3 Days | 135 Miles | in From Local Experts
Looking for a place to take a trip with the guys for a few days? Discover Downstate Illinois has baseball, breweries, racing, golf, and more!
Make sure to check with attractions ahead of time for up-to-date operating hours, travel policies and health and safety information.
Begin the boys trip by teeing off at Stonewolf Golf Club in Fairview Heights – a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design Course. Stonewolf is one of only four courses throughout Illinois and Missouri designed by the golf legend. The tees and fairways feature Zoysia grass, with bent grass greens – but there are also five sets of tees to play as easy or as difficult as you’d like.
Take a short drive north to Madison, home of World Wide Technology Raceway. When they aren’t hosting NHRA, NASCAR, or INDYCAR events, WWT Raceway is also where you can find the Gateway Kartplex. This go-kart experience is an 11-turn, half-mile track with karts that can go up to 55 miles per hour!
To celebrate taking the checkered flag, make your way to Peel Wood Fired Pizza and Brewing Company in O’Fallon. Their Blood Orange Wheat is a great summer beer, along with the Double Take Blonde; and if you’re feeling adventurous, Peel has a handful of Beer Cocktails to try. If you’re hungry, be sure to try some of their famous pizza and prosciutto involtini.
For a little post-dinner entertainment - take a short drive south to GCS Ballpark in Sauget. Enjoy a Gateway Grizzlies baseball game, and order the ‘Best Burger in Baseball’ - which is a cheeseburger served with a donut as the bun!
Once the game is finished, head south to Columbia to get some shut-eye before another full day of fun!
Book an early tee time for one of the best public courses in the entire state. Annbriar Golf Course in Waterloo is consistently ranked as one of the top ten public golf courses in the entire state. As a matter of fact, it was named the number one public golf course in Illinois for 2020! It is a beautiful, hilly course on 226 acres of land that was once a family farm. While the golf is great, the kindness and courtesy of the course staff is even better. This one is definitely one of the highlights of the trip!
After a great round of golf, it’s time to try some amazing beverages. The Southern Illinois Beer Trail runs through Waterloo, which is home to two craft breweries. Hopskeller Brewing Company and Stubborn German Brewing Company sit about a block away from each other - but they offer different brews that keep people coming back for more.
To taste a few more different brews, continue working your way south on the Southern Illinois Beer Trail. The next stop is Lieferbrau Brewery in Red Bud, which is one of the more impressive venues on the route as the building was built in 1888 and has since been beautifully restored and renovated. The outdoor beer garden at Lieferbrau is the perfect place to spend an hour sipping one of their 12 varieties of beer, including their Double Crop Cream Ale – a fan favorite. Not a far drive southeast of Red Bud, you’ll find White Rooster Farmhouse Brewery in Sparta. Here you can enjoy one of several unique brews – some of which are collaborations with other breweries. One of their more unique offerings is a Belgian dark ale brewed with cinnamon and raisin bread! From there, get some rest before the final day of the trip.
Start off the day by experiencing the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta. WSRC is a premier 1,600-acre facility that is home to the longest trapshooting line in the world! Take some target practice with sporting clays, skeet shooting, trapshooting and more.
When you’re ready for your next adventure, head east to Tamaroa and play a round of golf at Red Hawk Golf Course. This is a beautiful course where water hazards pop up pretty often, especially on the 18th where there’s a fair amount of water between the tee box and the green! There is no question that this par 70 course provides a great round of golf with a world of character.
Head south for a round of drinks and delicious food at St. Nicholas Brewing Company in Du Quoin. St. Nicholas offers four flagship brews as well as nine other seasonal beers throughout the year. Small-batch beers are also an option, depending on availability. The food at SNBC is top-notch as well, with BBQ nachos that are always a crowd pleaser. That will wrap up your weekend with the guys in ILLINOISouth!