As May whisks by and June steps up to the plate, I can’t help but start to get a hankering for a certain chilly treat: ice cream! Hot summer weather might not be on the radar just yet, but a bit of planning ahead and anticipation never hurt anyone.
Now, screaming aside, there are probably a million places to score some awesome waffle cones and sweet treats. A few major stops are their own frozen castles in the memories of my childhood.
Growing up in Dansville, I played soccer every summer without exception. And there was absolutely nothing better than a scoop of the good stuff after a long game – the kind that any sports mother knows will require cleats to be left outside that night.
My favorite place to go, and where my team would often meet at the end of the season, was Middleton’s. Middleton’s might not look like a place to seek out – there isn’t even indoor seating – but it will always hold a special place in my heart; that of a classic stomping-ground. With big serving sizes and a variety of flavors and styles of ice cream, you’d think that I would try to get something new every time I went. However, once you’ve discovered your favorite flavor of Perry’s brand ice cream, you don’t really feel the need to branch out.
My absolute favorite is entirely seasonal and a rare find: Lemon Pound Cake. It’s the most creamy and sweetest bite of lemon that anyone could take, and it has delectable morsels of real pound cake mixed it. I shamelessly look for it every time I go home. If luck has run out, then Oregon Blackberry Cheesecake is a solid second choice.
Next, the days when we were up in Charlotte near the pier were always exciting because right around the corner would be Abbott’s frozen custard. I’m not joking when I say that it’s the best custard I’ve had in my life. Unfortunately for me, most people in the area seem to agree with me – the lines when the weather is hot are unbelievable. However, the pace at which the employees work is even more so unbelievable. Even if the lines are long, it’s entirely worth the wait. My mother’s favorite from good ‘ol Abbott’s is their classic soft-serve vanilla with Chocolate Jimmies (which for anyone who doesn’t know are chocolate sprinkles that make anything you put them on glorious).
They’ve also got some amazing chocolate turtles. If you can keep one cold I’d advise getting a few to go.
Last but not least, I have to tip my hat to a long lost staple of Naples – Huntone’s Cones. The perfect little spot in a perfect little town, Huntone’s had all the charm an ice cream shop needed to have. The glass displays of flavors was ideal for younger children and indecisiveness parents alike, and provided the perfect opportunity for you to say, “Well maybe just a little more of a scoop there. Yeah, there we go!”
I distinctly remember finding the mint chocolate chip and their black raspberry delightful. Though seasonally they would even have grape soft-serve!
Huntone’s passed along their ice cream and custard magic to a new owner – Lynnie Lou’s. Stop by sometime and try their distinct and delicious flavors.
Again, there are a million options in the area. Ice cream is a popular commodity when your region flaunts epic lake life over the summer. I’m sure each person you meet would point out another spot. However, even just thinking about my personal favorites is enough to make me check my calendar to see how many days it will be before I can sneak off to grab a scoop or two!
Sunshine only slightly required.
By Halie Solea