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
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $19.99
Orchards Golf Club
Tee Times
Belleville $25
Mystic Oak Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $14
Stonewolf Golf Club
Tee Times
Fairview Heights $24
Clinton Hill Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $19
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $19.5
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $22
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $24
Stonebridge Golf Club
Tee Times
Maryville $24
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $12
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $25
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $25
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
Indian Hills Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Vernon $22
Columbia Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $16 - $33
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $26 - $31
Twin Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Greenville $11 - $18
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $28
Bridges Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $16 - $33
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area
Tee Times
Marissa $25
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
Greenview Golf Club Centralia $25
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $29
Benton Country Club Benton $20
Union County Country Club Anna $25
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Chester Country Club Chester $20
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.5
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $16
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $29.5
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
TTI Hardin Golf Club Cave in Rock $11
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $27
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $49
Lawrence County Country Club Lawrenceville $30
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $6
Star Dust Golf Course Johnston City $26
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
Tamarack Country Club O Fallon $30
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $29
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $25
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $15
Jackson Country Club Murphysboro $45
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $25
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $27
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $15
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
Yorktown Golf Complex Belleville $15 - $25
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $39
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
Highland Country Club Highland $18
Stone Creek Golf Club & Resort Makanda $25
Prairies Cahokia $30
Fairfield Country Club Fairfield $25
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