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The Best Ice Cream Shops in Every State

We scream, you scream...for the best ice cream! Hit the road and taste test the best ice cream shops in America.

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Alabama: Peach Park

The best place to grab ice cream in the state that bleeds crimson is Peach Park, where customers can buy fresh peach ice cream with a side of peach pie. The Clanton-based Peach Park Farms site is only open from March to November, so make sure you don’t pass it by. When you’re done, take home one of the best gifts to take home from each of the 50 states.

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Alaska: Wild Scoops

Opened in 2015, this small-batch ice cream company in Anchorage uses local Alaskan add-ins and all-natural ingredients to create more than 100 different flavors. While Wild Scoops sells standard flavors, visitors can try more adventurous flavors like Holy Mole (Ancho, pasilla, guajillo peppers, and Chugach Chocolate bits) and Spruce Tip, which is described as “totally unique and Alaskan.”

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Arizona: Sweet Provisions

This Scottsdale ice cream shop is sugary sweet, selling fresh, daily-made ice cream using only local Arizona dairy. The Sweet Provisions rotates flavors daily and offers a myriad of cone flavors and toppings, along with freshly baked cookies, pies, cakes, and other desserts.

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Arkansas: Burton’s Comfort Creamery

Students at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville line up to get soft serve and ice cream sandwiches from this food truck. The ice cream comes with toppings that are salty, sweet, or spicy and drizzled in sauce. Plus, while most soft serve ice cream contains 1 percent to 3 percent butterfat, at Burton’s, the soft serve clocks in at 10 percent butterfat, making the ice cream extra creamy and rich. It’s worth waiting in line for these treats. Before your trip, watch the most iconic movie set in each state.

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California: McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams

With nearly 70 years of experience, McConnell’s has perfected ethically sourced, slow-churned ice cream. Flavors like Turkish coffee, eureka lemon and marionberries, chocolate-covered strawberries, and peppermint stick pack an extra flavor punch. Best of all, this southern California staple ships to almost every state. (Sorry, Alaska!)

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Colorado: Bonnie Brae Ice Cream

Rated best ice cream by Colorado Parent magazine, this Denver-based shop has a huge variety of flavors to choose from. The old-fashion vinyl seats, red-and-white striped awning, and hand-written menu give visitors a quaint, retro place to stop for a mid-day snack. While the ice cream is great, the cause they support is even better. Bonnie Brae Ice Cream contributes to the Alpha-1 Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes research to find treatments and a cure for the genetic condition.

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Connecticut: Ferris Acres Creamery

Sold out of a quaint, seasonal farm stand, Ferris Acres Creamery in Newtown offers ice cream, cakes, and pies with a view. Visitors can eat their treats while watching cows graze on the farm. The creamery sells a multitude of regular flavors like Bada Bing (chocolate almond ice cream with Bing cherries) and Grasshopper (mint ice cream with crushed Oreos), as well as seasonal flavors like cotton candy and pistachio. For diabetics or visitors who want to limit their sugar intake, the shop also sells six flavors, such as coffee chip, black raspberry, and vanilla with fudge swirls, using Splenda as a sweetener. You’ll also want to visit the best state fair or festival in every state.

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Delaware: UDairy Creamery

Managed by three and run by more than 50 University of Delaware students, the UDairy Creamery attracts students and visitors alike. The ice cream base is processed in New Jersey made with the milk from the University of Delaware cows. The base is then shipped back and flavored, frozen, and packaged by UD students at the creamery’s storefront location in Newark. Some flavors brim with school pride like Blue Hen Tracks (vanilla ice cream with mini peanut butter cups, fudge swirl, and blue and yellow sprinkles) while others are a little more out of the box, like Zest Fest (orange zest infused ice cream with cashews and chocolate chunks).

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Florida: Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlour and Restaurant

Massive servings at this Dania Beach ice cream shop is just one of the reasons Floridians love Jaxson’s. The Zagat-rated shop has one of the country’s largest collections of rural American memorabilia, including an automobile license plate collection. Travelers in the Fort Lauderdale area will not want to miss out.

