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
Clinton Hill Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $16
Mystic Oak Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $15
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $21.99
Orchards Golf Club
Tee Times
Belleville $22
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $17
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $22.5
Salem Country Club
Tee Times
Salem $16
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $13
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $11
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $20
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $25
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $12
Stonebridge Golf Club
Tee Times
Maryville $25
The Hills Golf Club at McKendree University
Tee Times
Lebanon $13
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Carmel $16
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $21
Indian Hills Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Vernon $22
Lawrence County Country Club
Tee Times
Lawrenceville $30
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $23
Twin Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Greenville $15
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area
Tee Times
Marissa $25
Highland Country Club Highland $18
Bridges Golf Club Columbia $16 - $33
Prairies Cahokia $30
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $24 - $27
Chester Country Club Chester $20
Wayne County Golf Course Fairfield $30
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
Union County Country Club Anna $25
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $18
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $29
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
Greenview Golf Club Centralia $25
Stone Creek Golf Club & Resort Makanda $25
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $30
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $16
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $27
Tamarack Country Club O Fallon $15 - $20
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
Star Dust Golf Course Johnston City $26
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $25
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $12
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
TTI Hardin Golf Club Cave in Rock $11
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $11.00
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $10
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
Sunset Hills Country Club Edwardsville $51
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Yorktown Golf Complex Belleville $15 - $25
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $25 - $31
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
Columbia Golf Club Columbia $16 - $33
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
Benton Country Club Benton $20
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $6
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.5
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $49
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
Jackson Country Club Murphysboro $25 - $38
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