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
Orchards Golf Club
Tee Times
Belleville $32
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $28.35
Stonewolf Golf Club
Tee Times
Fairview Heights $21.65
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $23.35
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $24
Mystic Oak Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $15
Clinton Hill Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $19
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $20
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $20
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $26
Salem Country Club
Tee Times
Salem $13
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $12
Greenview Golf Club
Tee Times
Centralia $13
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $16
Tee Times
Cahokia $10
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $13
The Hills Golf Club at McKendree University
Tee Times
Lebanon $10
Jackson Country Club
Tee Times
Murphysboro $22
Indian Hills Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Vernon $22
Lawrence County Country Club
Tee Times
Lawrenceville $30
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area
Tee Times
Marissa $25
Twin Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Greenville $11
Yorktown Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $7
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $16.95
Wayne County Golf Course Fairfield $30
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $25 - $31
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.50
Keller's Crossing at Stone Creek Makanda TBA
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
Benton Country Club Benton $20
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Columbia Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $10
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
Bridges Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $10
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
Union County Country Club Anna $15
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
Chester Country Club Chester $20
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $18
Hardin County Golf Course Cave in Rock $5
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $24 - $27
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $11.00
Jansco's Stardust Golf & Country Club Johnston City $8
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course Mount Carmel $15
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $30
Tamarack Country Club Shiloh $14 - $20
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $12
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $29
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $32
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $8
Sunset Hills Country Club Edwardsville $51
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $27
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $16
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