As we prepare for the heat of summer, and the busiest part of the trucking season, let’s all shout together – come on – shout it with me: “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” Nothing is more refreshing than a honkin’ ice cream sundae or hand spun shake when you are hot, tired and bored with your long-haul scenery. You know what I’m talking about. Those endless stretches of I-10, I-40, I-90, I-95… I could go on. So, let’s talk frosty dairy goodness along some of the most traveled US routes. Let’s talk ice cream stops!
If you’ve cruised along the I-10, you know it gets unbearable during the hot summer months. You are hauling through some of the hottest and most mind-numbingly boring parts of the U.S. The hot deserts of SoCal, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, which make up the western and central portion of the I-10, need some cool desserts! Pull a little off the beaten path in Phoenix and detour to Scottsdale to enjoy the frozen goodies at Sweet Republic. Located at 9160 East Shea Boulevard in Scottsdale, this little ditty has received honorable mention in two publications: USA Today and The Arizona Republic.
After you’ve indulged your taste buds on Sweet Republic’s unique flavors – like salted butter caramel – and rejoined the chaos on the US routes, admit it, by the time you hit Houston, you’ll be ready for another tasty treat. Now it’s time to exit I-10 and hit Hank’s Ice Cream for some down home Southern fun in ice cream flavors. You’ll find Hank’s at 9291 South Main Street, and you can enjoy homemade flavors made by Hank’s family, including sweet potato pie and banana pudding. Dig in, refresh and hit the I-10 with your tummy full of sweet, creamy goodness.
The I-40 doesn’t offer any more relief from the hot summer routes than the I-10. It runs between the east and west coasts too, just a little farther north. You’re still hauling through deserts, and you’re still looking at unbelievable numbers of tumbleweeds, until you hit the south and Jackson, Tennessee. Go back in time and visit the 1890s Ice Cream Parlor and Fudge Shoppe at 56 Casey Jones Lane. This might be the most charming of our ice cream stops, as it is located in the Old Country Store and serves its frozen goodness from its 1890s soda fountain… oh, and they also give out free fudge samples!
Your tummy will need more ice cream by the time you hit Greensboro, North Carolina. If you began your haul in California, you’ve been driving for days! You’re stomach has already forgotten about that classic root beer float you had in Jackson, so pull off the I-40 and head to Yum Yum Better Ice Cream at 1219 Spring Garden Street. Yum Yum has been under the same family ownership since 1906. That, in and of itself, says something! It’s a little chaotic – it’s right in the heart of University of North Carolina territory, but heck! It’s known for the best ice cream and milkshakes around, so it’ll be worth the stop and stretch.
A little farther north, you might be hauling along the I-90… okay, a lot farther north! Just because the weather is bit cooler up there doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of ice cream stops to refresh you along the way. If you’ve started or ended your haul in Seattle, Washington… and it’s not raining… stop at one of the four Molly Moon Ice Cream shops located in the city. Miss Moon makes her ice cream homemade and she also has an ice cream truck. If you can’t find the goodie mobile parked somewhere, stop in at the Capitol Hill or Madrona shops; they are the closest to the I-90. Their addresses are 917 East Pine Street and 1408 34th Avenue, respectively.
You’ve crossed the country and are dragging into Buffalo, New York. You’re tired of ice cream… and US routes! You need something that’ll stick to your ribs, but is still sweet and still icy, because even in Buffalo, summer temperatures have been known to reach into the 90s. Pull off the I-90 and head to 2235 Sheridan Drive for some frozen custard so thick, you can turn the bowl upside-down and it won’t end up in your lap! Anderson’s Frozen Custard has been a New York favorite since 1946. A thick and creamy frozen custard is sure to cool you down and fill you up.
We’ve headed east to west – or west to east depending on how you look at it – so what about north to south? Let’s stay on the east coast and the trucker’s all-time favorite I-95.Charming is a common adjective to describe Savannah, Georgia. Plantations, history, and a Paramount Pictures top executive? Well, yes. Leopold’s Ice Cream is located at 212 East Broughton Street in Savannah, and Stratton Leopold owns the joint – he’s Paramount’s Executive Vice President of Production. So, if you’re looking for tasty ice cream named after movies and a store filled with film memorabilia, this is a stop worth visiting.
A little farther north and a lot less “Hollywood,” Philly gives you a chance to wash down that greasy cheesesteak with some light gelato. Okay, okay, I know gelato isn’t ice cream, but it’s the same concept, and you can’t possibly want a heavy-duty milkshake after consuming one of the greatest sandwiches known to humankind. Capogiro Gelato has four stores in Philadelphia, but the one closest to I-95 is located at 1625 East Passyunk Street. Flavors change with the season and – warning – some are little out there, like honey cumin… seriously? The homemade gelato also comes in more standardized faire and nothing is better than a cool pistachio on a hot summer day.
So, what’s our mantra? That’s right: “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” Tell everybody your favorite ice cream joints along the US routes you drive. I’m sure you all have some great places to grab a cold one – ice cream, that is! – That are just as good, if not better, than the ones I’ve listed here. Let’s keep the “cool” conversation going with our own guide to some of the best ice cream stops in the U.S.!
To learn more about the ice cream vendors listed in this blog, check out their websites or social networking pages: