50 in 50: The Best Ice Cream in Each State for National Ice Cream Day
Photo Credit: Mark Cruz/UnSplash

Photo Credit: Mark Cruz/UnSplash

50 in 50: The Best Ice Cream in Each State for National Ice Cream Day

50 In 50 , National Ice Cream Day , news
Bernadette Giacomazzo
Bernadette Giacomazzo Jul 15, 2022

Get on your sweatpants on July 17th — it’s National Ice Cream Day!

According to the International Dairy Foods Association, President Ronald Reagan declared the national holiday on the third Sunday of every July, which means that National Ice Cream Day falls on July 17th in the year 2022.

What’s more, Reagan declared the entire month of July to be held in honor of the frozen sweet treat — and by Presidential Proclamation, he declared that Americans do their patriotic duty and celebrate with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

What could be more appropriate, then, than to patronize the best ice cream joints in each of the 50 states? Ice cream is just as all-American as barbecues, apple pie, and messy election seasons.

Whether you’re in New Hampshire or New York, the Midwest or the Southwest, Arizona or Alabama, we’ve got you covered.

Though it was quite the herculean task, we’ve come up with this list of the 50 best local ice cream parlors to patronize in all 50 states. No flavor is off-limits, and no batch is too small! And some of these places will even deliver to your front door!

Celebrate National Ice Cream Day the all-American way: by supporting local businesses and eating large amounts of sugar!

Alabama — Big Spoon Creamery

The family-owned Big Spoon Creamery opened in 2014 and has become a staple of Birmingham, AL, ever since.

Alaska — Wild Scoops

Located in the capitol city of Anchorage, Wild Scoops prides itself on using only the best local ingredients in its unique ice cream flavors.

Arizona — Melt Ice Cream

Melt’s distinctive flavors and Chinese food take-away containers make it a downtown Phoenix favorite.


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Arkansas — Loblolly

Best known for its specialty, “small-batch” flavors, Loblolly is a favorite of the residents of Little Rock.

California — McConnell's Fine Ice Creams

The best ice cream in California isn’t in San Francisco or Los Angeles — it’s in Santa Barbara. It was even featured in Time Magazine!

Colorado — Sweet Action

This Denver mainstay boasts using only fresh, locally sourced ingredients and periodically runs sales for its patrons.

Connecticut — Ferris Acres Creamery

This ice cream shop, which originated in Newtown in the 1860s, is also home to a long-standing farm!

Delaware — The Ice Cream Store

This Delaware favorite is located right on the Rehoboth Boardwalk, and gets jammin’ during the summer holiday.

Florida — Sloan's of West Palm Beach

Today, Sloan’s ice cream can be found all over the country. But it all started in a little shop of the same name in West Palm Beach.

Georgia — The Yard Milkshake Bar

The Yard has turned ice cream into works of art, and they are conveniently located in the heart of Atlanta.

Hawaii — Lappert's Ice Cream & Coffee Lounge

This capital city mainstay has been delighting residents of Hawaii since 1983.

Idaho — Freezia

Freezia is a hidden gem located in the Post Falls district of Idaho.

Illinois — Capannari Ice Cream & Catering

This family-owned and operated shop in the heart of Mount Prospect is owned by the third generation of owners, today. It’s considered the best ice cream shop in the Midwest!

Indiana — PaddyShack Ice Cream

You’ll have to drive a way out to get to this ice cream shop — it’s actually on the border of Indiana and Michigan — but it’s well worth it.

Iowa — Heyn's Premium Ice Cream

This Iowa City mainstay can be found all over the state, but its flagship store still gets the most foot traffic.

Kansas — Freezing Moo

Located in the Oak Park Mall, this Kansas City favorite boasts both homemade ice cream and hand-rolled waffle cones!

Kentucky — Crank & Boom Craft Ice Cream

With two locations in the greater Lexington area, Craft & Boom specializes in small batch and signature flavors.

Louisiana — Creole Creamery

The Creole Creamery has three locations throughout the greater New Orleans area — and it’s just as unique as the city itself.

Maine — Rococo Ice Cream

You know an ice cream shop is legendary when it has a “test shop” nearby. And that’s exactly what Rococo Ice Cream in Kennebunkport has to offer its clientele.

Maryland — The Charmery

The Charmery is one of the most popular ice cream shops in the greater Baltimore area — it’s no wonder it made our list.

