National Ice Cream Month: Beat the Heat with a Tasty Treat in One of These U.S. Cities

We’re right in the heat of summer, making it the perfect time to sit back and enjoy a bowl or cone of your favorite flavor of ice cream. There’s nothing quite like that first lick on a hot day. That’s why, in 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and called for all Americans to celebrate the holiday with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.” 
 
While ice cream is certainly a tasty treat, it is also a major contributor to the country’s economy. A survey by the International Dairy Foods Association shows that the majority of ice cream companies have been in operation for over 50 years and are still family-owned businesses. In addition, these companies contribute more than $39 billion to the U.S. economy and create more than 188,000 jobs. It’s no easy task keeping up with demand, as studies show that 87% of Americans have ice cream in their freezer at any given time.
 
So, don’t disobey Reagan’s delectable decree! If you live in one of these five cities in the U.S., you’re even luckier. They claim to have the best ice cream around.
 
Four friends enjoying ice cream on a summer day
San Francisco, California
 
In a city known for its expense and extravagance, ice cream can be a simple luxury. California produces more ice cream than any other state and it shows, as San Francisco has more ice cream parlors than any other city on this list.
  • One of the most popular stops in the bay area is Bi-Rite Creamery and Bakeshop in the Mission District. Almost every ingredient added to the ice cream is made in-house, from the brownies and cookies to the fluffy marshmallows. 
  • For something a bit more eccentric, Humphry Slocombe boasts a selection of unique and alcohol-infused flavors, including Secret Breakfast, Glenlivet and Jalapeño Cornbread. If you’re lucky enough to live in the California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada or Hawaii, you might even be able to find some of these delicious flavors at your local grocery store.
Two senior men enjoying ice cream outdoors
Minneapolis, Minnesota
 
Despite its reputation for having a cold, wintery climate, the Twin Cities and Minneapolis in particular are home to one of the most flourishing ice cream scenes in the country. Even though the weather might not always be ideal, or warm, Minnesotans have proven they’re willing to brave the elements for a fresh cup of ice cream.
  • At Pumphouse Creamery, all ice cream is made from organic milk and cream produced on a small dairy farm in Wisconsin, ensuring your scoop is not only delicious but ethically sourced. 
  • In Uptown and South Minneapolis, you’ll find Sebastian Joe’s, where the flavors rotate every day, guaranteeing you can always find something new and exciting on the menu.
Couple enjoying ice cream
Denver, Colorado
 
Some of the most unique ice cream in the entire nation are deep in the heart of the Mile High City. The local creameries have found a way to seamlessly blend the city’s unmistakable culture with what we’ve come to traditionally know and love about this frozen dessert, which creates culinary experiences you need to see to believe.
  • One of the city’s most beloved stops, Sweet Action Ice Cream, is 100% wind-powered and uses exclusively compostable and recyclable packaging. Perhaps best of all, the ice cream is considered some of the best in the city, and the extensive menu ensures you can always find something you’re craving. 
  • Little Man Ice Cream is a whimsical little creamery that conducts its business inside a 28-foot tall can of cream. If you find yourself yearning for the restaurants of old, this is a nostalgia trip you definitely won’t want to mis
Two women enjoying ice cream cones
Honolulu, Hawaii
 
The tropical climate of Hawaii makes it practically the perfect spot to sit back and relax with a frozen dessert. While sweet treats can easily be found on all eight islands, Oahu stands out for the imaginative concoctions of the state’s capital city.
  • Try an original spin on ice cream at Bubbies near the University of Hawaii campus. This shop specializes in a Japanese-style rice cake called mochi. Bubbies takes an old technique to wrap ice cream in sweetened rice, effectively transforming it into an entirely new, bite-sized dessert. 
  • For a more traditional take on ice cream, Lappert’s Hawaii is home to a seemingly endless selection of classic and exotic flavors, such as Banana Fudge, Green Tea and Kauai Pie.
Three men taking a selfie with ice cream cones
New York City, New York
 
It might come as no surprise that New York City is one of the greatest cities for ice cream, but it’s a reputation the city certainly deserves. It seems that on almost every street corner you can find a place to enjoy a waffle cone full of the newest irresistible flavor. With so many options to choose from, the immeasurable volume can often make it hard to stand out. However, the cream always rises to the top, and these shops have earned the right to call themselves the best in the city. 
  • Approximately 65 percent of the human population develops some form of lactose intolerance and must choose to avoid some of the foods they love most. However, Victory Garden seeks to solve that problem by creating ice cream using 100% goat’s milk, which, as an added bonus, makes it lower in fat. While the storefront is no longer open, you can find its products at many of the area’s grocery stores. 
  • Beginning in 2009 as a food truck, Big Gay Ice Cream has now become an iconic staple with three locations in New York City and one in Philadelphia. This is an unconventional parlor that prides itself on putting creative twists on some of your favorite flavors to bring out the inner child in all of us.
Family enjoying ice cream in a park
I scream. You scream. We all scream for more blog posts that are a treat to read
 
Know what else will keep you cool this summer? A dip your apartment community’s pool. Make it a staycation with these tips.
 
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