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
Orchards Golf Club
Tee Times
Belleville $25
Mystic Oak Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $14
Clinton Hill Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $19
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $19.99
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $19.5
Stonewolf Golf Club
Tee Times
Fairview Heights $19.99
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $19
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $22
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Carmel $20
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $25
Salem Country Club
Tee Times
Salem $22
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $12
Stonebridge Golf Club
Tee Times
Maryville $24
The Hills Golf Club at McKendree University
Tee Times
Lebanon $14
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $26
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $25
Twin Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Greenville $12
Indian Hills Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Vernon $22
Lawrence County Country Club
Tee Times
Lawrenceville $14
Columbia Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $16 - $33
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $26 - $31
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $28
Bridges Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $16 - $33
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area
Tee Times
Marissa $25
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.5
Yorktown Golf Complex Belleville $15 - $25
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $49
Chester Country Club Chester $20
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $10
Union County Country Club Anna $25
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $18
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $25 - $31
Fairfield Country Club Fairfield $25
Prairies Cahokia $30
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
Tamarack Country Club O Fallon $15 - $20
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Star Dust Golf Course Johnston City $26
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
Highland Country Club Highland $18
TTI Hardin Golf Club Cave in Rock $11
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $27
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
Benton Country Club Benton $20
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $16
Jackson Country Club Murphysboro $45
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $30
Stone Creek Golf Club & Resort Makanda $25
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $29
Sunset Hills Country Club Edwardsville $51
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
Greenview Golf Club Centralia $25
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $6
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $12
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $24 - $27
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $25
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $11.00
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
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