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 $14 - $30
Mystic Oak Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $15
Clinton Hill Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $11
Stonewolf Golf Club
Tee Times
Fairview Heights $19
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $22
Orchards Golf Club
Tee Times
Belleville $32
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $16
Salem Country Club
Tee Times
Salem $25
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $24
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $26 - $31
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $19
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $18
The Hills Golf Club at McKendree University
Tee Times
Lebanon $11
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $12
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $13
Jackson Country Club
Tee Times
Murphysboro $25
Tee Times
Cahokia $16
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Carmel $15
Indian Hills Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Vernon $22
Lawrence County Country Club
Tee Times
Lawrenceville $30
Twin Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Greenville $15
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $19
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area
Tee Times
Marissa $25
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $29
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $18
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Stonebridge Golf Club Maryville $25
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $24 - $27
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
Tamarack Country Club Shiloh $14 - $20
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $12
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.50
Columbia Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $10
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $8
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $30
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
Wayne County Golf Course Fairfield $30
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $10
Benton Country Club Benton $20
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $27
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
Stone Creek Golf Club & Resort Makanda $25
Jansco's Stardust Golf & Country Club Johnston City $8
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Union County Country Club Anna $15
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
Hardin County Golf Course Cave in Rock $5
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $11.00
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
Greenview Golf Club Centralia $25
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
Sunset Hills Country Club Edwardsville $51
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $32
Bridges Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $25 - $31
Chester Country Club Chester $20
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $16
Yorktown Golf Complex Belleville $15 - $25
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