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
Clinton Hill Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $15
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $21.99
Stonewolf Golf Club
Tee Times
Fairview Heights $19
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $18
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $22.5
Orchards Golf Club
Tee Times
Belleville $32
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $23
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $15
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $18
The Hills Golf Club at McKendree University
Tee Times
Lebanon $15
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $13
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $12
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $30
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Carmel $15
Salem Country Club
Tee Times
Salem $18
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $23
Lawrence County Country Club
Tee Times
Lawrenceville $30
Jackson Country Club
Tee Times
Murphysboro $25 - $38
Tee Times
Cahokia $16
Twin Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Greenville $15
Indian Hills Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Vernon $22
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area
Tee Times
Marissa $25
Sunset Hills Country Club Edwardsville $51
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $30
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
Tamarack Country Club Shiloh $14 - $20
Columbia Golf Club Columbia $16 - $33
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
Chester Country Club Chester $20
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Wayne County Golf Course Fairfield $30
Union County Country Club Anna $25
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $12
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $18
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $24 - $27
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
Bridges Golf Club Columbia $16 - $33
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $25 - $31
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $29
TTI Hardin Golf Club Cave in Rock $11
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
Star Dust Golf Course Johnston City $26
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
Benton Country Club Benton $20
Stonebridge Golf Club Maryville $25
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $10
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $6
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $25
Stone Creek Golf Club & Resort Makanda $25
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
Highland Country Club Highland $18
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $27
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $11.00
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $16
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
Greenview Golf Club Centralia $25
Yorktown Golf Complex Belleville $15 - $25
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.5
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $49
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
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