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Georgia: Butter and Cream

This Decatur shop seeks to give a modern twist to classic ice cream mainstays. Butter and Cream bakes their add-ins, along with the small-batch ice cream, on-site. The charming shop also notifies customers with gluten sensitivities that flavors such as raspberry, cookies and cream and O.G. Goodness should be avoided.

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Hawaii: Scandinavian Shave Ice

Known by locals as “Scandi‘s,” this Kona landmarks boasts the “best shave ice in paradise.” Visitors on the Big Island can add an ice cream core in the middle of the shaved ice and add toppings like mochi and popping pearls. The portions are huge and there is plenty of seating in this festive shop. Now find out the 11 things you need to know before booking that Hawaii vacation.

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Idaho: Freezia

This Post Falls ice cream shop, Freezia, takes about five minutes to make each customer their own custom creation. Visitors choose a base ice cream before adding in flavors like pineapple, toffee and mint Oreo, and toppings like almonds and gummy bears. The hand-rolled ice cream starts out as a liquid and freezes right in front of the customer’s eyes. A must-eat in Idaho!

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Illinois: Black Dog Gelato

Chicago residents and visitors won’t have to travel far to try the Italian-style ice cream at Black Dog Gelato, which has four locations in Ukrainian Village, Roscoe Village, and downtown. The gelato comes on a stick with plenty of topping options, and visitors can choose eccentric flavors such as Cucumber Rosewater Sorbet, Goat Cheese Cashew Caramel, and Blueberry French Toast.

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Indiana: BRICS

The Broad Ripple Ice Cream Station, or BRICS, actually serves ice cream out of a train station in Indianapolis. With more than 40 flavors and a dozen toppings to choose from, visitors in the Hoosier state won’t want to miss this ice cream shop. Make sure you’re aware of the dumbest laws in each of the 50 states.

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Iowa: Thelma’s

Consistently ranked among the best ice cream shops in Iowa, Thelma’s combines two homemade delicacies: cookies and ice cream. The ice cream sandwiches are only $3 apiece for combinations such as sugar cookie with strawberry ice cream and peanut butter with banana ice cream. If you live near Des Moines, they even deliver!

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Kansas: College Hill Creamery

Recently remodeledFlavors Coffee and Ice Cream Bar in Wichita offers ice cream and breakfast enthusiasts a way to combine their favorite things. The shop sells hand-dipped ice cream with the option to add caramelized Belgian waffles, and gourmet espresso is available as well. Visitors can catch live music at the shop while tasting offerings from one of the best ice cream shops in America.

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Kentucky: Crank & Boom Ice Cream Lounge

Industrial-chic isn’t the first term that usually describes ice cream parlors, but Lexington’s Crank & Boom Ice Cream Lounge reel locals and visitors alike into the cool shop. The ice cream is made with natural ingredients, such as “100% Kentucky dairy from JD Country Milk and blackberries and strawberries from your neighbor’s farms,” according to the website. Flavors like Bourbon & Honey, Kentucky Blackberry & Buttermilk, and Dark Chocolate Truffle are served in adorable Mason jars. Want to learn about the state’s outlaws instead? Here’s the most notorious criminal from every state.

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Louisiana: Plum Street Snoballs

New Orlean’s favorite Plum Street Snoballs offers more than 50 flavors at its colorful, vintage storefront near Tulane University. (We know, snoballs aren’t technically ice cream, but they are cold, sweet, and delicious!) Although the stand tends to be busy, lines move quickly. Beyond standard and eccentric flavors like praline, bubblegum, and lemon meringue cream, visitors above the age of 21 can get theirs spiked!

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Maine: Beal’s Ice Cream

With four locations in southern Maine, Beal’s Ice Cream is a favorite for locals because of its charm and wide variety of flavors. The hard ice cream and hand-dipped cones are always a favorite, so make sure to check it out.

