It’s the ultimate summer dessert, an occasional bribe, a sweet treat snuck from the freezer at midnight—it’s safe to say we’re obsessed with ice cream (as are our kids). We’ve rounded up a list of the best ice cream shops in every state (plus D.C.) so you can satisfy your sweet tooth all summer long. Keep reading to get the scoop on the ice cream parlors that should be on your radar.
1. Alabama: Matt’s Homemade Alabama Ice Cream
With cones, floats, splits and old-fashioned sodas, Matt’s Homemade Alabama Ice Cream has something for everyone. Try a scoop of one of Matt’s specialties, like the Creole praline or red velvet cake—you'll be glad you did.
1308 Gulf Shores Pkwy
Gulf Shores, AL
701 Gulf Shores Pkwy
Gulf Shores, AL
2. Alaska: Hot Licks Homemade Ice Cream
During the summer months, Hot Licks is a must. Their ice cream is made in-house in 40-quart batches, and with local flavors like cranberry and wild blueberry, it’s some of the best Alaska has to offer.
3453 College Rd.
3. Arizona: Sweet Republic
From the local Arizona milk and cream to the slow-roasted bananas, everything here is made with care. And with rotating flavors like Meyer lemon, peaches ‘n’ cream and peaberry espresso, you’ll want to come to Sweet Republic again and again to try them all. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
9160 E. Shea Blvd.
6054 N. 16th St.
4. Arkansas: Loblolly Creamery
Loblolly Creamery is a must-stop the next time you’re in Little Rock. Folks in the know love their salted caramel and Little Rocky Road. Ingredients are sourced locally whenever possible, from fruit to lavender.
1423 S. Main St.
Little Rock, AR
5. California: Fentons Creamery
Founded in 1894 in Oakland, Fentons has been a Bay Area favorite ever since. The ice cream is made in small batches (there’s a production tour for curious kids!), and the menu has decadent sundaes to satisfy any dessert connoisseur.
4226 Piedmont Ave.
1669 E. Monte Vista Ave.
6. Colorado: Little Man Ice Cream
With a distinctive shop in the shape of an ice cream cone, Little Man serves up nostalgic flavors that your whole crew will love (not to mention some awesome vegan options). And for every scoop of ice cream purchased, Little Man matches that scoop with a donated scoop of rice, beans or other essentials to a community in need.
2620 16th St.
7. Connecticut: Arethusa Farm
For the ultimate in ice cream, you really can’t beat Arethusa Farm. Fresh milk is brought from their dairy cows a few miles away to make classic flavors like butter pecan, strawberry and pistachio.
822 Bantam Rd.
8. Delaware: Woodside Farm Creamery
The Woodside Farm was established in 1796, but their ice cream operation didn’t get started until 1998. They’ve been a Delaware favorite ever since, offering up flavors like dirt (that’s gummy worms and Oreo cookies in chocolate ice cream) and cake batter. Say hi to the cows after enjoying your scoop.
1310 Little Baltimore Rd.
9. Florida: Azucar Ice Cream Company
Be sure to scope out this sweet shop in Little Havana, where you'll find great flavors like platano maduro and rum cake with walnuts.
10. Georgia: Leopold’s Ice Cream
Leopold’s Ice Cream was founded in 1919, and the shop still has old-school charm—the black marble soda fountain, wooden back bar and telephone booth come from the original location. The ice cream is just as delicious as ever, with classic flavors like butter pecan alongside unique seasonal picks like spicy mocha.
212 E. Broughton St.
11. Hawaii: Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream and Desserts
In addition to regular scoops and cones, Bubbies’ specialty is mochi ice cream—a scoop of ice cream that’s wrapped in a layer of chewy mochi (a soft, sweet paste made out of rice). It’s a refreshing treat that’s sure to be an instant family favorite.
7192 Kalanianaole Hwy, Ste. D103
12. Idaho: Goody’s Soda Fountain
You won’t regret a visit to Goody’s Soda Fountain—with their massive banana splits and ice cream sodas, there’s no way you’ll leave hungry. They also offer homemade chocolates if you’re in the mood for something different.
1502 N. 13th St.
13. Illinois: The Original Rainbow Cone
This fun ice cream spot was launched almost 100 years ago, but now they have four locations! Their ice cream trucks can also be found all over the city, and the spot on Navy Pier is especially fun for visitors. They have tons of flavors, plus ice cream cakes and even donuts.
