Destination Guide

Destination: Bloomington-Normal

A while back, Bloomington-Normal was ranked by a major golf magazine as the fifth-best out of 330 cities for the quality of its golf. These cities are abnormally blessed with affordable, quality golf, along with a host of other entertainment options.

One of the best and newest children's museums in the Midwest is the Children's Discovery Museum in Normal, featuring exhibits on health, art, and nature and recycling along with smaller areas of education and imagination. Miller Park Zoo is a great small zoo for families, especially those with young children. Visitors can catch concerts, circuses and other national touring shows at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum or one of the Illinois State University facilities. For gamblers, Par-A-Dice Casino and Hotel is about 40 miles away in Peoria.

Arguably the best upscale restaurant in the area is Central Station Cafe, which serves lunch and dinner in what was once the Bloomington fire station. The Loft, upstairs at Central Station, is a trendy martini bar open Tuesday through Saturday. Golfers take note: The dress code prohibits ball caps. The place in town for Italian is Lucca Grill, family-owned since 1936 (with a friendly vibe to match) and home to the locally legendary A La Baldini pizza.

Golfers can't hardly swing a rusty sand wedge without hitting a great course at a great price. Weibring Golf Club is the home of the Illinois State Redbirds. The Den at Fox Creek is probably the lowest-priced Arnold Palmer design anywhere. Highland Park Golf Course, Ironwood Golf Course, and Prairie Vista round out the public tracks in B-N, and each has its own character and vibe. The Den at Fox Creek also boasts casual fine dining and a welcoming 19th hole.

Within easy reach of all of Chicago, St. Louis, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan, B-N is clearly one of the unsung golf Meccas of the Midwest, and if you happen to be coming from farther north, the season here starts up to several weeks earlier and lasts a few weeks later than you might expect.

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Course City Rates from
Course City Rates from
Wolf Creek Golf Club
Tee Times
Pontiac $16
Pontiac Elks Country Club
Tee Times
Pontiac $12
Den at Fox Creek
Tee Times
Bloomington $40
Links At Ireland Grove Bloomington $10
Hazy Hills Golf Course Hudson $9
Highland Park Golf Course Bloomington $13 - $20
Tall Oaks Country Club Toluca $31
Woodlawn Country Club Farmer City $10 - $20
Ironwood Golf Course Normal $18 - $24
Indian Springs Golf Course Saybrook $9
Kaufman Park Golf Course Eureka $20
Lakeside Country Club Bloomington $16
Bloomington Country Club Bloomington $77
Le Roy Country Club Le Roy $13 - $25
Weibring Golf Club At Illinois State University Normal $32
Prairie Vista Golf Course Bloomington $15 - $33
Fairlakes Golf Course Secor $16
North Greens Golf Course Atlanta $14 - $17
El Paso Golf Club El Paso $27
Crestwicke Country Club Bloomington $56
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