As road trip inspiration, food trails celebrate regional strengths in everything from barbecue (North Carolina) to fermented foods (Pennsylvania). But we all scream for ice cream trails that champion our love of sweet, frozen treats from farm-based dairies and boutique innovators.
“Ice cream is truly a blank canvas for creativity,” says Maya Warren, an ice cream scientist and developer. “It brings so much happiness.”
Get your licks on the following worth-the-drive ice cream trails across the country.
Ohio Ice Cream Trail
Ohio has more than 1,400 dairy farms across the state, according to the Ohio Department of Development. The official Ohio Ice Cream Trail consists of 20 creameries in cities such as Cleveland, home to Mitchell’s Homemade Ice Cream where you can watch the batches being made in the open kitchen, and towns such as Yellow Springs, home to Young’s Jersey Dairy offering nostalgic cones, mini golf and milking demos.
What to order: Established in 1870, Graeter’s Ice Cream in Cincinnati is famous for its black raspberry chocolate chip. There are also locations in Oxford, Dayton, Cleveland and Columbus.
Scooped: An Ice Cream Trail, Pennsylvania
More than 40 creamery locations pepper the Pennsylvania ice cream trail. From soft serve ice cream nachos at Widnoon Soft Serve in Templeton to scoops of Alumni Swirl at the Berkey Creamery on the Penn State campus, check the website for the trail map to learn about all the options across the state.
What to order: In Lancaster County in southeastern Pennsylvania, visit six stops within an hour’s drive, including Lapp Valley Farm, where the Jersey cows deliver protein- and calcium-rich milk made into 16 flavors, and Fox Meadows Creamery where you can enjoy a scoop of honeyed lavender amid fields of crops raised to feed the cows.
Where to stay: Stick with the agrarian theme in Lancaster County and book a room at Beacon Hollow Farm Amish Guest House, a working farm.