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We’ve got the scoop

The country’s freshest, creamiest, yummiest ice cream.
Image: Ice Cream
Alexandra Grablewski / Budget Travel Magazine

What would summer be without a drippy, chip-studded scoop to offset the noonday heat or sweeten the sultry nights? Today, the Budget Travel staff chooses their 18 favorite ice cream parlors across the United States.

California
MooTime Creamery: A mini-chain in southern California (four locations) with a staff that makes the cones daily, pouring batter onto a waffle iron and rolling each one by hand. Original location: 1025 Orange Ave., Coronado, 619/435-2422.

Indiana
Mundt’s Candies: An old-time soda fountain, serving floats and sundaes with real whipped cream. 207 W. Main St., Madison, 812/265-6171.

Kentucky
Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen: There’s just too much to choose from: dozens of pies, cakes, and ice-cream flavors—all made from scratch. 2525 Bardstown Rd., Louisville, 502/459-8184.

Maine
Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium: A “Bah Hahbah” favorite, with 50 flavors such as maple walnut and even lobster, for the brave. 66 Main St., Bar Harbor, 800/806-3281.

Maryland
Dumser’s Dairyland: A drive-in restaurant and ice-cream shop with shakes and enormous, three-scoop “super sundaes.” 4901 Coastal Hwy., Ocean City, 410/524-1588.

Massachusetts
Farfar’s Danish Ice Cream Shop: Rich flavors such as sweet cream make it the best ice cream south of Beantown, according to Boston magazine. 272 Saint George St., Duxbury, 781/934-5152.

Michigan
Moomer’s Homemade Ice Cream: The regional specialty is black cherry at this shop that’s surrounded by acres of farmland. 7263 N. Long Lake Rd., Traverse City, 231/941-4122.

Missouri
Ted Drewes Frozen Custard: Using a secret recipe from 1929, Ted’s “concretes” are shakes so thick you can turn them over and they won’t pour out. 6726 Chippewa St. (Rte. 66), St. Louis, 314/481-2652.

Montana
Big Dipper Ice Cream: At this popular stand, the favorite flavor is huckleberry. 631 S. Higgins Ave., Missoula, 406/543-5722.

New Hampshire
Bishop’s Homemade Ice Cream: Inside a stately old Victorian house in small-town New England. Go for the s’mores sundae. 183 Cottage St., Littleton, 603/444-6039.

New Jersey/Washington, D.C.
Thomas Sweet Ice Cream: The Elvis Special—banana ice cream with peanut butter and fudge—and other flavors are loved by students at Princeton and Georgetown. 183 Nassau St., Princeton, 609/683-8720; 3214 P St. NW, 202/337-0616.

New York
Cornell Dairy Store and Bar: Supercreamy flavors made with milk from local farms that’s processed on campus. Stocking Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, 607/255-3272.

Ohio
Young’s Jersey Dairy: A working farm, Young’s whips up about 50 flavors including chocolate fudge brownie and cherry vanilla. 6880 Springfield-Xenia Rd., Yellow Springs, 937/325-0629.

Pennsylvania
Merrymead Farm: A dairy farm—run by the same family for over a century—that sells homemade jams, pies, pastries, and ice cream directly to the public. 2222 Valley Forge Rd., Lansdale, 610/584-4410.

Rhode Island
Gray’s Ice Cream: An unassuming general store with 30 or so homemade flavors, it may have the best ice cream in New England. 16 East Rd., Tiverton, 401/624-3576.

Texas
Amy’s Ice Creams: Eleven stores in Texas, with a mix of more than 200 flavors that rotate from shop to shop. Maybe the next Ben & Jerry’s? Original location: 3500 Guadalupe St., Austin, 512/458-6895.

Vermont
Mother Myrick’s: The mint chip, jammed with tiny morsels of bittersweet chocolate, is addictive. Historic Rte. 7A, Manchester, 888/669-7425.

Washington
Elevated Ice Cream: Fresh goodies from pineapple-raspberry Italian ices to espresso-chip ice cream; the decor’s fresh too, featuring a different local artist every month. 627 Water St., Port Townsend, 360/385-1156.