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 $18
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $16
Mystic Oak Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $15
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $17
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $22.35
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $17
The Hills Golf Club at McKendree University Lebanon $18 - $30
Tee Times
Cahokia $16
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $21
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $17
Clinton Hill Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $14
Jackson Country Club
Tee Times
Murphysboro $26
Salem Country Club
Tee Times
Salem $12
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $21.35
Lawrence County Country Club Lawrenceville $30
Twin Oaks Golf Club Greenville $11
Stonewolf Golf Club
Tee Times
Fairview Heights $21.35
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $14
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area Marissa $25
Yorktown Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $7
Greenview Golf Club
Tee Times
Centralia $15
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $14
Indian Hills Golf Course Mount Vernon $22
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $20
Columbia Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $25 - $31
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.50
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $16
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
Sunset Hills Country Club Edwardsville $51
Jansco's Stardust Golf & Country Club Johnston City $8
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $12
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
Wayne County Golf Course Fairfield $30
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $29
Tamarack Country Club Shiloh $14 - $20
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $24 - $27
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
Hardin County Golf Course Cave in Rock $5
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $18 - $28
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
Chester Country Club Chester $20
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course Mount Carmel $15
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $8
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
Union County Country Club Anna $15
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $18
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $11.00
Keller's Crossing at Stone Creek Makanda TBA
Benton Country Club Benton $20
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $32
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $10
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $30
Bridges Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $10
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
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