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 $14
Stonewolf Golf Club
Tee Times
Fairview Heights $10
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $16
Mystic Oak Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $15
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $19
Clinton Hill Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $10
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $12
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $25
Tee Times
Cahokia $10
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $10
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $25
Greenview Golf Club
Tee Times
Centralia $15
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $13
Jackson Country Club
Tee Times
Murphysboro $10
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $16
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $20
Salem Country Club
Tee Times
Salem $10
The Hills Golf Club at McKendree University
Tee Times
Lebanon $10
Lawrence County Country Club Lawrenceville $30
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area Marissa $25
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $15.95
Twin Oaks Golf Club Greenville $11
Yorktown Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $7
Indian Hills Golf Course Mount Vernon $22
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $18
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $27
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Jansco's Stardust Golf & Country Club Johnston City $8
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $32
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $16
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.50
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $8
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $30
Bridges Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
Tamarack Country Club Shiloh $14 - $20
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Sunset Hills Country Club Edwardsville $51
Union County Country Club Anna $15
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
Keller's Crossing at Stone Creek Makanda TBA
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $11.00
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
Wayne County Golf Course Fairfield $30
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
Columbia Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $10
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $24 - $27
Hardin County Golf Course Cave in Rock $5
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course Mount Carmel $15
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Benton Country Club Benton $20
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $12
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $25 - $31
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $29
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $10
Chester Country Club Chester $20
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
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