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
Clinton Hill Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $19
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $22
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $19.5
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $5.5
Mystic Oak Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $14
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $21
Stonewolf Golf Club
Tee Times
Fairview Heights $24
Orchards Golf Club
Tee Times
Belleville $25
The Hills Golf Club at McKendree University
Tee Times
Lebanon $14
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $37
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $17
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $12
Stonebridge Golf Club
Tee Times
Maryville $24
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Carmel $20
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area
Tee Times
Marissa $25
Twin Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Greenville $11 - $18
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $52
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $32
Bridges Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $16 - $33
Columbia Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $16 - $33
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $26
Indian Hills Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Vernon $22
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $16
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $6
Salem Country Club Salem $30
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
Highland Country Club Highland $18
Lawrence County Country Club Lawrenceville $30
Jackson Country Club Murphysboro $45
TTI Hardin Golf Club Cave in Rock $11
Fairfield Country Club Fairfield $25
Union County Country Club Anna $25
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Tamarack Country Club O Fallon $30
Yorktown Golf Complex Belleville $15 - $25
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $15
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
Chester Country Club Chester $20
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $25
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
Prairies Cahokia $30
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $29
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.5
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $29
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $27
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
Stone Creek Golf Club & Resort Makanda $25
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
Greenview Golf Club Centralia $25
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $39
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $15
Benton Country Club Benton $20
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $29.5
Star Dust Golf Course Johnston City $26
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $25
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $49
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $27
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