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