Friday, July 30, 2010

Life on the Illinois River

The Illinois River is not only a working river, but a wonderful place to play, offering more than you might think.

The waterway is heavily used by barges' transporting bulk goods, but it is also a wonderful recreation area. The beautiful shoreline, sand beaches, rock cliffs (including Starved Rock and Buffalo Rock State Parks), hideaways and multiple food & beverage destinations.

This historic river defines our community and at Heritage Harbor Ottawa we take pride in the opportunities the Illinois River has to offer. It has served as the main artery for life in this part of Illinois. As one of the hottest fishing destinations in the Midwest the Illinois River has numerous species abound, especially bass, walleye, sauger & catfish.
Several species of migrating waterfowl and other wildlife make their home in the wetland and forest habitats along its banks.

The waters of the Illinois River are a great place to watch the changing seasons and enjoy the brilliant autumn colors, and it forms part of a modern waterway that connects the Great Lakes at Chicago to the Mississippi River

Heritage Harbor Marina
is the perfect place to access the Illinois River and start your next great adventure. Whether it is a day trip along our local waters or cruising the Great Loop , life on the water can offer an adventure like no other.

The Adventure Lifestyle awaits you in the heart of Starved Rock Country at Heritage Harbor Ottawa.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Venetian Night 2010

Venetian Night, is modeled after the boat parades in Venice, Italy, and our 2nd annual Venetian Night Celebration is shaping up to be even bigger than last year. Hundreds of spectators from all around the state will attend and delight in the lighted boat parade as the sun sets on the Illinois River.

Heritage Harbor Marina invites you to participate in our annual boating celebration either by decorating your boat or by simply attending and enjoying the view. This year “Decades of Lights” theme is sure to be a spectacular sight.

The weekend will kick off with a Captain’s Dinner on Friday and Saturday will have food, entertainment and a harbor full of decorated boats.

Amenities such as entertainment and special events are just another facet of the Adventure Lifestyle available only at Heritage Harbor Ottawa.

Come join the festivities as a spectator or as a participant, either way a good time promises to be had by all.

The Adventure Lifestyle awaits you at Heritage Harbor Ottawa

Wakeboarding comes to Starved Rock Country

While at Heritage Harbor Ottawa you are only minutes away from any number of different types of sports,events, and festivals,
The sport of wakeboarding is growing in popularity and Heritage Harbor Ottawa along with the Illinois River are perfect for living your next great adventure.

Wakeboarding is a surface water sport which involves riding a wakeboard over the surface of a body of water. It was developed from a combination of water skiing, snow boarding and surfing techniques. Wakeboarding is more than simply staying up and riding on the surface. Riders eventually learn to use edging techniques, learning to move outside of the wake or cut rapidly in toward the wake. Jumps are performed by hitting the wake and launching into the air.

Wakeboard Chicago has partnered with Skydive Chicago to provide a place for those who seek an adrenaline rush like no other. Located on the private sports resort at Skydive Chicago, Wakeboard Chicago has the perfect combination skilled instruction and a comfortable feel that you won’t find anywhere else. Professional instructors give each student individual attention and teach at the level of the student. On land instruction is especially helpful to those who have never tried this sport. Wakeboarding can take more than a few attempts to get the hang of and that is why safe, professional, skilled instruction is so important.

Wakeboard Chicago is a safe, fun introduction to the sport of wakeboarding for anyone age 10 and over. Lessons include training, equipment, and launches from a private dock.

Call for a one on one instruction or set up a group outing. Whether you are just learning the sport or just want to improve Wakeboard Chicago can provide the ride of your life.

Wakeboarding is a great Adventure Lifestyle sport for those who like the adrenaline rush. The feel of being pulled behind a boat, speeding down the river, with your legs strapped to a board is not for the faint of heart.
But once you try it, you’re hooked!

At Heritage Harbor Ottawa the Adventure Lifestyle awaits you in the heart of Starved Rock Country.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Walt Willey

What does it say about a community that becomes such an important part of who you are that when you make it “Big” you always find a reason to come back?

