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
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $15
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $21.99
Stonewolf Golf Club
Tee Times
Fairview Heights $19
Clinton Hill Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $14
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $22.5
Mystic Oak Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $15
Orchards Golf Club
Tee Times
Belleville $32
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $13
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $12
The Hills Golf Club at McKendree University
Tee Times
Lebanon $10
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $16
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $13
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $11
Salem Country Club
Tee Times
Salem $13
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Carmel $12
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $25
Indian Hills Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Vernon $22
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $22
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area
Tee Times
Marissa $25
Twin Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Greenville $15
Lawrence County Country Club
Tee Times
Lawrenceville $30
Sunset Hills Country Club Edwardsville $51
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
TTI Hardin Golf Club Cave in Rock $11
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
Chester Country Club Chester $20
Wayne County Golf Course Fairfield $30
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $30
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Stone Creek Golf Club & Resort Makanda $25
Prairies Cahokia $30
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
Greenview Golf Club Centralia $25
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $11.00
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $24 - $27
Star Dust Golf Course Johnston City $26
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $27
Benton Country Club Benton $20
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
Stonebridge Golf Club Maryville $25
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $25
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $29
Jackson Country Club Murphysboro $25 - $38
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
Columbia Golf Club Columbia $16 - $33
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $10
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $49
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $6
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $12
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.5
Bridges Golf Club Columbia $16 - $33
Union County Country Club Anna $25
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
Yorktown Golf Complex Belleville $15 - $25
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $18
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $25 - $31
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $16
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
Tamarack Country Club O Fallon $15 - $20
Highland Country Club Highland $18
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
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