When summer temperatures rise, taste buds and appetites turn their attention to something sweet and cold: ice cream.
Michigan is full of fun, unique ice cream spots that are most beloved and often “must-stops” for travelers. Many have very distinctive flavors you can’t find anywhere else, and of course, most if not all carry the iconic Michigan child’s favorite: Superman. (We wish we could feature every location in this driving tour, but there are so many well-loved businesses. You’ll just need to branch out!)
Driving time: 1 hour, 41 minutes
Mileage: 77 miles
Scream’s Ice Cream, Hell
As with most businesses in Hell, Scream’s Ice Cream really plays on the trend of the afterlife. Under the “Crematory,” you can choose from 12 flavors of ice cream or try their signature Gravedigger Sundae. The joint makes its own waffle cones and offers an outdoor seating area. The well-stocked gift shop has plenty of souvenirs that feature a play on words, such as “Beer in Hell is better than water in Flint.”
Ray’s Ice Cream, Royal Oak
Voted “Best of Detroit” and “Best Independent Ice Cream” by local news branches, Ray’s has more than 50 flavors of ice cream and has been in business since 1958. The unassuming brick building housing all this deliciousness has a bright blue bench out front, the perfect perch for enjoying a cone or dish of ice cream. The website has the complete listing of flavors. Do any of these sound too good to pass up? Fat Elvis, Blueberry Pie, Cookie Monster. If you want to enjoy at the campsite, you can pick up some of Ray’s most popular flavors at local retailers (find one via the Ray’s website).
Treat Dreams, Ferndale
Treat Dreams easily won the hearts of locals and tourists when it opened in 2010 because of its refreshing originality. The shop prides itself on offering original homemade flavors, which change week by week. To date, they’ve created more than 1000 custom flavors. You never know what you’re going to be presented with when you walk in. Past flavors include Balsamic Strawberry and Chocolate Covered Potato Chip.
Calder Dairy & Farm, Lincoln Park
Farm fresh ice cream that is rich and creamy can’t be beat. The Calder’s take an old school approach to ice cream making and currently boast 34 flavors as well as seasonal selections and the occasional experimental flavor. You can enjoy some of this farm-made ice cream at Calder’s parlor in Lincoln Park or at the farm, which is located in nearby Carleton (some 30 minutes away from Lincoln Park). Perhaps you can thank the cows personally?