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National Ice Cream Day is July 16th this year, and we’ve been planning our moves. We’re sharing our take on the best places in America to celebrate National Ice Cream Day this July, including gelato and shave ice shops, parlors, stores and stands.

what are the best places to Celebrate National Ice Cream Day?

National Ice Cream Day is coming up on July 16th, and we can’t wait to celebrate. Ice cream is not only one of our favorite desserts – so refreshing, so versatile – but also a cherished summer activity. Who doesn’t love taking a trip to the ice cream parlor on a sweltering summer day? Maybe more than any other food item, ice cream is an activity as much as it is something we eat, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Best places in America to celebrate National Ice Cream Day this July, including gelato and shave ice shops, parlors, stores and stands.

Where to go to celebrate National Ice Cream Day this July.

That’s why we’ve made a list of the ten most destination-worthy ice cream shops in the United States. If you’re in search of that perfect summer day, find the one nearest to your house – or not-so-near, if you’re in the mood for a little road trip – and make a plan to visit this July 16th. You’ll be glad you did.

Celebrate National Ice Cream Day With the Best Places To Visit 2023

1. New York: Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain

There are many scoops of ice cream to love in New York, but we want to give a special shoutout to Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain (and yes, that’s “Farmacy” with an “F”). This retro ice cream parlor is housed in what was once a 1920’s apothecary shop in Carroll Gardens, and the fanciful, vintage feel is half of the appeal. But the other half is the menu of out-of-this-world ice cream sundaes, which defy our wildest, sugar-fiend dreams. Enjoy your ice cream with toppings like apple pie, red velvet cake, and potato chips, or opt for an old-time favorite: the ice cream float.

2. Multiple Locations: Jeni’s Scoop Shop

We all know Jeni’s. If the freezer aisles of our grocery store were a high school cafeteria, she’d be the homecoming queen. Founded by Jeni Britton, Jeni’s Ice Cream is loved by celebrities, loved by us, and if you’ve tried their creative, colorful pints, then likely loved by you too. And yet, we still think their in-person scoop shops taste even better than the versions you can eat at home. If there’s one near you – and there may well be, since they’re in more than twenty cities across the country – they could be the perfect place to celebrate National Ice Cream Day.

3. Nebraska: Coneflower Creamery

Coneflower Creamery was recently voted the best ice cream shop in America, so of course we had to include them in our list. This Omaha spot is known for their ice pops, ice cream floats, and ice cream sandwiches, as well as their homemade toppings and sauces. Their artisanal ice cream is all homemade, and includes classic flavors like vanilla bean and cookies and cream, as well as special seasonal offerings. And make sure to try a glass of their locally-made root beer – it’s available on tap!

4. Pennsylvania: C&C Creamery

Philly is another city with a lot of great ice cream, but our eyes went straight to C&C Creamery. They’ve been making ice cream on the premises since 1955, and their rainbow of flavors includes crowd pleasers like moose tracks, cake batter, and mint chocolate chip. And don’t skip the soft serve! They offer six soft serve flavors: vanilla, chocolate, vanilla and chocolate twist, pineapple dole whip, strawberry dole whip, and mango dole whip.

Best places in America to celebrate National Ice Cream Day this July, including gelato and shave ice shops, parlors, stores and stands.

The best places in America to celebrate National Ice Cream Day this July.

5. Hawaii: Waiola Shave Ice

If you’re feeling tired of ice cream (though how could you be?), how about some shaved ice? Waiola Shave Ice first opened as a storefront window in the 1970’s, and their menu items are just as colorful and mouth-watering today. Toppings include mochi balls, condensed milk, and azuki beans, and you’ll definitely need to try them all.

6. Multiple Locations: Salt & Straw

If you’re a fan of funky flavors, then the “handmade, curiously delicious,” Salt & Straw is the ice cream chain for you. The popular West Coast chain has generated a lot of buzz over the last decade, and we’re thrilled to say that their inventive ice creams live up to the hype. Where else can you find flavors like “goat cheese, marionberry, habanero,” “arbequina olive oil,” and “pear and blue cheese”? Salt & Straw is a name to know in the world of ice cream, and don’t worry – if you’re not much of a risk-taker, they have their takes on all the classic flavors too.

7. Florida: The Hyppo Gourmet Ice Pops

If you think that ice pops are inferior to regular ice cream, think again. You just haven’t tried the ones at Hyppo’s. These Florida shops offer all-natural, handmade ice pops, made from ingredients like fresh fruit, herbs and spices, and evaporated cane juice. Most of their options are dairy-free, making them the perfect treat for any vegans who want to join in the National Ice Cream Day fun. Enjoy seasonal flavors like champagne strawberry, mango chia, starfruit orange blossom, tangelo, and dozens – possibly hundreds – more. And p.s.:  you can dip any ice pop in chocolate.

8. Massachusetts: Toscanini’s Ice Cream

Frequently named one of the best ice cream shops in the country – not to mention the best in Boston – Toscanini’s must land a spot on your bucket (or scoop) list. The Cambridge ice cream parlor has a devoted legion of followers, and for good reason; as soon as you try your first spoonful,  you’re going to become one of them. Their fabulous flavors change regularly, but today include lime fluff, passionfruit caramel, milo Godzilla (Australian malt powder with sweetened condensed milk), kulfi, gingersnap molasses, and many more. If there’s one ice cream shop that’s worth the trip, it’s Toscanini’s.

9. Rhode Island: Brickley’s

This Narragansett ice cream shop is a family business, and you can taste the love in every spoonful. There are more than forty-five flavors offered fresh daily, and you can even enjoy them inside of a homemade waffle cone. Simple and delicious, Brickley’s is the feeling of ice cream in the summertime – of warm, sun-drenched family memories – personified in a single scoop shop.

10. Arizona: Churn

Churn has got the good stuff. They know what goes into the ideal ice cream parlor – fresh ingredients, plus menu items like ice cream sandwiches, floats, and sundaes – and they’ve packed the Phoenix shop with all of the above. Since it’s summer, we’re craving one of their strawberry shortcake sundaes. Vanilla and strawberry ice cream, fresh strawberries, strawberry sauce, shortcake, and whipped cream. Perfection.

Where to Go National Ice Cream Day this July

Those are our picks for the best places in America to celebrate National Ice Cream Day this July, including top gelato and shave ice shops, parlors, stores and stands. Scoops, sundaes and ice cream sodas – yes, please!

Abbie Martin Greenbaum

Abbie Martin Greenbaum is a writer, reader, and pop culture connoisseur, who loves storytelling, coffee, and dessert. Her work has also appeared in Playbill.