“ We bought a home the first weekend we rented at Heritage Harbor”

Mark and Nancy Rinaldi weren’t in the market for a vacation home.  The St. Charles couple have a vacation home in Florida that, with Mark’s demanding work schedule, they do not use as much as they’d like.  However, after seeing an advertisement in a local magazine, they decided to rent a cottage at Heritage Harbor in Ottawa.  

“We bought a home the first weekend we rented at Heritage Harbor,” Nancy Rinaldi said.  “The marina, the river, the peaceful, rural area and all the amenities- we just fell in love with it.  We’re a little over an hour from home so we can use it all the time. We are there almost every weekend, can go for just one night and can easily enjoy it year-round unlike our home in Florida.”   

Just 90 minutes from Chicago in Ottawa’s Starved Rock Country, Heritage Harbor Resort is situated along the Illinois River and features a state-of-the-art 152-slip marina as well as several distinct neighborhoods, including villas, cottages, low-maintenance single-family homes and luxury, custom residences.  The community also features the Red Dog Grill Restaurant, Tiki bar and beach as well numerous neighborhood clubhouses and swimming pools. 

“We bought a three-bedroom cottage with endless windows that offers an outstanding view from every angle,” Nancy said.  “Two of the bedrooms face the river and one the marina.  The open concept kitchen and family room make entertaining easy and we added a large deck that extends our possibilities and offers breathtaking views.”   

The Rinaldi’s and their daughters are water sport enthusiasts, so it did not take long for the family to purchase a boat.  While summer is alive with activity at Heritage Harbor, Nancy says they enjoy year-round activities and adventure. 

“We enjoy boat rides down the river to see the fall leaves changing or watch the eagle’s nesting,” Nancy said.  “The community director has special Halloween events planned, such as hayrides and bonfires, and there are nearby pumpkin farms, apple picking and opportunities to explore Starved Rock.” 

 Our Holiday Farm in Ottawa, Dollinger Family Farm in Channahon and Eric’s Pumpkin Patch in Streator offer pumpkin picking while Boggio’s Apple Orchard in Granville, Edward’s Apple Orchard in Winnebago and Prairie Sky Orchard in Union offer apple picking as well as apple cider, donuts and other treats.  Starved Rock hosts a myriad of activities such as the Sunset Equinox hike, 24th Starved Rock Incredible bats exhibition, Ghosts of Starved Rock Past and Winter Solstice hike. 

Historic downtown Ottawa features a selection of palate-pleasing restaurants, shops, boutiques and hosts a weekly Farmer’s Market in Washington Square through October, fall color weekend October 17th, 36th annual car show, festival of lights parade, Redick Mansion candlelight holiday tours and Chris Kringle Market.  

In addition to all there is to do in the area, Heritage Harbor is across the street from the 62-mile I & M Canal Biking trail and includes several community parks, including the River Run Dog Park.  The on-site activity director also plans year-round activities for residents and guests to enjoy, such as live music on weekends, special neighborhood events and holiday gatherings as well as craft and cooking classes, organized group tours, and the weekly, Saturday 5K walk and run

“The minute we pull into Heritage Harbor our blood pressure goes down and we feel like we’re on vacation,” Nancy said.  “You don’t feel like you’re in Illinois but that you’ve escaped to somewhere far from home.” 

Buyers interested in starting their Heritage Harbor adventure this fall can choose from a diverse selection of housing options, including low-maintenance homes in the Boat House neighborhood.  Priced from the $299,000 to $375,000, these homes range from 975 to 1,700 square feet in size with the option to add a finished walkout lower level that adds 975 square feet to the ranch plan and 850 square feet to the two-story. Additional highlights include two or three bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, charming front and back porches, open concept island kitchens and living rooms, owner’s suites with private baths, finished lower levels with recreation room, full bathroom, bedroom, storage and covered deck.   

Buyers may also choose from single-family ranch, two-story and first-floor master bedroom cottages in the established West Peninsula neighborhood ranging from 1,490 to over 2,290 square feet in size with two to four bedrooms, two to four baths, charming front porches, guest suites, second floor bunk rooms, optional basements and attached or detached garages.  Pinnacle Pointe, a newly introduced waterfront neighborhood with its own pool and clubhouse, offers luxury ranch and two-story designs priced from the $550s to over $1 million or buyers may choose to purchase a homesites and use their own builder. Homes range from 1,705 to over 3,512 square feet in size with three or four bedrooms, two to 3 ½ baths and two-car garages. Homes may include open concept kitchen and family rooms, screened porches, finished walkout basements, guest suites and decks.  

Interested homebuyers can learn more through the ‘Live Like a Homeowner’ Discovery Package currently available at Heritage Harbor.  The package includes a two-night stay for two adults and two children under 21 in a cottage, $50 gift card for the Red Dog Grill, private tour and customized Starved Rock experience for $249.   

Heritage Harbor is located at 111 Harbor View Drive in Ottawa. Please call (815) 433-5000 Ext. 1 to preschedule a one-on-one appointment or email tammyb@heritageharborottawa.com. Enjoy a virtual drive-through of the community by visiting  www.visitheritageharbor.com

Whatever you choose to do, we are certain you will enjoy living the Harbor Life.  We love to hear from you! Share your favorite Harbor Happenings with us, and tag us in your photos #HeritageHarborOttawa  #MyHarborSummer

It’s the Harbor Life, and we can’t wait to welcome YOU! Comment Below…