The average American consumes more than 23 pounds of ice cream each year, so if you love this frozen treat, you’re not alone. Looking to take your passion for dairy on the road? Here are the must-visit places for any self-respecting ice cream fan.
Museum of Ice Cream, San Francisco
The Museum of Ice Cream has pop-up locations around the world, but you can only get the real deal at its permanent location in San Francisco. At this Willy Wonka-esque museum, you can taste unique flavors of ice cream, play games, buy souvenirs and more. And if you’ve ever wished you could go swimming in sprinkles, now you can: the MOIC’s signature exhibit is its sprinkle pool. The museum created over one hundred million sprinkles from antimicrobial plastics and used them to fill a swimming pool, which you can wallow in to your heart’s delight. The Museum of Ice Cream is also tailor-made for snapping aesthetic Instagram photos.
Homer’s Homemade Gourmet Ice Cream, Wilmette, Illinois
According to Travel + Leisure, Homer’s Homemade Gourmet Ice Cream is one of the top ice cream parlors in the U.S.A., both for the taste and the ambience. The ice cream is good — you can take that from gangster Al Capone, who used to stop in on a regular basis — and the culture and history (Homer’s has been around since 1935) might be even better. Homer’s serves unique ice cream flavors such as Irish cream, eggnog and green tea. But while delicious, does Homer’s really have the best ice cream in the entire country? You’ll have to visit and find out.
Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, New York City
If you like unique ice cream flavors, you’ll love the original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory. This family-run, 30-year-old business is located on Bayard Street and sports an impressively diverse menu of flavor choices. Choose between lychee (a Chinese tropical fruit), pandan (a Malaysian leaf), red bean, maple bacon, jelly donut and other exotic flavors. Historians say a Chinese king created ice cream way back in 200 B.C., so it’s a pretty safe bet that any ice cream factory with “Chinatown” in the name knows what they’re doing. At this ice cream parlor, you can stimulate your taste buds and broaden your horizons.
Ben & Jerry’s Factory, Waterbury, Vermont
Every ice cream fan is familiar with Ben & Jerry’s, the premium ice cream company that launched in 1978. What you might not know is that the ice cream company has a factory in Vermont, and you can go behind-the-scenes and watch how your favorite treat is made. Guided tours are available every day except major holidays, so stroll through the factory watching the magic take place. And if you’re a true fan, go for the Flavor Fanatic experience, where you’ll get to wear a tie-dye lab coat, enter the Flavor Lab and help create an ice cream flavor. In the winter, Ben & Jerry’s also offers snowshoe tours in the woods surrounding the beautiful Vermont factory.
Mount Kilimanjaro Glacier Ice Cream
This one isn’t for the faint of heart, or the faint of wallet. But if you feel like spending your weekend trekking up Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, you’ll find a reward at the top. For a price tag of $60,000, the founder of Three Twins Ice Cream will take you to the summit of the mountain and make a batch of hand-churned ice cream using glacial ice. Mount Kilimanjaro’s glaciers might not be around much longer due to climate change, so you’d better start saving now.