In light of Spring starting this week, we’re already dreaming of higher temperatures, sunny skies, and blooming tulips and daffodils. It may still cold outside throughout most of the country, but that won’t stop us from thinking about that quintessential warm weather food: ice cream. And not just any ice cream. We pick five spots across the country where the frozen treat is elevated to an art form. Make arriving at your destination even easier by skipping the hassle of shipping luggage – use our Bags VIP luggage delivery service and find these ice cream gems the moment you land.
1. Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams | Columbus, Ohio
With 11 locations in Ohio, 3 in Nashville, 1 in Chicago and 1 in Atlanta, the popularity of Jeni’s Ice Creams is reaching new heights, and it’s easy to see why. Flavors like Brambleberry Crisp, made with a sweet-tart jam of blackberries and black currants; Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet, finished with wine bottled in northern Ohio; and The Milkiest Chocolate in the World (we won’t argue!) are made from grass-grazed Ohio cream and local produce, and have earned Jeni’s legions of fans. Can’t make it to a Scoop Shop? They ship! >> Find out more about Jeni’s
2. Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream | New York City, New York
What began as a traveling food truck business is now six food trucks and three stores. Their 18-percent-butterfat vanilla is made with organic beans aged in vodka. Flavors are made using only fresh hormone and antibiotic free milk and cream, cane sugar and egg yolks. Even their disposable goods are made from 100% renewable resources. Good news – they they are expanding to Los Angeles where you’ll be able to enjoy their food truck goodness year-round! >> Find more about Leeuwen
3. Bi-Rite Creamery | San Francisco, California
The Bi-Rite Creamery is part of the historic Bi-Rite Market that first opened in San Francisco’s Mission District in 1940. The Creamery opened its doors about a decade ago, and were the first ice cream shop in the city to use organic milk and cream from the first certified organic dairy west of the Mississippi. Flavors rarely have more than five ingredients and are selected when in season from local farms. Balsamic Strawberry might be one of their most popular flavors, but they won’t serve it when berries aren’t at their peak! As it says on their website, “We strive to create unique and delicious flavors with local, handmade and organic ingredients in a responsible and sustainable way.” >> Find out more about Bi-Rite Creamery
4. Bassetts Ice Cream Company | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Established in 1861, Bassetts claims to be the oldest ice cream company in America. They have been at their current location in the historic Reading Terminal Market since 1893. Churned with quality ingredients (and love), the 16 1/2-percent butter fat butterscotch vanilla is worth every calorie. President Obama stopped there a few years ago – his pick was mint chocolate chip. >> Find out more about Bassetts
5. Four Seas Ice Cream | Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Picture an old-fashioned ice cream shop that you visit on your way back from the beach, when you have salt in your hair and sand caked on in between your toes. That’s Four Seas, a Cape Cod must-stop for beach-goers since 1934. It’s located in a quaint cottage that was once a blacksmith shop. The owner provides scholarship for his young staffers, who are selected based on recommendations form the local school board. They serve 32 flavors, some of them unique, such as Frozen Pudding and Cantaloupe, along with the basics. In fact, Four Seas invented chocolate chip ice cream, and we are all the better for it. >> Find out more about Four Seas
What’s your favorite ice cream shop? Is it one in your home town where you take visiting friends? Or one out of town that you can’t bear to skip? Share with us below!