Ottawa native Walt Willey made a return appearance to Ottawa’s Riverfest Celebration July 23-25, staring in a production of Arsenic and Old Lace at the Ottawa High School Auditorium.

Community Theater is one of Walt’s passions and having one in his home town is a project that Walt has been working on for some time now.

Although Walt is best known for playing Jackson Montgomery on the soap opera All My Children, a role he originated in 1987. There are many different aspects to the Ottawa native. His stand up comedy routine is very different from the character he plays on the daytime drama, has been performed locally, and hopefully will be again sometime soon.

Additionally Walt is very involved with both local and national charity organizations and has created the WilleyWorld Endowment Fund which gifts children’s charities and services.

During the 2010 Riverfest performance of Arsenic and Old Lace the Ottawa Native has chosen to Call Heritage Harbor Ottawa his home away from home.

With the picturesque view of the water, the adventures available just outside the door, and the beautiful homes, who wouldn’t want to call Heritage Harbor Ottawa your own home port?

Coming home to Starved Rock Country is always something to look forward to.

The Adventure Lifestyle in the heart of Starved Rock County awaits you at Heritage Harbor Ottawa.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


River Games 2010 was a great day on the water. With temperature in the high 90’s the Illinois River was the place to be.

Free wakeboarding pulls were the event of the day and the professionals gave instructions to those who were willing to give the sport of wakeboarding a try.

Never heard of wakeboarding?

Well, wakeboarding is a surface water sport which involves riding a wakeboard over the surface of a body of water. It was developed from a combination of water skiing, snow boarding and surfing techniques.

On land instruction was helpful to those who have never tried it but didn’t always end up with the desired result. This sport can take more than a few attempts to get the hang of.
One first timer had to give it several attempts before he was able to ride the water.

Heritage Harbor Ottawa and Quest Watersports partnered for this annual event and it was a big hit with all who attended.

Wakeboarding is a great Adventure Lifestyle sport for those who like the adrenaline rush. The feel of being pulled behind a boat, speeding down the river, with your legs strapped to a board is not for the faint of heart. But once you try it, you’re hooked!

The Adventure Lifestyle in the heart of Starved Rock Country awaits you at Heritage Harbor Ottawa

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Honey Lets Eat!

Ever want to try a new restaurant in the area but unsure of what is available?

A new service called is an online resource for local restaurant menus and deals.

All of the contact information, hours, payment options, reservation recommendations and special features for each restaurant are listed right along side of their menu! also offers monthly contests to win gift cards to area restaurants! What a great way to try a new place while you are vacationing at Heritage Harbor Ottawa or spending the day at the Marina.

Just sign up and begin to receive special offers to your inbox or find on Facebook, either way you will be receiving exclusive deals!

So the next time you hear someone say “Honey lets eat out” be adventurous and try something different, a coupon is a great excuse to dine outside your comfort zone.The website offers a variety of options to choose from.

If you are unsure of what you are in the mood for check out the home page where you can choose from a variety of restaurant options, get menus, or get inspired. Click on a restaurant, view the menu and sometimes Honey’s Pick will give you a special or recommend a specific item or entrĂ©e.

This service is a great way to try a new place or just save on your favorites, visit the website, sign up now, and start receiving the best restaurant advice and savings in the heart of Starved Rock Country.

The Adventure Lifestyle in the heart of Starved Rock Country awaits you at Heritage Harbor Ottawa

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Dog Days of Summer

Heritage Harbor Ottawa welcomes you and your family to a resort that is truly pet friendly.

Many of our boaters bring the entire family including the dog along for a day on the water.

We understand that pets can and usually are more like a member of the family.
Therefore, Heritage Harbor Marina has set pet friendly policies that allow for everyone’s enjoyment.

So bring Rover and the rest of the family to Heritage Harbor Marina and enjoy the dog days of summer before they pass you by.

Your Adventure Lifestyle in the Heart of Starved Rock Country awaits at Heritage Harbor Ottawa

Friday, July 9, 2010

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Ever think of your life as if it were homework?

