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