A trip to the Apostle Island Ice Caves!

This winter has been brutal. I’m typically not one to get bogged down by the weather, but these last few months have really gotten to me. Cold like this isn’t that unusual where I live, but the fact that it got cold and stayed cold is quite an anomaly.  I can tolerate -20F to -30F (-29C to -34C) for a few days so long as it is followed by a random sunny or above 0F (-17C) day. I’ve been deprived of my winter “bright spots” this year!

To battle the cold, my husband and I decided to do what any person sick of the subzero temperatures would do…

Plan a 6-mile hike on a frozen lake! IMG_8033

With all the press lately about the Apostle Island Ice Caves, we  knew we had to make the trip. We ended up getting really lucky with the weather while we were there. The wind was low and it was the warmest weekend the ice caves were open all winter. Warm still meant below 32F (0C), but with the sun shining, we had no complaints.


Planning a trip in the middle of debt repayment wasn’t the best idea I’ve had in a while, but I was determined to do it on a budget. Our spending is broken down below.

– Accommodation: $118. We stayed two nights at an AirBnb. This was our first AirBnb experience and we were pleasantly surprised! It was a little weird getting used to the idea of staying in a stranger’s home, and our families have given us some curious looks when we tell them where we stayed, but we are up to do it again! At that price, its hard to say no!

-Gas: $70. It took a tank and a half of gas in my fuel efficient car. We probably could have saved a little gas by driving less, but our stupid stupid GPS got us horribly lost in the backwoods of Northern Wisconsin. (When we realized how horribly astray our GPS had taken us, we pulled over on the “shoulder” of the road to figure out where we were. Take note: the “shoulder” of the road may not be stable ground! There was maybe 6 inches of actual road, but the rest was a 3 foot deep ditch that was filled with snow! Thank you to the kind souls that towed my teeny car back out onto the road!). We also drove an extra 50 miles to visit Bayfield, Wisconsin.

-Food: $51. This includes dinner on the drive up, stops for cold caffeine both mornings (I know I know, plan ahead), 2 hot dogs waiting in line for the shuttle to the caves, and dinner on Saturday night.

-Shuttle: $8. Round trip shuttle to the caves, saving an additional 6 miles of walking. Money well spent!

Total: $247

Not bad for a quick weekend away. It was a nice getaway from life back home. Because Lake Superior doesn’t freeze over like it did this year very often, it was also fun to know that we saw something that may not come around again for a while.



Have you done anything fun to cope with this winter? 


One thought on “A trip to the Apostle Island Ice Caves!

  1. That was a pretty cool little trip and done quite thriftily! I like the way you broke down your costs… appeals to the budget nerd in me! 😉

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