Destination Guide

Destination: Southern Illinois

Way down at the southern tip of Illinois, you might be surprised to be offered grits with your meal. You might also be surprised to find that, in any given year, golf is being played year-round. Golfers itching for an early-season escape or an out-of-the-way vacation will find several other surprises in "down-state" Illinois.

First on the list of surprises is a list of close to 25 wineries. Blue Sky Vineyard and Winery in Makanda is so lovely, you might think you're in Napa Valley (try the sangria!).

Next on the list is some unexpectedly fine dining. One of the best is Christophe's at The Gambit in Vienna. An option here for groups of six to eight is reserving the Chef's Table, where for about $100 per person you enjoy a seven-course meal with seven different specially paired wines.

Opportunities for hiking, biking, hunting, camping, and fishing abound in and around Shawnee National Forest, Giant City State Park and Cave-in Rock State Park (where the movie "How the West Was Won" was filmed). The Cache River is excellent for canoeing.

Antique stores are plentiful, and the largest collection of them is in Benton Square in Benton. Makanda is home to a small but vibrant artist colony. The Southern Illinois Miners minor league baseball team, whose excellent stadium is in Marion, has been a boon to the local economy. In Carbondale, the Southern Illinois University Salukis are also a perennial powerhouse in NCAA Division I basketball and baseball, and Division II football. At the very southern tip of the state, you'll find Metropolis, home of both Superman and Harrah's Metropolis riverboat casino and hotel.

Golf courses include Hickory Ridge Golf Center, Stone Creek Golf Club in Makanda, Kokopelli Golf Club in Marion, Crab Orchard Golf Club in Carterville, and The Gambit Golf Club in Vienna.

These golf courses have in common incredible value, and friendly Southern-style service you just won't find at most courses in and around big cities. For these reasons, golfers are beginning to flock to the area from not only nearby St. Louis, but also Indianapolis and Chicago.

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Course City Rates from
Course City Rates from
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $19.99
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $22
Stonewolf Golf Club
Tee Times
Fairview Heights $24
Orchards Golf Club
Tee Times
Belleville $25
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $19.5
Mystic Oak Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $14
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $24
Clinton Hill Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $19
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $25
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $26
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $12
Stonebridge Golf Club
Tee Times
Maryville $24
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $25
The Hills Golf Club at McKendree University
Tee Times
Lebanon $14
Salem Country Club
Tee Times
Salem $22
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Carmel $20
Columbia Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $16 - $33
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $28
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $26 - $31
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area
Tee Times
Marissa $25
Indian Hills Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Vernon $22
Bridges Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $16 - $33
Twin Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Greenville $12
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $18
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
Greenview Golf Club Centralia $25
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $12
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
Chester Country Club Chester $20
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $10
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
Benton Country Club Benton $20
Prairies Cahokia $30
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $24 - $27
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $25 - $31
Jackson Country Club Murphysboro $45
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
Fairfield Country Club Fairfield $25
Sunset Hills Country Club Edwardsville $51
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $6
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
Yorktown Golf Complex Belleville $15 - $25
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $29
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
Tamarack Country Club O Fallon $15 - $20
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Union County Country Club Anna $25
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
Star Dust Golf Course Johnston City $26
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $27
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $16
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Stone Creek Golf Club & Resort Makanda $25
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.5
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
TTI Hardin Golf Club Cave in Rock $11
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $49
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
Highland Country Club Highland $18
Lawrence County Country Club Lawrenceville $30
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $11.00
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $30
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $25
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
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