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