We all have checklists of things that need to or that should be accomplished before the end of the day, the week, the month, the summer.

Remember being asked about what you did on your summer vacation? It was a time to recall the adventures you had dared to explore, and the time you spent with family and friends. Retelling the story allowed you to relive the glory and the fun.
Ahhh… the good old days when adventure was expected and doing things because it was fun was what filled your days.

Who say’s that the adventure has to end! Your life is what you make it and if you want to put adventure back into it then Heritage Harbor Ottawa can help you find your bliss.

Our location in the heart of Starved Rock Country can give you access to a multitude of things to do that will ignite a spark within you and allow you and your family to make great memories.Just think of all the new stories you will have to share if you started living the life you always wanted!

Your Adventure Lifestyle awaits at Heritage Harbor Ottawa.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Quality of Life

Heritage Harbor Ottawa, a Premier Marina Resort Community asks if you are looking to improve your quality of life, we have the waterfront property you are looking for.

Our single-family cottages, row homes and waterfront condominiums are designed for a lifetime of maintenance- free ease and beauty at the water's edge.

With scenic riverfront properties and a world-class full-service marina in the heart Starved Rock Country, Heritage Harbor has a home design that offers the amenities that will encourage you to embrace your adventurous spirit and find your bliss.

Heritage Harbor Ottawa offers life on the water in a home that fits your budget but more importantly your lifestyle. Whether you are looking for a vacation home or a year round residence, our premier resort community has new home designs that will allow you to experience the Adventure Lifestyle that you have always dreamed of.

Heritage Harbor Ottawa is located in the midst of some of the most beautiful gifts Mother Nature has to offer. The Illinois River waterway, the majesty of Starved Rock Country, and the peacefulness of a small community, with hidden treasures that cannot be found in large urban areas or even other parts of the country.

So, if you believe that life is something to be enjoyed not simply endured, ask yourself how does one measure the quality of life? At Heritage Harbor Ottawa we believe it to be in the memories you have made, the family and friends you have surrounded yourself with, and the adventures you have taken.

Come for a visit and experience all Heritage Harbor has to offer because we believe you will want to stay for a lifetime.

The Adventure Lifestyle awaits you at Heritage Harbor Ottawa

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Birthday America

The holiday weekend was amazing at Heritage Harbor Marina.

The marina was buzzing with activity early Friday as everyone headed in for the long holiday weekend. The weather was perfect Friday night for a nice cruise along the river then dinner at Crawdad’s.

Saturday’s sunshine allowed for the kids to enjoy the family fun games; the water balloon toss was a big hit, and laughter could be heard throughout the Marina as the kids participated in the potato sack races. A good time was had by all.

For those who sought a different type of water experience the hot sun made it the perfect time for a dip in the pool.

The Illinois River was the ultimate place to watch several of the area fireworks displays both Saturday and Sunday nights. There is no better seat in the house than the one from your boat to watch fireworks that are set off on the river.

Stay tuned to learn more about the Adventure Lifestyle available at Heritage Harbor Ottawa.

Friday, July 2, 2010

River Games 2010

River Games 2010 is confirmed for JULY 16-18, 2010.

After a hugely successful inaugural event in 2009, River Games Returns to Heritage Harbor Ottawa! Co-sponsored by, Quest Watersports and Chicago MasterCraft, participants are expected to number in the hundreds again – out for free pulls behind MasterCraft boats, camping, food, fun, and an end-of-day “Air and Water” show.

The die-hards arrive Friday evening and either camp on site at Heritage Harbor, stay in the marina on their boats, or live it up aboard a luxury cruiser via Heritage Harbor’s “Boat and Breakfast” program. Ski, wake and surf coaching and pulls are the main activity through the afternoon on Saturday – along with great food & beverages provided by Crawdad’s Bar & Grill.
The day’s activities are launched from a floating platform anchored off Heritage Harbor’s east peninsula, which supports a constant flow of participants cycling onto several MasterCraft boats underway throughout the day. The backdrop is a gorgeous, unspoiled stretch of the Illinois Waterway bounded by trees and stone cliffs.