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Maryland: The Charmery

Within a walking distance of renowned Johns Hopkins University, The Charmery in Baltimore offers experimental flavors like Maryland Mud, Saturday Morning Cartoons, and Mango Lime Hot Sauce. Most importantly, this Charm City ice cream shop sells a Maryland staple: Old Bay ice cream. This quirky ice cream shop also offers color-changing “magic” spoons and homemade marshmallows. You’ll also want to visit the friendliest zip codes in every state.

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Massachusetts: SoCo Creamery

Micro-batch ice cream never tasted so sweet. This Great Barrington ice cream shop lists all of its ingredients to ensure visitors know what’s in their homemade ice cream. Some flavors at SoCo Creamery include blueberry honey lavender, ginger, and black raspberry, which pack in a wallop of taste in each bite.

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Michigan: Moomers Homemade Ice Cream

Visitors can pull up a stool at this quaint, family-owned ice cream shop in Traverse City. Ice cream sundaes are the best order at Moomers, and the choices include names like Turtle (any ice cream flavor with hot fudge, caramel, and butter roasted salted pecans), the most popular order, and Udder Delight (a brownie sundae with ice cream smothered with hot fudge, whipped cream, and a cherry).

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Minnesota: Izzy’s Ice Cream

A shop in each of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul, Izzy’s has a great variety of ice cream and won’t make visitors choose between flavors; every ice cream gets a mini Izzy scoop of a different flavor on top. Architecture buffs (and all ice cream enthusiasts) might want to check out the Minneapolis location for its “purpose-built” ice cream kitchen designed by Minnesota architect David Salmela. Check out the best bed and breakfasts in every state.

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Mississippi: Area 51 Ice Cream

Ice cream lovers who don’t want all the bells and whistles will love this low-key Hernando shop. The ice cream flavors at Area 51 Ice Cream pack a punch with names like caramelized banana, blackberry and goat cheese, and salted caramel. It also has a perfect five-star review on Yelp. Maybe you should start planning your trip to Mississippi.

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Missouri: Ted Drewes Frozen Custard

A St. Louis staple, Ted Drewes is known for the best frozen custard in the country, or at least that’s what the locals will tell you. Visitors can get Ted’s “concrete,” the most popular treat, at the custard stands. “The concrete, which was created in 1959, is a malt or shake so thick that it is served upside down,” (without spilling from the cup) according to the website.

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Montana: Big Dipper Ice Cream

Expect this walk-up joint to be packed every single night, at any of the three locations, in the warmer months. Big Dipper Ice Cream, a celebrated Montana staple, sells homemade ice cream scoops and shakes with fantastic texture and in exotic flavors like Mexican chocolate, black licorice, and huckleberry. Learn the 50 fascinating facts about the 50 states.

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Nebraska: Ivanna Ice Cream

Located in Lincoln, this Ivanna Ice Cream looks like the product with its bubble gum pink and violet walls. The soda shop-vibe lives up to the sweetness of this ice cream, which has a base of 14% buttercream. The shop normally has 17 flavors, which range from fresh strawberry and mint chip to lemongrass ginger and carrot cake.

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Nevada: Steve’s Homemade Ice Cream

From Staten Island, New York, to Fernley, Nevada, Steve of Steve’s Homemade Ice Cream set up shop in the desert to sell the best desserts in the state. The ice cream shop makes its products on-site, and the flavors change seasonally.

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New Hampshire: Memories Ice Cream

Situated in a charming dairy barn in Nashua, Memories sells ice cream made on site. Memories Ice Cream sells more than 35 flavors, as well as weekly and monthly specialty flavors. The best part? Visitors can take their ice cream to a rocking chair on the porch and relax. Read the most iconic book set in every state.

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New Jersey: Van Dyk’s Homemade Ice Cream

Travelers spending time in the New York City suburbs of Bergen County will want to stop by Van Dyk’s. Situated near Victorian homes and shops in downtown Ridgewood, visitors flock to this ice cream shop for dense, flavorful ice cream, and generous sizes. It’s not to be missed.

