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