Riders young and old as groups and families enjoy this fantastic event – whether a first timer, new to the sports or seasoned vets looking to push the envelope just a bit more. A live radio remote, local news film crew and a few photographers are expected to be on hand to document the event again this year for general press and sport specific outlets.

Saturday afternoon's emceed show will start with a skydive exhibition courtesy of and closes with some serious double-ups, and included shoreline passes by the regions best athletes showing everything in between, from barefoot tricks to wake surfing. After, a DJ’d gathering campfire side and at Crawdad’s for the overnighters who stick around for more great weather on Sunday.

Come camp Friday through Sunday or make it out for the big Day Saturday July 17 starting at 10am, 1988 N. 2753rd Road, Ottawa, IL 61350

Stay tuned to learn more about the Adventure Lifestyle available at Heritage Harbor Ottawa.

A Greener Lifestyle

It doesn’t get much Greener than Ottawa's Old Town Farmers Market!

As part of a healthier active lifestyle, Ottawa’s Old Town Farmers Market is a local favorite. The farmer’s market is a tradition in Starved Rock Country as an important part of the agricultural heritage of the community; they are also a great source of sustainably grown food. The food is fresher than most anything in the supermarket and that means it is tastier and more nutritious.
Locally grown produce and goods are sold directly to the consumer at a Farmers Market; therefore, it saves fossil fuels making it a greener alternative. Ottawa’s Old Town Farmers Market is also a good way for our visitors to sample local foods and learn about our local community.
Ottawa's Old Town Farmers Market is a wonderful place to purchase freshly grown vegetables, home baked goods, jams and jellies, dog treats, and even hand made crafts. So why not make the Ottawa’s Old Town Farmers Market a part of your weekend at Heritage Harbor. You can dock your boat or park the car near downtown Ottawa and go explore the many things offered in this amazing community.
Starved Rock Country offers more than just beautiful scenery; our home invites a sense of community and a warm neighborly feeling.

Ottawa’s Old Town Farmer’s market is held in downtown Ottawa every Saturday from May 8th - October 30th from 8:00 am - 12:30 pm.

Enjoy an Adventure Lifestyle at Heritage Harbor Ottawa

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Time to Celebrate !

Kick off the holiday weekend at Heritage Harbor Ottawa. The marina will be alive with activities starting with good food, drinks, and friends at Crawdad’s Bar & Grill on Friday Night.

Boaters can take advantage of our beautiful Marina which prides itself on our first class customer service including personal concierge services and docks unlike any in the area.

Take the boat out on the beautiful Illinois River Saturday and enjoy Heritage Harbor’s private island, or dock downtown Ottawa and take a stroll through the Farmer’s Market early Saturday morning from 8am - 12:30pm

Saturday is defiantly a day for the family at Heritage Harbor Ottawa. Starting at 2 pm there will be games that encourage family interaction reminiscent of days gone by. Challenge the kids to a water balloon toss and get revenge for all the times they “pretend” they can’t hear you. There will be potato sack races, an egg toss, and sand volleyball.The fun goes all day long; Bag Shot Row will be playing great music from 7:30-11:30 pm.

The Heritage Harbor Pool is now open and memberships are still available for the whole family, so bring the suits and take a swim. Enjoy the benefits of a private pool that include less crowding, poolside food and beverage service from crawdad’s, private shower/changing areas, and a view that takes your breath away.

On Sunday you can spend the day on the water, the Illinois River which has access to both Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River so you are not limited to short range cruising is a great place to spend your holiday weekend with family and friends.
Enjoy the Fireworks display right from the boat on the Illinois River in downtown Ottawa. The show starts at dusk (around 9 pm) and a treat for kids of all ages, even the big ones.

No need to travel to Lake Geneva, New Buffalo, or Galena for a great adventure this weekend, come home to Heritage Harbor Ottawa where the Adventure Lifestyle is our specialty!