RICHMOND, Va. — There are many reasons for Virginians to be proud of their home state. From being the Birthplace of Presidents to boasting an excellent wine and craft beer scene and of course the natural beauty of the Commonwealth’s mountains and coast, there is something in Virginia for everyone to love. Now you can add two new delicious spots to your Virginia tourist to-do list. Travel website TripAdvisor recently ranked not one, but two Virginia ice cream shops among the nation’s Top 10 best.
Island Creamery in Chincoteague and Brown Dog Ice Cream in Cape Charles are two of the travel website’s highest-rated ice cream shops. TripAdvisor ranked its Top 10 based on “the quality and quantity of reviews and opinions from millions of TripAdvisor travelers.”
Here’s a look at the entire Top 10:
- Harborwalk Scoops & Bites Ice Cream – Punta Gorda, Florida (152 reviews, 5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
Located 25 miles north of Fort Myers on Charlotte Harbor, this coastal ice cream shop serves more than 20 heavenly homemade flavors including “Captain Rum Raisin”, “Toasted Coconut” and “Chocolatey Chocolate Chip.” According to a TripAdvisor reviewer, “The ice cream was delectable and creamy. The experience was enhanced by the idyllic location on a pier where some breathtaking yachts were docked.”
- Bellvale Farms Creamery – Warwick, New York (143 reviews, 5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
Since 1819, this Hudson Valley farm has been churning out carefully crafted dairy. Travelers can choose from classic flavors such as strawberry, vanilla, and chocolate or opt for a more unique creation like “Bellvale Bog”, a dark chocolate ice cream loaded with brownie dough and decadent fudge swirl. A TripAdvisor reviewer wrote, “The ice cream is delicious and the views of Warwick Valley are beautiful. Great place to stop in the summer.”
- Dietsch Brothers Inc. – Findlay, Ohio (181 reviews, 5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
For more than 75 years, this family-run establishment south of Toledo has served an assortment of mouthwatering ice cream including praline pecan, chocolate marshmallow, and toffee caramel crunch. Travelers can cool off with a towering cone or indulge in a sundae smothered with hot fudge and whipped cream. “Dietsch has everything a sweet tooth desires. They have over 50 flavors of ice cream and sorbet including seasonal favorites,” noted a TripAdvisor reviewer.
- McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams – Santa Barbara, California (222 reviews, 5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
Founded in Santa Barbara in 1949, McConnell’s serves frozen delights made from local, sustainable and organic ingredients. Artisanal flavors include “Churros con Leche,” “Sea Salt Cream and Cookies,” and “Golden State Vanilla.” A TripAdvisor reviewer commented, “I would eat this every day for the rest of my life if I could. The Turkish Coffee is the most wonderful coffee ice cream I have ever experienced. The Toasted Coconut Almond Chip was divine, and the Macadamia Nut terrific.”
- Scottish Highland Creamery – Oxford, Maryland (133 reviews, 5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
After working at an Italian ice cream parlor in Scotland, Victor Barlow decided to open his own shop in a quaint village on the coast of Maryland. The Scottish Creamery proudly serves more than 600 flavors such as “Double Belgian Chocolate,” “Mascarpone,” and “Fresh Crushed Strawberry.” “Silky smooth texture, perfect level of sweetness, and enough flavors to satisfy any taste buds. The Chocolate Chunk Coffee ice cream was the best coffee ice cream I’ve ever tasted,” noted a TripAdvisor reviewer.
- Island Creamery – Chincoteague Island, Virginia (1,433 reviews, 5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
Using all-natural locally sourced ingredients from Lancaster County, Island Creamery seeks seasonal inspiration for its flavors from native fruit and chocolate morsels made in-house. Favorites include “Wallops Rocket Fuel,” a chocolate ice cream with cinnamon and chili pepper, “Java Jolt,” and “Birthday Cake.” A TripAdvisor reviewer commented, “Many wonderful flavors, huge scoops and handmade cones await you! A favorite on the island for many years and when you have your first scoop or your first sundae, you’ll understand why.”
- Martha’s Dandee Crème – Queensbury, New York (322 reviews, 5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
Boasting ice cream made fresh daily, this upstate New York dessert parlor is known for its rotation of palate-pleasing soft serve flavors such as “Marble Cake,” “Mocha Twist,” and “Apple Pie.” A TripAdvisor reviewer wrote, “Martha’s has the most amazing flavors that change daily, and the portions are huge. You can check their website for the flavors of the day, but I recommend the lime and vanilla twist.”
- Brickley’s Ice Cream – Narragansett, Rhode Island (112 reviews, 5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
Travelers can satisfy their sweet tooth at Brickley’s where more than 45 delicious flavors are available. Traditionalists can cool off with strawberry, sweet cream or chocolate, while those craving decadence can enjoy “Malted Milk Ball,” “Coffee Oreo,” or “Chocolate Brownie.” “When the craving for ice cream hits, we head to Brickley’s! Whether a cup or cone, it’s the perfect treat to beat the heat with so many flavors to choose from,” noted a TripAdvisor reviewer.
- Woodside Farm Creamery – Hockessin, Delaware (155 reviews, 5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
Located 10 miles west of Wilmington, this small town creamery has been serving inventive flavors of ice cream for nearly two decades. Frozen creations include sweet and savory “Bacon,” “Peanut Butter and Jelly,” and perennial favorite “Dirt,” made with crushed Oreo cookies and gummy worms. A TripAdvisor reviewer wrote, “I do not know how they make ice cream, but it is out of the world. They have so many flavors, but my favorites are vanilla and black raspberry – rich and simply the very best.”
- Brown Dog Ice Cream – Cape Charles, Virginia (160 reviews, 5 out of 5 bubbles on TripAdvisor)
Travelers visiting Chesapeake Bay can cool off with an old-fashioned cone at Brown Dog where the scrumptious flavors are made from family recipes. Gourmet tastes include “Blueberry Lavender,” “Mocha Scotch Chip,” and “Poncho Verde,” avocado ice cream packed with strawberries, lime and zesty jalapeños. “Great ice cream, friendly service, creative flavors vary daily and all made on the premises. I’ve tried a lot of ice cream and this is the best,” commented a TripAdvisor reviewer.
Methodology: The TripAdvisor ranking of top ice cream shops in the U.S. is based on establishments that have a minimum of 100 traveler reviews and no more than 10 locations. Shops were ranked by quantity and quality of reviews, giving more weight to reviews written in the past year.