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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Courses

Course City Rates from
Course City Rates from
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $16
Orchards Golf Club
Tee Times
Belleville $25
Mystic Oak Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $15
Salem Country Club
Tee Times
Salem $12
Prairies
Tee Times
Cahokia $8
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $21
Twin Oaks Golf Club Greenville $11
Jackson Country Club
Tee Times
Murphysboro $22
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $25
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $13
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $8
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $21
Stonewolf Golf Club
Tee Times
Fairview Heights $18
Greenview Golf Club
Tee Times
Centralia $15
Indian Hills Golf Course Mount Vernon $22
Yorktown Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $7
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $16
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $21
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $10
Clinton Hill Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $15
The Hills Golf Club at McKendree University Lebanon $18 - $30
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area Marissa $25
Lawrence County Country Club Lawrenceville $30
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $23
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $25 - $31
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $29
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course Mount Carmel $15
Union County Country Club Anna $15
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
Keller's Crossing at Stone Creek Makanda TBA
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
Columbia Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $10
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $18
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Benton Country Club Benton $20
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
Wayne County Golf Course Fairfield $30
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $10
Chester Country Club Chester $20
Tamarack Country Club Shiloh $14 - $20
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
Hardin County Golf Course Cave in Rock $5
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $32
Jansco's Stardust Golf & Country Club Johnston City $8
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
Bridges Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $12
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $16
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $8
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.50
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $24 - $27
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $11.00
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $30
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $18 - $28
Sunset Hills Country Club Edwardsville $51
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