By Melanie Lieberman
Updated: February 02, 2017

For the folks of northern Wisconsin, the frigid temperatures have, for the first time in five years, caused Lake Superior to freeze over, granting the tough-skinned tourist access to the string of ice caves spanning the shoreline. 

Nearly 40,000 people have already made the mile-long trek across Superior’s frozen surface to see the intricate webs of hoar frost and the dramatic ice formations emerging from the caves’ glittering mouths.  

The site gives us one reason to be thankful for this year’s polar vortex, which has sent temperatures plummeting to a record-breaking 18 below zero, causing statewide cancellations, massive power outages, and hundreds of burst pipes in the bitter cold. 

Melanie Lieberman is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.