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 $10
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $19
Orchards Golf Club
Tee Times
Belleville $32
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $14 - $30
Mystic Oak Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $15
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $32
Stonewolf Golf Club
Tee Times
Fairview Heights $25.99
Salem Country Club
Tee Times
Salem $10
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $13
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $13
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $16
Jackson Country Club
Tee Times
Murphysboro $13
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $25
Tee Times
Cahokia $10
The Hills Golf Club at McKendree University
Tee Times
Lebanon $10
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $12
Greenview Golf Club
Tee Times
Centralia $13
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $20
Twin Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Greenville $11
Lawrence County Country Club
Tee Times
Lawrenceville $30
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area
Tee Times
Marissa $25
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $28
Indian Hills Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Vernon $22
Yorktown Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $7
Tamarack Country Club Shiloh $14 - $20
Union County Country Club Anna $15
Sunset Hills Country Club Edwardsville $51
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
Hardin County Golf Course Cave in Rock $5
Keller's Crossing at Stone Creek Makanda TBA
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $18
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.50
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $11.00
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $30
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $8
Bridges Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
Columbia Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $12
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $10
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $24 - $27
Chester Country Club Chester $20
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course Mount Carmel $15
Jansco's Stardust Golf & Country Club Johnston City $8
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $32
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $29
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $10
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $27
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
Stonebridge Golf Club Maryville $25
Benton Country Club Benton $20
Wayne County Golf Course Fairfield $30
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $16
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $25 - $31
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
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