Now the journey is part of the destination . . . While driving the Illinois River Road, you’ll be immersed in the rich cultural and archaeological history of Native Americans, French explorers, American settlers, and immigrants who were drawn here by the river valley’s abundant natural resources and who built their lives and communities from the land and river. Ottawa is the first of the seven gateways offering spectactular river bluff views, wildlife, history, and many outdoor recreational adventures! Shop our unique boutiques, dine at our locally owned restaurants and experience our history!