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 $10
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $10
Orchards Golf Club
Tee Times
Belleville $14
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $10
Stonewolf Golf Club
Tee Times
Fairview Heights $10
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $16
Mystic Oak Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $15
Twin Oaks Golf Club Greenville $11
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area Marissa $25
Salem Country Club
Tee Times
Salem $10
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $16
Lawrence County Country Club Lawrenceville $30
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $16.95
Tee Times
Cahokia $10
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $16
The Hills Golf Club at McKendree University
Tee Times
Lebanon $15
Indian Hills Golf Course Mount Vernon $22
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $10
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $25
Greenview Golf Club
Tee Times
Centralia $15
Yorktown Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $7
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $13
Jackson Country Club
Tee Times
Murphysboro $17
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $25
Jansco's Stardust Golf & Country Club Johnston City $8
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $12
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $24 - $27
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $10
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $30
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $27
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $10
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
Wayne County Golf Course Fairfield $30
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.50
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $16
Union County Country Club Anna $15
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $32
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $18
Keller's Crossing at Stone Creek Makanda TBA
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $29
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $11.00
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course Mount Carmel $15
Benton Country Club Benton $20
Hardin County Golf Course Cave in Rock $5
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
Columbia Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
Chester Country Club Chester $20
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
Bridges Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $8
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
Tamarack Country Club Shiloh $14 - $20
Sunset Hills Country Club Edwardsville $51
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $25 - $31
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