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New Mexico: Caliche’s Frozen Custard

The tasty Caliche’s Frozen Custard sells its specialty: frozen custard swirled into a big plastic cup. Visitors can choose from flavors like Big Hawaiian (bananas, pineapple, coconut, and salted pecan pieces) and Fudge Brownie Bliss. Everyone traveling through Las Cruces should stop by, mostly because a local will recommend it anyway.

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New York: Morgenstern’s Finest Ice Cream

New York City is known for some of the most amazing (and occasionally overrated) cuisines. Morgenstern’s is not one of them. This modern ice cream parlor usually has a line that wraps around the navy painted building near Bowery, but once travelers get inside, they can taste up to three flavors like Bitr Burnt Hazelnut Caramel, Banana Agave, and Edible Schoolyard NYC Mint Chip. However, Morgenstern’s is known for its black coconut ash ice cream that is the most Instagramable but will turn your lips, teeth, and tongue black. These are the 11 hidden gems most New Yorkers don’t know about.

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North Carolina: Sunni Sky’s Homemade Ice Cream

This seasonal, cash-only Sunni Sky’s offers 100 ice cream flavors and quick service in Angier. Visitors love the options and taste, and the shop consistently gets fantastic reviews. A must-visit in North Carolina!

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North Dakota: Dakota Drug Whirl-a-Whip

Getting your first Whirl-a-Whip at Dakota Drug is practically a right of passage in Stanley. You get your choice of toppings whirled right in from the menu of standard fruit and candy choices that also includes dill pickles and bacon. We hear it’s delicious. Here’s the best free tourist attraction in every state.

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Ohio: Mitchell’s Ice Cream

This eight-location Ohio chain offers small batches ice cream to travelers and Cleveland residents alike. All of the ice cream options are Kosher, and seasonal flavors rotate with the signature ice cream. For some local Buckeye flavor, Mitchell’s is the place to go.

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Oklahoma: Roxy’s Ice Cream Social

This Oklahoman City ice cream shop is so popular that it’s expanding into two other neighborhoods. Roxy’s colorful shop has outdoor seating and a variety of delicious flavors like graham cracker and cookie monster. Next, take a road trip to the most bizarre roadside attractions in each state.

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Oregon: Salt and Straw

West Coast residents, particularly those living in Portland, love Salt and Straw for its imaginative flavors. Visitors can try Portland classics like Petunia’s Cookies & Cream with Raspberry Swirl and Wildflower Honey with Ricotta Walnut Lace Cookies. The company is committed to using locally sourced ingredients, and locals like to visit the small business in their neighborhood.

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Pennsylvania: Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor

Located in Pittsburgh’s Strip District, Klavon’s sells locally sourced ice cream in its original location. Opened in 1923 as a neighborhood apothecary and ice cream shop, Klavon’s served ice cream until it closed in 1979. Twenty years later, the shop reopened and the owners kept the parlor, with its marble countertops, Coca-Cola-like revolving stools, and wooden phone booths, intact. Now, foodies travel to the burgeoning food scene in Pittsburgh for flavors like Mallow Cup, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, and Tin Ceiling Sundae.

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Rhode Island: The Sweet Spot

Nothing says summer in Rhode Island than stopping at The Sweet Spot in Narragansett. The ice cream shop doubles as a pastry shop, and visitors can sit outside and watch fishing boats and ferries pass by while they enjoy their ice cream. Don’t forget to follow the strangest food laws in each state.

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South Carolina: Sweet Cream Company

An acclaimed ice cream shop selling small-batch products, Sweet Cream Company boasts sophisticated flavors like lemon basil, brown sugar bourbon, and caramel popcorn. The downtown Columbia store doesn’t offer toppings to allow the “flavor of the ice cream itself to shine,” according to the website.

