Heritage Harbor Ottawa Blog

Articles Tagged with: vacation home

Fall Land and Water Event

fall land and water event


Thinking about owning a vacation home?  Come and visit us during our Land and Water Event on Friday, October 14th – Sunday, October 16th.  We are located at 1970 N. 2753rd Road in Ottawa, IL.  During this unique event, you will get an overview of the property, a boat ride (weather permitting) and a $25 voucher to enjoy lunch at our on-site restaurant, The Red Dog Grill.

Tour times are as follows:

11:00 AM Property Overview followed by 12:30 PM Boat Ride

1:00 PM Property Overview followed by 2:30 PM Boat Ride

3:00 PM Property Overview followed by 4:30 PM Boat Ride

Advanced registration is required and space is limited!  RSVP by calling  (815) 433-5000, emailing HHO@HeritageHarborOttawa.com, or register online here.


About Heritage Harbor Ottawa Resort

Heritage Harbor Ottawa Resort is a 142-acre master-planned marina resort community of 600 homes located on the Illinois River in Ottawa, Ill., just 90 minutes from downtown Chicago. Featuring a 32-acre marina surrounded by pocket neighborhoods of waterfront custom homes, condominiums, cottages and townhomes, Heritage Harbor Ottawa is a unique residential option in Starved Rock Country for those seeking a vacation, retirement or full-time home on the water. 



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.

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.

Wind Down and Indulge Your Senses at the 2016 Ottawa 2 Rivers Wine Fest

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. It’s that time of year again as the weather warms up and layers are peeled off to come out and play in Ottawa. A fantastic jazz line-up awaits, paired with the freshest lobster and the best of Illinois wine. Still hiding? Come out, come out wherever you are and come on down to a fantastic three days that kicks off on June 10th. Find out more about the 2016 Ottawa 2 River Wine Fest and locate a great place to kick back.
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Join Us for the 6th Annual Ottawa 2 Rivers Wine Fest
Robert M. Eschbach, Mayor, with the principle partners of, the Ottawa Visitors Center, Heritage Corridor Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association, have planned a weekend to remember starting on Friday June 10th at 5pm and ending on Sunday June 12th at 5pm. This year’s event offers incomparable fresh grilled lobster in conjunction with three days of amazing live jazz performances and almost 20 wineries offering top quality pours to delight taste buds.

Visitors can enjoy historic architecture at the juncture of two rivers- a place where culture and nature enlivens and celebrates. Between jazz sets, featuring the incomparable Ladies of Chicago Jazz, explore the rich history of Ottawa.

• Walk through the site of the first ever Lincoln-Douglas Debate at Washington Park.
• Visit the grounds and tour the historic Reddick Mansion.
• Do a little shopping at the West Main Street antique district and unique boutiques. Grab something special found nowhere else.
• Drive along the Illinois River for scenic views and to step back into the history of our first inhabitants and explorers.

This weekend has something for everyone. During your stay, visit Court Street on Saturday or Sunday for Ottawa’s Outdoor Craft & Botanical Fair. Who doesn’t enjoy browsing our local fair to pick up something to brighten a room or garden? Ottawa knows how to have a good time. Are you ready?

Friday and Saturday planned entertainment ends at 10pm, but that does not mean you have to go home. After some Ottawa fine dining, turn to Heritage Harbor in Ottawa to soothe tired feet and prepare yourself for another day of adventure. Their state of the art marina has more than 450 boat slips. For those staying the weekend, pick up anything you need 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. Plan your getaway today.

Schedule a stay Heritage Harbor to indulge in luxurious living surrounded by restorative natural beauty. This naturalists’ bird-watching spot lies along the Starved Rock Pool of the Illinois River but is also only 90 minutes from downtown Chicago. Isn’t it time that you treated yourself? The Ottawa 2 Rivers Wine Festival and Heritage Harbor awaits.

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

Check us out on YouTube

We want to invite you to visit our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/HeritageHarborOttawa . You can see our Homes, our Marina, and learn about the Adventure Lifestyle available at Heritage Harbor Ottawa.

If you love waterfront homes, vacation homes, boating and endless activities…you will love Heritage Harbor. If you have visited New Buffalo, Lake Geneva, Galena or other vacation communities, we invite you to come to beautiful Starved Rock country. You can spend a weekend, spend the summer or stay for a permanent vacation.

Make Heritage Harbor Ottawa home port for your next great adventure!

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