More than Skydiving in Ottawa, IL: Exploring the Hidden Gems

Nestled along the banks of the Illinois and Fox rivers lies the picturesque town of Ottawa, Illinois. While Ottawa may or may not be known for its adrenaline-pumping skydiving experiences, there’s a treasure trove of attractions waiting to be discovered beyond the thrill of free-falling from the sky. From breathtaking natural wonders to culinary delights and family-friendly activities, Ottawa offers something for everyone.

Skydive Chicago Airport, aerial view of property and facilities

Just a short drive from Ottawa, Starved Rock State Park beckons nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. This majestic park boasts towering sandstone bluffs, cascading waterfalls, and miles of scenic hiking trails. Whether you’re embarking on a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike, the panoramic views from atop the bluffs are sure to leave you in awe.

For a unique way to explore the charming town of Utica and its surrounding countryside, consider renting an eBike from Utica EBikes. Glide along scenic pathways at your own pace, soaking in the sights and sounds of the Illinois Valley. With electric assistance, you can effortlessly traverse rolling hills and picturesque landscapes, making it an ideal activity for visitors of all ages.

starved rock ebikes, utica IL

After a day of adventure, satisfy your hunger with a delectable meal at one of Ottawa’s top eateries. From cozy cafes to upscale dining establishments, the culinary scene in Ottawa offers something to tantalize every palate. Some notable restaurants include:

  • The Lone Buffalo: Known for its craft beers and mouth watering burgers, The Lone Buffalo is a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
  • Court Street Pub A downtown delight with delicious food, an extensive drink selection and lively atmosphere offering a range of pub classics and creative dishes.
  • B.A.S.H. (Beer, Art, Steak, & Hops): Offering a unique blend of art, craft beer, and culinary excellence, B.A.S.H. is a must-visit for those seeking a one-of-a-kind dining experience in Ottawa.
downtown Ottawa, IL

Take to the waterways and explore the beauty of the Illinois and Fox rivers. Whether you prefer kayaking, canoeing, or paddleboarding, there are plenty of opportunities for aquatic adventures in Ottawa. Cast a line and try your luck at fishing, or simply sit back and enjoy a leisurely cruise along the river, taking in the serene surroundings.

For those seeking a fun-filled getaway, look no further than Grand Bear Resort. Nestled amidst the lush forests of Starved Rock State Park, this family-friendly resort offers a variety of amenities and activities for guests of all ages. From indoor water parks and outdoor adventure courses to cozy accommodations and dining options, Grand Bear Resort provides the perfect home base for your Ottawa excursion.

Grand Bear Resort Starved Rock, IL

While Ottawa may be renowned for our skydiving center (fondly dubbed the Mecca of Skydiving… yeah, we love that term), the town and its surrounding areas offer a wealth of attractions and experiences waiting to be explored. Whether you’re immersing yourself in nature at Starved Rock State Park, indulging in delicious cuisine at local eateries, or embarking on outdoor adventures along the rivers, Ottawa promises an unforgettable journey for all who visit. So, pack your bags, and prepare to discover the hidden gems of this charming Illinois town.


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