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South Dakota: SDSU Dairy Bar

Like the University of Delaware, South Dakota State University manufactures its award-winning cow-to-cone ice cream. With more than 60 decadent flavors like Apple Strudel, Peppermint Chocolate Chip, and Tangerine, visitors can taste the best ice cream in the state.

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Tennessee: Legato Gelato

Staying in line with Nashville’s vintage vibe, Legato Gelato does not disappoint. The shop has a distinct vintage flair and sells seven standard flavors—Madagascar bourbon vanilla, lemon, dark chocolate, stracciatella, coffee, Sicilian pistachio, and hazelnut—along with a variety of seasonal flavors like cream cheese and coconut. Want more regional flavors? Learn the best craft beer from each state.

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Texas: Amy’s Ice Creams

Locals will emphatically tell you that Amy’s in Austin is the best place in the Lone Star State for ice cream. For 30 years, Amy’s has created more than 1,000 flavors, 350 of which are in a daily rotation and what seems like just as many topping options. You can’t not go big in Texas, so travelers should swing by the groovy shop; there are also stores in Houston and San Antonio.

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Utah: Leatherby’s Family Creamery

The Leatherby’s Family Creamery sells old-fashioned ice cream. The ice cream base has 14 percent butterfat for premium quality. Visitors can also get all types of food at this fully functioning restaurant as well.

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Vermont: Ben & Jerry’s

No one can visit Vermont without getting Ben & Jerry’s, known by all as Vermont’s finest. Known for its flavors like Cherry Garcia, Half Baked, and Phish Food, Ben & Jerry’s has also made an effort to continue updating its offerings, like the new slices and core pints. Vermont visitors should take a trip to the factory to see where it’s all made, and try a lot of samples. Here are more hidden gem locations in each of the 50 states.

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Virginia: Carl’s Frozen Custard

This landmark curb-side ice cream stand draws major crowds for the delicious soft-serve ice cream. The Fredericksburg location of Carl’s Frozen Custard, which is open seasonally, is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Washington: SubZero Ice Cream and Yogurt

Vegans, diabetics, and those who are lactose intolerant should make their way to Washington for SubZero Ice Cream and Yogurt, which tailors to their needs. The ice cream is made right in front of travelers using liquid nitrogen. It’s definitely the coolest ice cream in town.

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Washington, D.C.: Thomas Sweet

Standing proudly on a cute corner in Georgetown, this shop welcomes everyone from college students to the Secret Service. Although Thomas Sweet is known for its house-made ice creams and blend-ins, locals and visitors flock to this ice cream shop for free coffee refills and a place to sit in the quaint D.C. neighborhood. Here’s the craziest world record set in every state.

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West Virginia: Austin’s Homemade Ice Cream

This Kenova ice cream shop offers 28 flavors, such as cinnamon, lemon custard, and black walnut, to anyone passing through West Virginia. Austin’s also sells sherbet and sugar-free and seasonal ice cream.

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Wisconsin: Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Co.

Spread out in Wisconsin, the Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream Co. has six locations for maximum access to ice cream. The shop, a Wisconsin mainstay since 1962, makes 100 different flavors of ice cream, such as horchata, Irish mint, and spumoni—flavors you’ll only find in Wisconsin!

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Wyoming: Farson Mercantile

Home of the Big Cone, Farson Mercantile carries 20 flavors like bubblegum, maple nut, and strawberry cheesecake. The ice cream shop doesn’t just offer delicious dairy treats, but also pizza, deli subs, and custom espresso drinks. It also has a gift store that sells unique gifts and Wyoming apparel, according to the website. Travelers should make a pit stop on a road trip in Farson for a big cone. Start planning your trips with the cheapest month of the year to visit each state.

Amanda Eisenberg
Amanda Eisenberg is a New York City-based journalist. She's covered everything from unlawful nursing home discharges in Maryland to excess helicopter noise in Hoboken. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Elle Decor, McClatchy-Tribune Wire Service and dozens of other publications. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland (go Terps!). In her free time, Eisenberg enjoys traveling, volunteering and cliff diving. She can be reached at [email protected]