14. Indiana: The Chief Ice Cream
On a hot summer’s day, you can’t beat a visit to The Chief. Grab a scoop of peanut butter or toasted coconut and head out back to the picnic tables to gobble it up—delicious!
502 W. Lincoln Ave.
15. Iowa: Heyn’s Premium Ice Cream
It’ll be love at first bite when you visit Heyn’s—the ice cream is made with 14% buttermilk fat content, giving it an extra oomph of creaminess. And with flavors like monster mash (vanilla ice cream with cookie dough, peanut butter and M&Ms) and blueberry cheesecake, you’ll keep coming back for more.
811 S. 1st Ave.
Iowa City, IA
25 Cherry St.
North Liberty, IA
16. Kansas: Sylas and Maddy’s Homemade Ice Cream
Sylas and Maddy’s takes hand-crafted ice cream to the next level. They use an entire watermelon in every batch of watermelon sherbet, and their pie flavors (think apple pie, key lime pie) contain an entire pie in each bucket of ice cream. Get your scoop in a homemade waffle cone to up the tasty factor.
11925 Strang Line Rd.
1014 Massachusetts St.
17. Kentucky: The Comfy Cow
The Comfy Cow is serious about making awesome ice cream, and you’ll be able to tell when you sample their flavors. Whether you go for brown butter peanut brittle or cookie monster dough, you won’t be disappointed.
13301 Shelbyville Rd., Ste. 106
Additional locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana
18. Louisiana: Creole Creamery
You’ll love the old-school look of New Orleans’ best ice cream parlor, and with rotating flavors like lavender honey and chocolate malt chip, they’ve got something for everyone. If you dare, take the challenge to finish an enormous Tchoupitoulas sundae and earn a spot in their Hall of Fame.
4924 Prytania St.
New Orleans, LA
6260 Vicksburg St.
New Orleans, LA
19. Maine: The Dairy Corner
With more than 70 ice cream flavors to choose from in addition to frozen yogurt and sorbet, it’s safe to say there’s something for everyone at The Dairy Corner. Bring your treats outside to the picnic tables and chairs to enjoy them in the sunshine.
612 US Rte. 1
20. Maryland: Scottish Highland Creamery
Founded by an Edinburgh native, the Scottish Highland Creamery is a must visit, loved for their super fresh ice cream made with local ingredients, fresh milk, cream and flavorings imported from Italy. Order the Mexican vanilla or the Italian lemon cookie and prepare to be amazed.
314 Tilghman St.
21. Massachusetts: Toscanini’s Ice Cream
Located around the corner from MIT, Toscanini’s has been serving up amazing ice cream to college kids, locals and tourists alike for more than 30 years. Try one of their inventive flavors like B3 (brown sugar, brown butter, and brownies) or sour cherry sorbet.
159 First St.
22. Michigan: Moomers Homemade Ice Cream
This family-owned shop is a real winner, with more than 160 flavors made right in-house (20 of which are available each day). The coolest part? The shop overlooks their dairy farm, meaning you can watch the cows while you gobble up your ice cream.
7263 N. Long Lake Rd.
Traverse City, MI
23. Minnesota: Cup and Cone
This understated hidden gem serves a generous helping of soft serve in a kiddie cone or cup for just .70 cents and that's just one of the things locals love about the Cup and Cone. The lines can go for over a block in the summer but they are open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. most day so you can usually find a time to grab a treat. The owners donate proceeds to a special frozen treat (different ice cream treats are featured each month) to the local food shelf, and the Cup and Cone provides gainful summer employment for some of the sweetest local youth.
2126 4th Street
White Bear Lake, MN
24. Mississippi: Area 51 Ice Cream
Area 51 prides itself on using only the freshest seasonal produce—from the local farmers market, no less—for its ice creams. The end product is innovative flavors like blackberry goat cheese, green tea latte and salted dark chocolate.
117 W. Commerce St.
25. Missouri: Betty Rae's Ice Cream
Newly re-opened under new owners, Betty Rae's still offers unique flavors like Lavender Honey, brown butter & toasted pecans and blood orange creamsicle.
7140 Wornall Rd.
Kansas City, MO, 64114
412 Delaware St.
Kansas City, Mo 64105
26. Montana: Big Dipper Ice Cream
On a summer evening, there’s nothing better than a visit to Big Dipper. Relax at their picnic tables while you devour a scoop of their raved-about huckleberry ice cream on a homemade waffle cone.
