Celebrate Ice Cream

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It is reported that nearly 90 percent of Americans love ice cream.

Whether in our home town or on the road, a trip to the local sweet shop is often on the itinerary.

If you and your family are in the majority, consider incorporating the cool confection into your next holiday.

Here are nine places where ice cream takes center stage: 

Salt & Straw, Portland, OR.

 Billed as  “farm-to-cone ice cream”, the delectable and creative flavors regularly result in lines out the door, as patrons debate their new favorite concoction. Launched by cousins Kim and Tyler Malek, the pair uses local, sustainable and organic ingredients to deliver hand-made, small batches of Goat Cheese Marionberry Habanero, Cinnamon Snicker Doodle and Double Fold Singing Dog Vanilla.

Contact: 971-271-8168; www.SaltandStraw.com.

Velvet Ice Cream’s Ye Olde Mill. Utica, OH.

This 99-year-old, family-owned spot celebrates the month with activities that include 99-cent cone day, music from a barbershop quartert, magicians, clowns, tastings and a special sundae celebration. Pets even get in on the action during the 4Paws Dog Show

The company, fittingly located in Licking County, churns out more than 5 million gallons of ice cream each year on the 25-acre grounds of Ye Olde Mill where visitors can tour the ice cream and milling museum. The playground, picnic area and catch-and-release fishpond are popular with families. 

Contact: www.VelvetIceCream.com

Mount Rushmore National Memorial. SD.

Thomas Jefferson is well known for service to his country, efforts that included writing the Declaration of Independence and serving as President of the US.  But few know he is considered to be the first to craft an ice cream recipe.  Xanterra Parks and Resorts serves the same vanilla recipe that Jefferson offered his guests at a state dinner held at Monticello home.  Monumental scoops of “TJ’s Ice Cream” are available throughout the summer at the Memorial Team Ice Cream shop.

Contact: www.nps.gov/moru; www.mtrushmorenationalmemorial.com

Little Man Ice Cream. Denver, Co.

Visit this Coney Island inspired creamery for hand-made and locally sourced taste treats, crafted within a 28-foot tall silver cream can. In addition to providing an experience for their local customers, Little Man is committed to a Scoop for Scoop program. For every scoop of ice cream purchased, the organization provides a scoop of rice or beans to those less fortunate in developing parts of the world.

Contact: www.littlemanicecream.com 

Birchwood Dairy, Abbotsford, BC.

Koralee Teichroeb, author of Everything Goes With Ice Cream, taps the 150-acre Birchwood Dairy as her go-to spot for the creamy confection. “This little neighborhood farm and dairy sells the best homemade ice cream ever,” declares the frozen treat aficionado. Visitors can take a farm tour or enjoy petting small farm animals before enjoying a scoop of Candy Cane or Caramel Wave.

Contact: http://www.birchwooddairy.com/

Waterbury, Vt. – 

Two guys named Ben and Jerry have turned their mail order ice cream business into this state’s number one tourist attraction. The kids will have fun outside engaging in fun activities that include spin art, a tie-dye tent, temporary tattoos and a playground. Inside they will be mesmerized by the “cow to cone” process. Everyone’s favorite focus seems to be taste testing. Don’t miss the ice cream graveyard where has-beens and wanna-be flavors are given their due with colorful grave markers.

Contact: Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory Tours; 1 (802) 882-1240; www.BenJerry.com

Fairbanks and Denali, AK

If the urge for ice cream strikes in between animal sightings, camping, climbing, biking and  kayaking, head straight to Hot Licks for some premium cream. Launched more than 20 years ago by two brothers from Boston, Hot Licks offers locally inspired flavors including Aurora Borealis (local blueberry and cranberry purees swirled into vanilla ice cream), Alaska Birch Walnut (local birch syrup and California walnuts) and Nanook Nosh (vanilla, melted milk chocolate and caramel.)

Contact: www.HotLIicks.net; :1- (907) 479-7813

Fort Lauderdale, FL -- 

At the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa you can enjoy in-room ice cream sundae service. During July ( National Ice Cream Month ) you can go overboard with free toppings. Watching your calories? Indulge in a 50- minute ice cream pedicure, customized to your taste. Will it be vanilla, kiwi or mango? 

Contact:  www.marriottharborbeach.com; 1 (800) 222-6543.

 San Antonio, TX

After a stroll on the Riverwalk or a visit to the Alamo, indulge in a cool, refreshing ice cream sundae for your feet!  At the luxury Watermark Hotel and Spa you can climb into the chair for a 50-minute ice cream pedicure treatment that promises to nourish, relax and beautify your legs and feet. Your special take home gift: more ice cream.

Contact: 1 (866) 605-1212; www.watermarkhotel.com.