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
Stonewolf Golf Club
Tee Times
Fairview Heights $24
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $22
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $24
Clinton Hill Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $14
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $19.99
Orchards Golf Club
Tee Times
Belleville $23
Mystic Oak Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $14
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $19.5
Stonebridge Golf Club
Tee Times
Maryville $24
The Hills Golf Club at McKendree University
Tee Times
Lebanon $14
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $25
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Carmel $20
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $25
Salem Country Club
Tee Times
Salem $22
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $12
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $26
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $28
Bridges Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $16 - $33
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $26 - $31
Indian Hills Golf Course
Tee Times
Mount Vernon $22
Lawrence County Country Club
Tee Times
Lawrenceville $14
Columbia Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $16 - $33
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area
Tee Times
Marissa $25
Twin Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Greenville $12
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $16
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $6
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
Union County Country Club Anna $25
Sunset Hills Country Club Edwardsville $51
Star Dust Golf Course Johnston City $26
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
Prairies Cahokia $30
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $25 - $31
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $27
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $11.00
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $12
Greenview Golf Club Centralia $25
Stone Creek Golf Club & Resort Makanda $25
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $25
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
TTI Hardin Golf Club Cave in Rock $11
Jackson Country Club Murphysboro $45
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.5
Yorktown Golf Complex Belleville $15 - $25
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
Benton Country Club Benton $20
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $29
Highland Country Club Highland $18
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $18
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $49
Chester Country Club Chester $20
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $24 - $27
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
Fairfield Country Club Fairfield $25
Tamarack Country Club O Fallon $15 - $20
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $10
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $30
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