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.

See also

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Course City Rates from
Course City Rates from
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $19.99
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $19.5
Stonewolf Golf Club
Tee Times
Fairview Heights $24
Mystic Oak Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $14
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $19.5
Clinton Hill Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $17.5
Orchards Golf Club
Tee Times
Belleville $25
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $22
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $25
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Carmel $20
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $25
Salem Country Club
Tee Times
Salem $22
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $26
Stonebridge Golf Club
Tee Times
Maryville $24
The Hills Golf Club at McKendree University
Tee Times
Lebanon $14
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $12
Bridges Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $16 - $33
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $26 - $31
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $28
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area
Tee Times
Marissa $25
Columbia Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $16 - $33
Indian Hills Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Vernon $22
Twin Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Greenville $12
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
Yorktown Golf Complex Belleville $15 - $25
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
Star Dust Golf Course Johnston City $26
Prairies Cahokia $30
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.5
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $11.00
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $16
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
Highland Country Club Highland $18
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $24 - $27
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $10
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Fairfield Country Club Fairfield $25
Stone Creek Golf Club & Resort Makanda $25
Greenview Golf Club Centralia $25
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $6
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $18
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $29
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
Chester Country Club Chester $20
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
Sunset Hills Country Club Edwardsville $51
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
Benton Country Club Benton $20
Union County Country Club Anna $25
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $25
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $30
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Jackson Country Club Murphysboro $45
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
Lawrence County Country Club Lawrenceville $30
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $12
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
TTI Hardin Golf Club Cave in Rock $11
Tamarack Country Club O Fallon $15 - $20
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $27
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $25 - $31
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $49
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
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