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A Cottage Getaway at Heritage Harbor on the Illinois River

Last weekend hubby and I took a mini vacation to a cottage getaway on the Illinois River. There’s a small resort by the name of Heritage Harbor that has plenty of charm, activities, and beautiful homes. It’s only an hour away from our house which makes it perfect for a quick trip. We stayed in a quaint cottage called Captain’s Quarters and I hope you’ll enjoy touring it with me today.

Captain's Quarters at Heritage Harbor - rental cottage getaway


Heritage Harbor has several vacation cottages for rent at anytime of the year. The homes are close together, much like the city of Chicago. The vibe is casual, relaxed, peaceful, and quiet. Our little cottage was perfect for the two of us. A charming screened-in porch greeted us when we arrived.

Screened summer porch


We enjoyed spending a little time out here chatting and listening to the birds sing.

A pair of rattan chairs on a screened porch


You can see our view of the river from the porch. The 273-mile-long Illinois River is a principal tributary to the Mississippi River. It’s very scenic and boats head down the river from the Chicago suburbs to Heritage Harbor in Ottawa.

Small bench on a screened porch with view of the Illinois River


In the morning, we brought our coffee down to the river, sat on the dock, and watched boats go by.

Dock on the Illinois River


Jeremiah Joe Coffee has some of the best coffee in Illinois. If you’re ever in Ottawa, be sure to stop by and get a brew or two.

Jeremiah Joe Coffee


I can’t think of a better way to start the day. Although sitting on the river enjoying coffee reminded me of having my morning coffee by my pond. There’s just something about being by scenic water that gets your day off to a good start.

Boat on the Illinois River at Heritage Harbor


Back to our cottage getaway – step inside Captain’s Quarters to enjoy its pretty interior spaces, decorated in a coastal theme. On the left side of the main living space is a small sectional with a fireplace and television.

Small house with cozy living room


You’ll also find this small table in the corner, with the patio through the sliding doors.

small dinette with stools in a cottage getaway


You’ll find the kitchen on the right side of the main living area. The kitchen is equipped with dishes and cooking items.

small kitchen in a cottage vacation rental


small kitchen in a cottage vacation rental


Here’s another view of the main living space. A narrow ladder leads to a sleeping loft with a porthole window. Look carefully and you’ll see my hubby out on the screened porch.

Small house living room with sleeping loft


In addition to the sleeping loft is a bedroom with a queen sized bed.

blue and white bedroom in a cottage getaway on the Illinois River


The bathroom is small but all we needed for a weekend cottage getaway.

blue and white coastal style bathroom


Captain’s Quarters can sleep four people. It was perfect for our weekend escape. I think it’s important to spend time reconnecting and for us, getting away from home is a great way to do that.

Small house living room with sleeping loft


Although the cottage getaway had a full kitchen, we didn’t spend anytime cooking. Heritage Harbor has its own restaurant, the Red Dog Grill, which was just a short walk away.

Red Dog Grill in Ottawa, Illinois


Look how cute the inside of the restaurant is!

Red Dog Grill in Ottawa, Illinois


Lucky for me, they had Sangria and yummy ceviche.

Sangria and Ceviche at Red Dog Grill


Outside is a cute little tiki bar.

Tiki Bar at Red Dog Grill


Next to the Red Dog Grill is the harbor where boats can dock. I imagine some of the suburbanites drive their boats down the Illinois River to Heritage Harbor and spend the weekend. There are several vacation rentals but some of the houses are privately owned.


Boats at Heritage Harbor in Ottawa, Illinois


Also on site is a the marina office with a small convenience store and a place to rent pontoon boats, fishing boats, and jet skis. Heritage Harbor also has a pool for your use. The smaller Quackerdeck is for the local ducks!

Quarterdeck convenience store at Heritage Harbor


We’re already planning another trip to Heritage Harbor with the rest of the family. We’ll rent a few of the cottages to accommodate everyone. It’s a great place to visit.


See More Vacation Ideas:

New Wisconsin Farmhouse Tour – Vacation Rental

Our Glamping Yurt Vacation

Summer Vacation in Saugatuck, Michigan

Visiting Historic Ferndale, California

Colorful Airstream Camper Makeover



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