered species in 1978. After 40 years of cooperation between various parties and the government, the American Bald Eagle, the nation’s symbol, was removed from the endangered species list. Former President Bush said:

“This great conservation achievement means more and more Americans across the nation will enjoy the thrill of seeing Bald Eagles soar.”

Share the achievement of joint efforts and the resurgence of the Bald Eagle with younger generations. Visitors to Starved Rock Country should know:

•  The American Bald Eagle may perch along tree tops, soar high overhead and sun themselves at river islands or ice floes. Patience is key to successful viewing.

•  How to stay warm. Visitors need to dress in layers. Gloves, hats and boots are recommended. Viewers should take hot beverages with them on an outing. Turn on the car’s heater for brief periods of time to ward off the chill.

•  It is important not to disturb the visiting bald eagles as they need to conserve their energy.

•  Eagles come to the area due to the fish available in the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. From late December to March, they make the most of the plentiful food source.

•  Adult bald eagles do not keep company with juveniles when migrating. The first to migrate are the newly fledged eagles.

•  The freezing over of Northern lakes and rivers marks the beginning of fall migration for adult bald eagles. They will then journey south for available fresh water sources. Open sources can include the coast and large rivers located close to dams.

•  Eagles begin their arrival in Illinois in December. They can be found along the Illinois River actively searching for fish. Once waters freeze, they move to the dam. This open water source will then host a staggering and concentrated amount of eagles.

Starved Rock State Park in Illinois remains a respite for the Bald Eagle for a good portion of the year. As winter temps dip, more concentrated numbers of this popular bird can be easily found at the dam. This natural refuge and Heritage Harbor, with a prime location along the Illinois River, makes for ideal locations for birders to watch the Bald Eagle in its natural habitat. Ideal times for viewing activity are from 7am-9am or 4pm-5pm. Bring the family and experience the visual feast together.

The Simple Life for Vacation Home Owners

The Simple Life

Located along the Illinois River in Ottawa, Ill., Heritage Harbor Ottawa is a 142-acre development of single-family homes, townhomes, vacation cottages, carriage homes and condos, centered on a 32-acre harbor with a full-service marina and year-round restaurant. With its boating amenities, waterfront living and nearby recreational attractions, such as Starved Rock State Park and the I&M Canal Trail, the community offers an ideal resort lifestyle for those seeking a vacation, retirement or full-time residence.

“Many of our buyers are a bit nostalgic about how they want to spend their precious free time with their family and what they are looking for in a vacation home,” said Tammy Barry, director of sales and marketing for Heritage Harbor Ottawa. “Often they think about their own childhood and how they would pack up the station wagon and go away for the weekend. When they come to Ottawa and Heritage Harbor, they love our small-town atmosphere and simpler way of life that not only harkens back to another time, but also lets them focus on building terrific memories with their family and friends.”

Charming downtown Ottawa

Barry noted the Ottawa community is a big contributor to the lifestyle vacation-home owners appreciate at Heritage Harbor. “This is a small town where business owners know their customers and greet them by name, which really adds to the sense of belonging when you own a second home here,” she said. “Plus, we still have a butcher’s shop, an independent grocery store, a weekly farmer’s market and a liquor store that even delivers. Our locally owned businesses create a sense of place that’s harder to come by in areas that are dominated by chain stores and big national brands. People tend to slow town and enjoy the experience of patronizing area businesses, rather than rushing through errands in order to cross items off their to-do list.”

She added that Ottawa is home to a number of community events and festivals that add to its charming atmosphere. “There are things happening throughout the year, such as Riverfest in the summer and our annual Scarecrow Fest in the fall, which encourage area residents to come out and enjoy our downtown district,” she said. “It’s a lively little town where you’re always likely to run into someone you know, whether you’re at one of our summer festivals or simply taking time to window shop as you walk through downtown.”

Ottawa’s relaxed pace of life and small-town feel extend to the streets of Heritage Harbor, where a series of pocket neighborhoods are designed to build a sense of community among residents. Green spaces with seating areas, community fire pits and meandering walking paths encourage homeowners to socialize. “One very traditional feature we include in many of our home designs is a wide, inviting front porch,” said Barry. “Back when most homes had front porches, families would often sit outside in the evening, visiting together and chatting with neighbors who walked by. We worked hard to recreate that same friendly atmosphere at Heritage Harbor through our streetscape and our home designs.”

Quaint and inviting cottages

A recreation-based lifestyle with plenty of outdoor activities and easy access to nature is another appealing part of the “simple life” at Heritage Harbor Ottawa. “Our vacation-home owners are looking for a complete change of pace from their day-to-day life and a place where they can not only enjoy the activities they love, but also share them with family and friends,” said Barry. “We often work with buyers who grew up in a family with a boat or lake cottage and want to give that same experience to their own kids. For them, having a home at Heritage Harbor and boating on the Illinois River is how they spend quality time together and create memorable family experiences.”

In addition to boating, Heritage Harbor is a convenient home base for hiking in Starved Rock State Park, biking on the I&M Canal Trail and enjoying a variety of other outdoor pursuits.

“We say it’s a slower pace of life, but it’s anything but boring with everything the area has to offer,” said Barry. “What our buyers really love is that this region lets them truly unplug and slow down, in the sense of having time to spend on the people and activities that matter to them most.”

Currently available at Heritage Harbor Ottawa are custom home sites priced from $92,500, vacation cottages priced from $209,990, townhomes priced from $284,900 and immediate-delivery single-family homes priced from $329,900.*

For information on Heritage Harbor Ottawa Resort and available homes, call (815) 433-5000 or visit www.heritageharborottawa.com.

*Pricing subject to change.

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