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
Mystic Oak Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $15
Stonewolf Golf Club
Tee Times
Fairview Heights $19
Clinton Hill Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $12
Orchards Golf Club
Tee Times
Belleville $14
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $16
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $19
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $22.35
Yorktown Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $7
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $13
Lawrence County Country Club Lawrenceville $30
Salem Country Club
Tee Times
Salem $12
Twin Oaks Golf Club Greenville $11
Greenview Golf Club
Tee Times
Centralia $23
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area Marissa $25
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $25
Jackson Country Club
Tee Times
Murphysboro $16
Tee Times
Cahokia $12
The Hills Golf Club at McKendree University Lebanon $18 - $30
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $12
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $25
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $13
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $14
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $16
Indian Hills Golf Course Mount Vernon $22
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
Keller's Crossing at Stone Creek Makanda TBA
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $12
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $10
Chester Country Club Chester $20
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $18
Sunset Hills Country Club Edwardsville $51
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
Hardin County Golf Course Cave in Rock $5
Benton Country Club Benton $20
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $30
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $24 - $27
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $25 - $31
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $11.00
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $29
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $8
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $16
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $10
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
Wayne County Golf Course Fairfield $30
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $32
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
Bridges Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.50
Jansco's Stardust Golf & Country Club Johnston City $8
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course Mount Carmel $15
Columbia Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
Tamarack Country Club Shiloh $14 - $20
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $18 - $28
Union County Country Club Anna $15
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
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