Massachusetts — Toscanini's

Rated the “best ice cream in Boston,” this Cambridge-area mainstay gets rave reviews from the locals.

Michigan — Moomer's Homemade Ice Cream

You’ll have to travel to northern Michigan for this treat — Moomer’s is located just outside of Interlochen — but it’s located on a dairy farm, so you’ll get a chance to support local businesses.

Minnesota — Sweet Science

Sweet Science prides itself on making ice cream “pint by pint.”

Mississippi — Bop's Frozen Custard

There’s a world of difference between frozen custard and ice cream, and one taste of Bop’s — a Jackson, MS favorite — will make you see that it’s just as good, if not better.

Missouri — Sparky's Homemade Ice Cream

Named after a beloved family dog, Sparky’s prides itself on going the extra mile for its devoted customer base.

Montana — Big Dipper Ice Cream

With three locations (in Helena, Billings, and Missoula) and an ever-roving truck, the Big Dipper ice cream company is a Montana favorite.

Nebraska — eCreamery

Any shop that offers both ice cream and gelato is alright with us…and, apparently, the Shark Tank people, too.

Nevada — CJ's Italian Ice and Custard

Head down to the West End of the Vegas strip to get a scoop — or two — of this local favorite.

New Hampshire — Annabelle's Natural Ice Cream

Located in the seaside community of Portsmouth, Annabelle’s has been a local favorite since 1982.

New Jersey — Nasto's

Like everything else in North New Jersey, Nasto’s has a distinctly Italian-American flavor, offering ice creams and gelatos alongside tartufos and cakes.

New Mexico — The Paleta Bar

These homemade paletas — ice cream on a stick — have a distinctly Southwestern flavor.

New York — Swirls and Twirls

There are five locations of Swirls and Twirls to choose from: Oceanside, Nesconset, Massapequa Park, Levittown, and West Islip.

North Carolina — Lumpy's Ice Cream

This Wake Forest mainstay lives up to its tagline: Just a scoop away from a smile!

North Dakota — The Silver Lining Creamery

The Silver Lining Creamery offers the best homemade ice cream in downtown Fargo, hands down.

Ohio — Weldons' Olde Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor

This Ohio mainstay has been delighting guests since 1930.

Oklahoma — Capitals Ice Cream

Located in the heart of Oklahoma City, Capitals Ice Cream offers homemade ice cream and coffee in its shop.

Oregon — Cool Moon Ice Cream

As usual, you’ll have to go to Portland to get this treat — but it’s worth the trip.

Pennsylvania — Gibby's Ice Cream Store

Taking a trip to the Philly area? Make a detour to Levittown — and to Gibby’s Ice Cream Store, a local favorite.

Rhode Island — Brickley's Homemade Ice Cream

Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the union — but Brickley’s has the largest presence there.

South Carolina — Painter's Homemade Ice Cream

Myrtle Beach-goers love a refreshing treat from Painter’s when they come to visit.

South Dakota — Leones' Creamery

Leones’ isn’t far from Old City Hall, and they make ice cream and other frozen treats on the premises.

Tennessee — Mike's Ice Cream and Coffee Bar

Stop by Mike’s before you go to the Johnny Cash Museum for a local favorite sweet treat.

Texas — Sweet Firefly Gourmet Ice Cream & Sweet Treats

Sweet Firefly bills itself as having the best homemade ice cream in the Metroplex — and it has air conditioning, too, which seems to be a rare commodity in Texas.

Utah — Handel's

Handel’s has been a Sandy, UT favorite since 1945.

Vermont — The Village Scoop

This Colchester favorite makes its own ice cream, cakes, and more.

Virginia — Gilly's Creamery

Virginia Beach residents know all about Gilly’s Creamery, which gets all its locally sourced ingredients from various farmer’s markets.

Washington — Mount Desert Island

Located in Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island makes small batch artisanal flavors.

West Virginia — Ellen's Homemade Ice Cream

Since the early 2000s, Ellen’s has been delighting customers in West Virginia with all of their homemade goodies — especially their ice cream!

Wisconsin — Kelley Country Creamery

Wisconsin isn’t just famous for its cheese — it’s famous for its ice cream, too, as Kelley Country Creamery proves.

Wyoming — Old Mill Ice Cream Shop

In addition to offering homemade ice cream, the Old Mill Ice Cream Shop also offers smoothies and other frozen treats.

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