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 $13
Orchards Golf Club
Tee Times
Belleville $16
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $18
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $22.5
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $21.99
Stonewolf Golf Club
Tee Times
Fairview Heights $19.99
Clinton Hill Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $16
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $11
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $25
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $12
The Hills Golf Club at McKendree University
Tee Times
Lebanon $13
Stonebridge Golf Club
Tee Times
Maryville $25
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Carmel $10
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $13
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $30
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $21
Salem Country Club
Tee Times
Salem $25
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $25
Indian Hills Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Vernon $22
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area
Tee Times
Marissa $25
Twin Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Greenville $22
Lawrence County Country Club
Tee Times
Lawrenceville $30
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.5
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
Jackson Country Club Murphysboro $25 - $38
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $24 - $27
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $49
Bridges Golf Club Columbia $16 - $33
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
Stone Creek Golf Club & Resort Makanda $25
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Tamarack Country Club O Fallon $15 - $20
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
Chester Country Club Chester $20
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $25 - $31
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $12
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $6
Columbia Golf Club Columbia $16 - $33
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Greenview Golf Club Centralia $25
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $11.00
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
Highland Country Club Highland $18
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
TTI Hardin Golf Club Cave in Rock $11
Sunset Hills Country Club Edwardsville $51
Union County Country Club Anna $25
Prairies Cahokia $30
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
Wayne County Golf Course Fairfield $30
Star Dust Golf Course Johnston City $26
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $18
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $25
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $16
Benton Country Club Benton $20
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $30
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $29
Yorktown Golf Complex Belleville $15 - $25
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $10
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $27
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
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