Try Before You Buy a New Vacation Home at Heritage Harbor in Starved Rock Country

Try Before You Buy a New Vacation Home at Heritage Harbor in Starved Rock Country

When buying a vacation home, it is just as important to fall in love with the surrounding area as it is to love your new home. Surrounded by Starved Rock Country, we are confident that you will love the location. Now, for those in the market for a new vacation home, it’s even possible to “try before you buy” at Heritage Harbor, a marina resort community in Starved Rock Country.

Located in Ottawa, Ill., just 90 minutes southwest of Chicago, Heritage Harbor is a 142-acre master-planned development of single-family homes, townhomes, vacation cottages, carriage homes and villas, centered on a 32-acre harbor and full-service marina. With its offering of boating amenities, waterfront living, and nearby recreational opportunities such as Starved Rock State Park and the I&M Canal Trail, the community offers a resort lifestyle for those seeking a vacation, retirement or full-time residence in this region.

“Purchasing a new home is a significant investment, so it’s understandable that buyers want to be comfortable with the home they’ve selected and feel confident in their decision before they close,” says Tammy Barry, director of sales for Heritage Harbor. “Harbor Inn vacation rentals, our on-site management program, allows homeowners to make their homes available for short-term rentals, giving prospective buyers the opportunity to spend time in one of our homes experiencing the lifestyle they’ll enjoy at Heritage Harbor for themselves.”

According to Barry, the appeal of “test driving” the community with a stay in one of several one- and two-bedroom rental cottages at Heritage Harbor is two-fold. First, it allows buyers to get the lay of the land in the community as well as the surrounding area. This includes discovering where the closest grocery store is, exploring local restaurants, shopping and recreational amenities, and experiencing the atmosphere of the community itself.

“Particularly with a vacation or second home, you want to make sure the personality and energy of the location matches how you want to spend your free time,” says Barry. “By spending a weekend – or more – with us, potential homeowners can stroll around the community and the harbor at different times of day to get a feel for the activity level, visit our on-site restaurant to check out the vibe there, and even have the chance to meet future neighbors and talk to them about their experience in the community.”

Secondly, staying in a rental cottage in the community allows prospective residents an insider experience of the Harbor Life. “While we offer many different housing types as well as the opportunity to work with us to build a fully custom home, staying in a rental property here gives interested buyers a feel for our floor plans as well as the trending finishes. Buyers can begin to visualize the style and features they would most like in their own home.”

While staying at Heritage Harbor as rental guests, prospective buyers will be able to sample on-site and area amenities. Depending on the time of year, they can enjoy the community’s full-service marina and access to the Illinois River for watersports and fishing, on-site kayak and paddle board rental, Harbor Walk, three swimming pools, outdoor fire pits and grilling areas, Tiki Bar, and on-site restaurant The Red Dog Grill. During the winter months, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snow shoeing offer opportunities to enjoy the area’s natural setting. Other activities in Starved Rock Country include hiking at nearby Starved Rock State Park, Buffalo Rock State Park and Matthiessen State Park, biking and walking on the I&M Canal Trail, eagle watching, skydiving at nearby Skydive Chicago, and shopping and dining in historic downtown Ottawa.

Heritage Harbor’s full-service marina can accommodate up to 450 wet slips. Open April 1 through October 31, the marina is equipped with a dual boat launch area, single-load floating docks, WiFi, fresh water, cable service, a full-service fuel dock, pump-out services, and car and trailer parking. Quest Water Sports’ Quest Express boating membership is available on-site, giving participants access to a fleet of boating equipment for an annual fee.

Heritage Harbor currently offers a variety of homes at a range of price points, including vacation cottages and carriage homes priced from $220,000, immediate-delivery villas priced from $345,000, and custom single-family home sites are available priced from $90,000.

The Harbor Inn vacation rentals at Heritage Harbor offers one- and two-bedroom cottages, with rates ranging from $139 to $229 per night and sleep from 4 to 11 people.

For those interested in experiencing the harbor life, we have a great ‘Live Like a Homeowner’ package. Packages start at Just $249.