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
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $22
Clinton Hill Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $13
Orchards Golf Club
Tee Times
Belleville $32
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $14 - $30
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $21
Mystic Oak Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $15
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $24
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $18
Greenview Golf Club
Tee Times
Centralia $14
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $20
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $18
Jackson Country Club
Tee Times
Murphysboro $20
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $12
Tee Times
Cahokia $12
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $16
The Hills Golf Club at McKendree University
Tee Times
Lebanon $17.99
Salem Country Club
Tee Times
Salem $22
Twin Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Greenville $11
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $28
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area
Tee Times
Marissa $25
Lawrence County Country Club
Tee Times
Lawrenceville $30
Indian Hills Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Vernon $22
Yorktown Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $7
Chester Country Club Chester $20
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $18
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $32
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
Benton Country Club Benton $20
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Keller's Crossing at Stone Creek Makanda TBA
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Union County Country Club Anna $15
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $10
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $25 - $31
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $27
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
Tamarack Country Club Shiloh $14 - $20
Sunset Hills Country Club Edwardsville $51
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.50
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $8
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $30
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $24 - $27
Hardin County Golf Course Cave in Rock $5
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $12
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $10
Stonebridge Golf Club Maryville $25
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $29
Columbia Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $11.00
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course Mount Carmel $15
Jansco's Stardust Golf & Country Club Johnston City $8
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
Bridges Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $16
Wayne County Golf Course Fairfield $30
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