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 $19
Mystic Oak Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $17
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $22
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $22
Orchards Golf Club
Tee Times
Belleville $25
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $16
Clinton Hill Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $17
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $19.5
Stonebridge Golf Club
Tee Times
Maryville $25
Salem Country Club
Tee Times
Salem $22
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $25
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Carmel $20
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $12
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $25
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $26
The Hills Golf Club at McKendree University
Tee Times
Lebanon $14
Twin Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Greenville $11
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $26 - $31
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $28
Lawrence County Country Club
Tee Times
Lawrenceville $14
Indian Hills Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Vernon $22
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area
Tee Times
Marissa $25
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Stone Creek Golf Club & Resort Makanda $25
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $49
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $12
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
Columbia Golf Club Columbia $16 - $33
Bridges Golf Club Columbia $16 - $33
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.5
Sunset Hills Country Club Edwardsville $51
Highland Country Club Highland $18
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $16
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $6
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $11.00
Star Dust Golf Course Johnston City $26
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $27
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
Chester Country Club Chester $20
Tamarack Country Club O Fallon $15 - $20
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
Yorktown Golf Complex Belleville $15 - $25
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $18
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $25
Prairies Cahokia $30
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $10
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
Greenview Golf Club Centralia $25
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
TTI Hardin Golf Club Cave in Rock $11
Fairfield Country Club Fairfield $25
Union County Country Club Anna $25
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $24 - $27
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $30
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $29
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
Benton Country Club Benton $20
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
Jackson Country Club Murphysboro $45
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $25 - $31
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
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