“There’s so much to enjoy both at the resort and in the surrounding area during the winter months,”
Homeowners and visitors know Heritage Harbor to be a winter wonderland with cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, winter fishing, holiday events, festivals and more just outside their door.
With so much negative news in the press, it can be hard to know what news to trust. Believe what you will, what we know here at Heritage Harbor is that there have been record sales on homes and vacation rentals this year. Many people are deciding to retire and settle down close to family, and that means staying in-state. At just 90 minutes from downtown Chicago, Heritage Harbor and Starved Rock Country are a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.Read More
“See why people are flocking to Heritage Harbor – The Hidden Gem of the Midwest”
An ideal day looks unique for different people; however, there are a few key underlying elements that tend to be similar. At the heart of what people are drawn to are the lifegiving aspects of connection, nature, and living an active life full of purpose. A life lived with passion and purpose is attractive, inspiring, and highly sought-after. A quick 90-minute drive leads you from the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago to the refreshing waterfront community of Heritage Harbor in the heart of Starved Rock Country. We recognize what your soul is searching for and can’t wait to share the Harbor Life with you!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!
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!
This is so exciting! Welcome to Southern Charm II! This beautiful 2-story home offers 1,000 square feet of living space. It features charming cottage style architecture with an inviting front porch. Inside you will find an open plan with 9’ ceilings on the first floor, stainless steel kitchen appliances, 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and designer plumbing fixtures. Outdoor living spaces include a porch off the living room and a balcony off the master bedroom.
This lovely home is in Heritage Harbor’s newest neighborhood, The Villas at Heron’s Landing. This quaint neighborhood will feature just 31 cottage homes. Each home will have the pleasure of water views, either of the Harbor or the Illinois River.
Call (815) 433-5000 or visit our website to schedule a Dusty Boots Tour today!
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.
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
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.
“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.
Custom cottages at Heritage Harbor Ottawa
If you are thinking of investing in a second home, small considerations can mean all the difference between a vacation property that’s good for the long haul versus one that seems like a good deal now, but turns out to not be the right fit. Work through these criteria to narrow down your options before you buy.
“Location, location, location” is a catchphrase for a reason. If your vacation home is too far away, you’ll put off going there due to travel time. Yet if it’s in the next town over, it might not feel like you’ve really “gotten away” from your day to day life.
When you’re considering buying a second home, it can be easy to underestimate the time you’ll spend getting to your destination. On Friday nights and holiday weekends, it can seem like everyone who works or lives in Chicago is trying to get out of town. This can mean long car rides just trying to get to a second home you purchased.
Over time, you may find yourself opting to stay in town for the weekend because you don’t want to spend 3+ hours in traffic again. If you really want a second home you’ll return to time and again, look for places that are under two hours from the city.
An ideal location near Chicago means less time in the car compared with driving to rural Michigan or Wisconsin. There are great places to be found right under your nose just a short drive from the city. Starved Rock Country is a quick 90 minutes from Chicago, and is fill of hidden gems like Heritage Harbor, a marina resort located in Ottawa, IL.
In the long run, you’ll want a second home that’s near amenities, so you can have fun exploring a new area. When friends or relatives come visit, they’ll want to join in the fun, too!
Look for a community that’s close to multiple dining options so you have variety while allowing convenient access to nature, history, and children’s activities. Ottawa has a great dining scene, with new restaurants popping up regularly. Starved Rock State Park is close by for year-round recreation, along with other fun activities such as zip lining, sky diving, hiking, biking, and more.
Heritage Harbor Marina
3. Boating Lifestyle
If you want a second home that allows for fishing and boating, you must consider the quality of the boating lifestyle in the place you’re considering.
Boating opportunities are numerous in the Chicago area but offer different lifestyle propositions. If you typically fish or boat on a lake but you’re thinking about getting a riverfront property, rent a weekend cabin on the river first as a way to confirm the decision is right for you.
For marina communities, investigate the quality, age, and ease of access to amenities onsite. Will you be sharing facilities with the public, or only with other property owners? Determine what costs are associated with marina usage before you make any property decisions. Never assume that you will be able to access something for free; always find out to compare available properties.
Rental options can be handy if you don’t have a boat. Seasonal boat rentals offset expenditures and enable you to enjoy all the conveniences of boat ownership without assuming the expense of boat ownership, maintenance, and seasonal storage.
Ask how long the boating season is at any communities you like. Water and weather conditions vary, but can mean a difference in as much as 1-2 months from one body of water to another. If boating is the main reason you’re looking for a vacation home, season length is key.
While you’re exploring any boating communities, you’re thinking of joining, get to know the locals. Find out if there are social events, from neighborhood block parties to fireworks festivals. A community that’s friendly and inclusive will be a lot easier to join than a marina that’s standoffish or suffers regular churn.
As a final factor in evaluating the boating options, consider potential boating destinations. If you pick a lakefront option, you are limited to the lake. Even if it’s a huge lake, you could tire of spending every Saturday exploring the same shorefront. A river offers somewhat more flexibility, especially if nearby riverfront towns have summer music festivals, waterfront dining, and more.
Heritage Harbor custom cottage with river views
4. Home Design
Once you’ve narrowed down the communities that are best for you, hone in on the homes. What designs are offered, and what meets your lifestyle?
An ideal community will offer different home plans and designs that allow you to select the best option for your budget, personal preferences, and more.
Does the home have a deck, patio, or other outdoor space that allows you to enjoy the sunset over the water? Are there outdoor amenities, storage space, or privacy screens from the neighbors?
Inside, is the space adequate for you, your family, and guests? Flexible lofts or dens allow you to accommodate extra guests.
For a second home, buying into a place that’s part of a homeowner’s association or HOA might make sense. If you only get to your second home one or two times a month, you’ll find that maintenance tasks claim your attention. A strong HOA will take care of common maintenance tasks, so you can just enjoy your home.
5. Financial Considerations
Make your final decision on what property is right by reviewing your budget and the finances.
Crunch the numbers for HOA fees, flood insurance, boat rental, dock fees and other variables to arrive at the true cost of ownership.
With something like a second home on the water, it’s important to consider the add-ons that you get. Waterfront access boosts your enjoyment of the home, but also the money you could get from renting it out to others and from reselling it years from now.
As you work through these five criteria, you can identify the right location for your second home, find the perfect community, and budget for the expense.