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
Gateway National Golf Links
Tee Times
Madison $21.65
Mystic Oak Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $18
Acorns Golf Links
Tee Times
Waterloo $16
Clinton Hill Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $12
Far Oaks Golf Club
Tee Times
Caseyville $18
Orchards Golf Club
Tee Times
Belleville $14
Stonewolf Golf Club
Tee Times
Fairview Heights $12
Salem Country Club
Tee Times
Salem $12
White Oak Golf Course at Marissa Recreation Area Marissa $25
Yorktown Golf Course
Tee Times
Belleville $7
Greenview Golf Club
Tee Times
Centralia $23
Annbriar Golf Course
Tee Times
Waterloo $20
Twin Oaks Golf Club Greenville $11
Governor's Run Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $15
Governor's Run Par-3 Golf Course
Tee Times
Carlyle $15
Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center
Tee Times
Carbondale $16
Jackson Country Club
Tee Times
Murphysboro $12
Fairfield Golf Club
Tee Times
Columbia $13
The Hills Golf Club at McKendree University
Tee Times
Lebanon $14
Tee Times
Cahokia $12
Lawrence County Country Club Lawrenceville $30
Indian Hills Golf Course Mount Vernon $22
Crab Orchard Golf Club
Tee Times
Carterville $13
Grand Marais Golf Course
Tee Times
Centreville $12
Keller's Crossing at Stone Creek Makanda TBA
Union County Country Club Anna $15
Waterloo Country Club Waterloo $10
Sunset Hills Country Club Edwardsville $51
Shawnee Hills Country Club Harrisburg $16
Legacy Golf Course Granite City $18
Saint Clair Country Club Belleville $69
Green Hills Golf Club Mount Vernon $30
Chester Country Club Chester $20
Cardinal Creek Golf Course Scott AFB $30
Egyptian Country Club Mounds $20 - $30
Bent Oak Golf Course Breese $20
Nashville Golf Course Nashville $17
Crooked Creek Golf Links Mt Vernon $20
Summertime Nine Golf Course Salem $10
Richland Country Club Olney $19 - $35
Saline County Golf & Country Club Eldorado $22
River Lakes Golf Course Columbia $20
Gambit Golf Club Vienna $25
East/West at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Elmwood Golf Course Belleville $11.00
Arlington Greens Golf Course Granite City $25 - $31
Triple Lakes Golf Course Millstadt $24 - $27
Colonial Golf Course Sandoval $21
Wayne County Golf Course Fairfield $30
Flying M Ranch Golf Club Centralia $12
Midland Hills Golf Course Makanda $13
Columbia Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
Pine Lakes Golf Course Energy $32
McLeansboro Golf Course McLeansboro $10
Pyramid Oaks Golf Course Percy $15
Jansco's Stardust Golf & Country Club Johnston City $8
Carlyle Lake Golf Club Carlyle $18
Bridges Golf Club Columbia $16 - $27
Metropolis Country Club Metropolis $30
Carmi Country Club Carmi $18
Flora Golf & Country Club Flora $27
Indian Mounds Golf Club Fairmont City $12
East Fork Par-3 Golf Course Olney $8
Sparta Country Club Sparta $28
Franklin County Country Club West Frankfort $40
Red Hawk Country Club Tamaroa $18 - $28
Cedar Brooke Par 3 Golf Course Sumner $8
Tamarack Country Club Shiloh $14 - $20
Meadow Woods Golf Course Centralia $13
Mt. Carmel Municipal Golf Course Mount Carmel $15
South/East at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Kokopelli Golf Club Marion $29
West/South at Rend Lake Golf Course Whittington $45
Hardin County Golf Course Cave in Rock $5
Lake of Egypt Country Club Marion $29.50
Benton Country Club Benton $20
North County Country Club Red Bud $22
Roland Barkau Memorial Golf Course Okawville $32
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