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
Stonewolf Golf Club
Tee Times
Fairview Heights $24
Orchards Golf Club
Tee Times
Belleville $25
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $19.99
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $24.5
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $22
Mystic Oak Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $14
Clinton Hill Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $19
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $20
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $25
Salem Country Club
Tee Times
Salem $22
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $12
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $32
The Hills Golf Club at McKendree University
Tee Times
Lebanon $14
Stonebridge Golf Club
Tee Times
Maryville $24
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Carmel $20
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $26
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area
Tee Times
Marissa $25
Columbia Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $16 - $33
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $26 - $31
Twin Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Greenville $11 - $18
Bridges Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $16 - $33
Indian Hills Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Vernon $22
Jackson Country Club Murphysboro $45
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
Yorktown Golf Complex Belleville $15 - $25
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
Prairies Cahokia $30
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $25
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
Benton Country Club Benton $20
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Annbriar Golf Course Waterloo $52
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $29
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $15
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
TTI Hardin Golf Club Cave in Rock $11
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $27
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $29
Fairfield Country Club Fairfield $25
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $39
Highland Country Club Highland $18
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $49
Union County Country Club Anna $25
Stone Creek Golf Club & Resort Makanda $25
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Tamarack Country Club O Fallon $30
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
Greenview Golf Club Centralia $25
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $27
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Lawrence County Country Club Lawrenceville $30
Star Dust Golf Course Johnston City $26
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $15
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $6
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $16
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $25
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.5
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $29.5
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
Chester Country Club Chester $20
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