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