6 Treats Every Ice Cream Lover Must Try

Whether sandwiched between slices of pound cake or dusted with Pop Rocks, these cool treats are worth a try

Play it cool as you try these ice cream shops; just watch out for those pesky brain freezes.

Whether you’re an ice cream purist who prefers your scoops plain or you’d rather load it up with toppings, there’s no better sweet treat than good, old-fashioned ice cream. But that doesn’t mean it has to be boring, and these six ice cream shops across America feature offerings that are anything but dull. Many offer vegan, dairy-free options, too, so you can indulge even if you have dietary restrictions. One might even argue that these chilly concoctions are worth traveling for. Ready to be convinced? Here’s the scoop.


Two on a Blanket at Jaxson’s Ice Cream (Dania Beach, Florida)

Jaxson’s, a Zagat-rated Dania Beach restaurant, serves oversized ice cream treats, including the Punch Bowl; a creation that includes a dozen flavors, is loaded with toppings and capped off with a lighted sparkler. If you’re not quite ready for that, try the Two on a Blanket, which is still sharable with two slices of pound cake, chocolate and vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, marshmallows, toasted almonds, whipped cream and cherries.

Hocus Pocus milkshake at George’s Ice Cream and Sweets (Chicago, Illinois)

Don’t let the line outside the shop deter you; the ice cream creations at George’s Ice Cream and Sweets are certainly worth the wait. Inside, you’ll find creative offerings like pretzel cones and donut ice cream sandwiches. But if you’re in the mood for something a little different, try the Hocus Pocus milkshake. It’s truly a treat for all the senses, as it’s made with rainbow sherbet, Sprite and Pop Rocks for a uniquely fizzy combination.

Original Salted Caramel at Graeter’s Ice Cream (Columbus, Ohio)

Graeter’s Ice Cream in Columbus makes small batch ice cream, the same way it did more than 100 years ago. Credit: @graeters


The Ohio-based, family-owned regional chain Graeter’s is the only commercial ice cream manufacturer in the world that still uses French Pot pot freezers. Although the business is now run by the family’s fourth generation, they still make ice cream the way their ancestors did: in two-gallon batches. And that means when you take a bite of their salted caramel ice cream, it tastes just as good as it did when it was one of the company’s original offerings more than 100 years ago. Their ice cream is too thick to be pumped into containers, so each pint is packed by hand.

Caramel Apple Pie Float at Churn (Phoenix, Arizona)

An ice cream shop with a retro vibe, Churn will let you build your perfect cookie sandwich from a selection of cookies and ice cream flavors that changes daily. But don’t overlook the quirky float menu, where you’ll find the caramel apple pie float, made with vanilla ice cream, salted caramel and apple soda and topped with cinnamon sugar.

Honey Lavender at Salt & Straw (Portland, Oregon)

Talk about a fresh take on a cool treat. This ice cream shop, which also has locations in San Francisco and Los Angeles, has far-out flavors like carrot cake batter and hazelnut praline, freckled chocolate zucchini bread, and green fennel and maple. Want to sample something local? Try a scoop of honey lavender; the bright purple ice cream is made with Oregon-grown lavender petals soaked in local honey.

A one-of-a-kind flavor from the daily menu at Sweet Action Ice Cream (Denver, Colorado)

Handmade from local Colorado produce, Sweet Action Ice Cream features unique flavor creations, including Black Licorice Sambuca. Credit: Sweet Action Ice Cream

Sweet Action, in Denver’s historic Broadway neighborhood, is powered entirely by wind, and it makes its ice cream with local milk and uses compostable and recyclable packaging. But it’s the quirky flavors—like five spice, honey cornbread, maple fig and alpine herbal strawberry swirl—that make the shop a must-visit for ice cream-loving travelers. The flavors change daily, so if you fall in love with a flavor—like, say, honey parmesan peppercorn—you should probably pick up a pint to take home. They also ship nationwide.

Ready for a sweet vacation? Find hotels in Dania Beach, Chicago, Columbus, Phoenix, Portland, Denver.


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