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
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $14
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $23
Indian Hills Golf Course Mount Vernon $22
Twin Oaks Golf Club Greenville $11
Stonewolf Golf Club
Tee Times
Fairview Heights $21.35
Tee Times
Cahokia $16
Yorktown Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $7
Orchards Golf Club
Tee Times
Belleville $17
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $26.99
Jackson Country Club
Tee Times
Murphysboro $22
Salem Country Club
Tee Times
Salem $18
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $23.35
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area Marissa $25
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $13
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $21
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $13
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $12
Clinton Hill Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $15
Lawrence County Country Club Lawrenceville $30
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $17
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $17
Greenview Golf Club
Tee Times
Centralia $15
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $32
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $30
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
Wayne County Golf Course Fairfield $30
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $29
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $12
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $12
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $18
Keller's Crossing at Stone Creek Makanda $45 - $55
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $25 - $31
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $24 - $27
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $18 - $28
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $48
Sunset Hills Country Club Edwardsville $51
North County Country Club Red Bud $9
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $11.00
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $10
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $48
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $15 - $25
Sparta Country Club Sparta $10 - $15
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $48
Tamarack Country Club Shiloh $14 - $20
Union County Country Club Anna $15
Chester Country Club Chester $10 - $15
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $8
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $10
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
Hardin County Golf Course Cave in Rock $5
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
Columbia Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course Mount Carmel $15
Benton Country Club Benton $20
Bridges Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
Jansco's Stardust Golf & Country Club Johnston City $8
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $16
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.50
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