631 S. Higgins
58 N. Last Chance Gulch
100 N. Broadway
27. Nebraska: Ted & Wally’s
An Omaha classic, Ted & Wally’s has been selling their 18% butterfat ice cream since 1984. They’ve got classic flavors like Dutch chocolate alongside more experimental rotating batches like watermelon gazpacho and butter mochi.
1120 Jackson St.
6023 Maple St.
28. Nevada: Dylan's Family Ice Cream
This mom-and-pop shop is a kid’s ice cream dream. In addition to colorful flavors like circus animal cookies, rainbow sherbet and birthday cake, they’ve got an area with games and a chalkboard just for the little ones.
5960 Losee Rd., Unit 121
North Las Vegas, NV
29. New Hampshire: Jordan’s Ice Creamery
With a huge selection of homemade ice creams, frozen yogurts and sugar-free options, there’s something for everyone at Jordan’s. Try their blueberry pie ice cream (made with Maine berries!) or the coffee heath bar.
894 Rt. 106 N.
593 Endicott St. N.
30. New Jersey: Cliff’s Homemade Ice Cream
Cool off with a scoop or two of seriously delicious ice cream at Cliff’s. From butterbeer to s’mores to peach melba, the rotating list of flavors will keep you coming back for repeat visits.
1475 US Hwy 46
31. New Mexico: I Scream Ice Cream
I Scream Ice Cream is heaven for the little ones—after you’ve polished off a scoop of cotton candy or raspberry chocolate chunk, head to the back of the store to check out their collection of vintage memorabilia, toys, and games. Go ahead, play a game on the Ms. Pac-Man machine or play dress-up with their collection of masks.
2000 Carlisle Blvd. NE
32. New York: Ample Hills Creamery
New York has enough amazing ice cream parlors to keep your sweet tooth satisfied and then some, but our top pick goes to Ample Hills for their hands-on approach. Their ice cream is pasteurized on site, and almost all their mix-ins are made in-house from scratch. Try The Munchies (pretzel-infused ice cream with Ritz crackers, potato chips, pretzels and M&Ms) or Snap Mallow Pop (marshmallow ice cream with Rice Krispie clusters).
623 Vanderbilt Ave.
Five additional locations in NYC
33. North Carolina: The Parlour
After operating out of a converted school bus for two years, The Parlour opened their Durham shop in 2013, and they’ve been serving up delicious 18% butterfat ice cream ever since. Try one of their well-loved, inventive flavors like salted butter caramel, blueberry buttermilk (made with local NC berries) or rosemary olive oil.
117 Market St.
34. North Dakota: Pride Dairy
The only small-town creamery remaining in North Dakota, Pride Dairy is a must-visit shop. They still use the same basic recipe from when the creamery started producing ice cream in the 1940s, offering tried-and-true flavors like strawberry cheesecake, chocolate peanut butter and rhubarb-strawberry.
517 Thompson St.
35. Ohio: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
You can count on Jeni’s for inventive and delicious flavors—think gooey butter cake, brambleberry crisp, wildberry lavender and Bangkok peanut. You’ll love the smooth taste (thanks to the buttercream base); all their ice creams are made without synthetic flavorings, dyes and off-the-shelf mixes.
714 N. High St.
67 N. Main St.
Chagrin Falls, OH
Additional locations across the country
36. Oklahoma: Roxy’s Ice Cream Social
Grab a simple scoop or a cookie ice cream sandwich at this Oklahoma City hot spot. Their small-batch ice creams are a local favorite, offering classic flavors like cookies 'n' cream alongside a rotating menu of specialties like bananas foster and graham cracker.
1732 NW 16th St.
Oklahoma City, OK
12220 N. MacArthur Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK
Two additional locations in Oklahoma City
37. Oregon: Salt & Straw
At Salt & Straw, you’ll find crazy unique flavors year round. Whether you’re in the mood for Meyer lemon buttermilk with blueberries, goat cheese marionberry habanero or cinnamon snickerdoodle, you’re going to leave satisfied.
838 NW 23rd Ave.
3345 SE Division St.
2035 NE Alberta St.
Additional locations in Portland, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle and San Francisco
38. Pennsylvania: Penn State Berkey Creamery
Penn State's dairy research started in 1865, and with that came the creamery. They offer dozens of flavors and their world-famous 12 steps to perfect ice cream are legendary. A visit to the area is not complete without a stop at the Creamery.
