Welcome to Ottawa, Illinois

Ottawa, Illinois is a small town where big things are happening. Whether you've come to visit or to stay, the community is filled with historic landmarks to see, parks to explore, and numerous events that bring the community together like one big family.

Ottawa's rich history is weaved throughout the city. The site of the historic Lincoln-Douglas Debates is commemorated at Washington Square Park. A boulder and plaque mark the spot where the first of the seven famous debates took place on August 21, 1858. Completed the same year as the first debate, you'll find the Reddick Mansion on 100 West Lafayette Street. The 22-room construction was home to the Reddick family for almost three decades before the owner, William Reddick, left instructions for the building to become Ottawa's first free library after his death. The building is now preserved as an historic gem available for tours.

With over 100 acres of parks, outdoor activities are as much a part of life in Ottawa as its history. Washington Square Park houses many local events while Allen Park hosts the town's amphitheater; picnic areas; boat launches, docks, and a fishing area; and even a toboggan run. The Lincoln/Douglas and Peck Parks provide sports fields and are home to many of the local baseball and softball teams. All around Ottawa you'll see locations to enjoy the great outdoors. The hardest part is picking your favorite spot.

Perhaps the events rather than the landscape are your favorite part of Ottawa. The town features regular community events like downtown's First Fridays or the Old Town Farmers Market every Saturday from June to October. Annual holiday festivals, seasonal parties, or a community picnic in the park are simply good excuses for the whole town to get together and celebrate life. Some of our favorites are the Fourth of July Celebration, Riverfest Festival, and visiting Santa at Washington Square.

When you visit Ottawa, Illinois, we hope you get a chance to learn about our history, to enjoy a walk in one of our beautiful parks, and to stop by a community event and meet some of the neighbors. Most of all, we hope your time with us is memorable and that you'll come back to see us again real soon.