119 Rodney A. Erickson Food
University Park, PA 16802
39. Rhode Island: Brickley’s Ice Cream
With more than 45 flavors to choose from on any given day, Brickley’s has classic flavors that everyone in your family will love. Get your scoop on a homemade waffle cone and sit back and enjoy the huge portions.
921 Boston Neck Rd.
322 Main St.
40. South Carolina: Sweet Cream Company
With a constantly rotating menu, on any given day at Sweet Cream Company, you’ll find ingenious flavors like white chocolate lavender, blueberry crumble and cranberry thyme sorbet. You can also snag a cookie ice cream sandwich—of course, the cookies are made from scratch in-house too.
1627 Main St.
41. South Dakota: Leones’ Creamery
Leones’ Creamery is a small-town staple with some seriously delicious and unexpected flavors: think blueberry goat cheese, vanilla black pepper and rhubarb. Since the menu is constantly changing, you’ll want to come back again and again.
722 1/2 Main St.
42. Tennessee: Clumpies Ice Cream Co.
Opened by the son of a third-generation candy maker, Clumpies has been a Chattanooga favorite since 1999. Try one of their signature flavors like coconut almond chunk or raspberry sorbet, or go for a specialty like sweet corn blueberry or vegan peanut butter Oreo.
26 Frazier Ave.
3917 St. Elmo Ave.
Two additional locations in Chattanooga
43. Texas: Lick Honest Ice Creams
This Austin hot spot takes honest to heart when making their ice cream—they source milk and cream from a family-owned dairy in central Texas, and their seasonal offerings let the freshest local ingredients shine. Try an old standby like Texas sheet cake or get adventurous with lemon lavender or loquat margarita.
1100 S. Lamar Blvd.
6555 Burnet Rd. #200
Additional locations in Austin and San Antonio
44. Utah: Rowley’s Red Barn
Located right on a farm, Rowley’s is totally worth the trip. They’re famous for their home-grown cherries, so the cherry cheesecake or cherry chocolate chip is a must-try. Or go for an apple cider slush—icy hand-pressed apple cider that can be mixed with vanilla ice cream.
901 S. 300 W.
25 N. 300 W.
45. Vermont: Creemee Stand
Of course Ben & Jerry’s is Vermont’s most famous ice cream empire, but Creemee Stand is another local favorite. With rave-worthy soft serve and hard scoop ice creams, they’ve really got something for everyone. Try their signature maple soft serve, made with fresh Vermont maple syrup.
716 Rte. 100
46. Virginia: Island Creamery
Since 1975, Island Creamery has been serving up delicious treats to locals and tourists alike on beautiful Chincoteague Island. Sample the muddy butter (chocolate ice cream with nutter butter cookies and peanut butter swirl) or the cantaloupe—you’ll be an instant fan!
6243 Maddox Blvd.
Chincoteague Island, VA
120 N. Main St.
47. Washington: Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream
When it comes to ice cream, we’re all about fresh and local, and Molly Moon’s fits the bill. 90% of their ingredients are locally sourced, from milk and cream to honey and fruit. The result is drool-worthy flavors like cherry chunk, honey lavender and cookie chunk that your whole crew will love.
1/2 1622 N. 45th St.
7 additional locations in Seattle and Redmond
48. Washington D.C.: Ice Cream Jubilee
Started by a corporate lawyer turned ice cream mogul, Ice Cream Jubilee is a must-visit the next time you’re in the District. You’ll love their outside-the-box flavors like snickers snickerdoodle and Thai iced tea.
301 Water St. SE
1407 T St. NW
49. West Virginia: Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream
For almost 20 years, Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream has been serving up old-fashioned treats that locals and tourists alike love. In addition to the classics like mocha almond and black raspberry, you’ll find a rotating selection of seasonal flavors like lavender honey and lime orange pineapple.
225 Capitol St
50. Wisconsin: Sassy Cow Creamery
Head to Sassy Cow for some of the creamiest, freshest ice cream around. You can gaze at the grazing cows as you chow down on your ice cream, and you can also pick up delicious milk and cheese there while you’re at it. Hunker down with a yummy scoop of blueberry cheesecake or caramel chunk.
W4192 Bristol Rd.
51. Wyoming: Moo’s Gourmet Ice Cream
Huckleberry ice cream, anyone? You’ll find it and lots more at Moo’s, a Wyoming favorite serving up rave-worthy treats. With a rotating menu of 24 flavors, there’s definitely something for everyone in your crew.
110 N. Center St.
Jackson Hole, WY
— Susie Foreman