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17 Ice-Cream Farms From Coast to Coast

Petting zoos with ice cream? Here’s the scoop!

It’s not a road trip without ice cream. Riffing on the farm-to-table trend, these farms dish up cones and cups of ice cream crafted from milk sourced from cows or goats who live on the property. In some cases, production is so micro you likely won’t find tubs or pints in the frozen-food aisle of any grocer. Note that most hold seasonal hours, staying open only during the warmer months. From California to Connecticut, here’s where to go for your next ice-cream cone. You already know about Ben & Jerry’s—meet 16 others.

1 OF 17

Petaluma Creamery

WHERE: Petaluma, California

Petaluma Creamery dates back to 1913 when dairy farmers created this creamery as a cooperative. Although its owners have changed, the name has not—and it’s still in the hands of a dairy farmer. At the creamery store, you can score ice cream by the scoop (in spot-on Sonoma County flavors like Meyer lemon or lavender) or go whole-hog with a sundae.

INSIDER TIPLeave room for lunch: this creamery also serves a Tri-Tip sandwich.

 

2 OF 17

Woodside Farm Creamery

WHERE: Hockessin, Delaware

Believe it or not, this creamery was born in 1796. But it wasn’t until the 1960s that somebody had the bright idea to evolve beyond its dairy-farm roots. Keep a close eye on your ice-cream order, however, because the farm’s Jersey cows are occasionally allowed to roam freely.

INSIDER TIPCheck the website’s calendar to time your visit with a bluegrass concert (often on Saturday afternoons) or a telescope night (select summer evenings).

 

3 OF 17

Robb's Farm

WHERE: South Glastonbury, Connecticut

Since 2005, Robb’s Farm has been dishing up its own ice cream, cycling through 42 different flavors. In the four years before that, it was simply an ice-cream shop. Flavors range from a practical butter pecan to the signature Llama Delight (chocolate with mini peanut-butter cups and a peanut-butter swirl). While at this working farm, be sure to visit its llamas, chickens, cows, donkeys, pigs, horses and goats. There’s also an emu named Frosty.

4 OF 17

LaClare Family Creamery

WHERE: Malone, Wisconsin

While this family goat farm just north of Fond du Lac is known for is its award-winning cheese, you can also snag a scoop of goat’s-milk gelato from the retail store. You might even spot goats being milked—or maybe even baby goats—on a tour that includes peering into the milking parlor through a glass wall.

INSIDER TIPThis creamery hosts goat yoga Saturday mornings during summer and through the end of September.

5 OF 17

Happy Holstein

WHERE: Easton, Pennsylvania

Deep in the Lehigh Valley—near Easton—Klein Farms milks its cows for milk that they then use to make Happy Holstein ice cream, yogurt, and cheese, all sold at the farmstead. Families love it here because of the playground equipment, picnic tables in the shade and plenty of animals to pet, including sheep. Ice cream flavors number around 20, including blueberry cheesecake and banana chip.

6 OF 17

Ferris Acres Creamery

WHERE: Newtown, Connecticut

At Ferris Acres Creamery, a family farm dating back to the early 1700s, the menu stretches beyond ice cream—you can also order a shake, sundae, ice-cream cupcake, ice-cream cake, or ice-cream pie (those last three require a 72-hour notice but worth the wait because they feature two ice-cream flavors). The creamery’s 64 fun, quirky flavors—which rotate often—include Salty Cow (vanilla with caramel swirls and chocolate-covered pretzels), cotton candy and orange pineapple.

7 OF 17

Schopf’s Dairy

WHERE: Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

Dairy View Country Store—home to Door County’s first milking parlor—remains a must-stop for vacationers as the store is on the southern tip of this peninsula, wedged between Lake Michigan and Green Bay. Schopf’s Dairy, which includes the Schopf family’s ice-cream line, debuted in the 1980s, with the farm dating back to the late 1800s. Eight flavors are always served, including butter pecan.

INSIDER TIPWatch ice cream being made during your visit.

 

8 OF 17

Ben & Jerry's

WHERE: Waterford, Vermont

Practically a legend in the ice-cream tourism business, Ben & Jerry’s evolved from its farmstead roots into a household name. Following a 30-minute guided factory tour is a visit to the scoop shop, where swag (hello, chocolate-chip-cookie-dough lip balm!) is also sold.

INSIDER TIPDon’t leave without taking a stroll through the infamous Flavor Graveyard, where flavors no longer being made are put to rest. Remember Schweddy Balls?

9 OF 17

Stensland Family Farms

WHERE: Larchwood and Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Tours of this family-owned farm just outside of Larchwood—also featuring a farm stand—are offered every Saturday at 1 p.m. Stensland Family Farms also operates a farm stand in Sioux Falls where Insta-worthy ice-cream cookie sandwiches can be procured as well as the super-fun Fairytale sundae (with frosted animal crackers).

INSIDER TIPScore a Midwestern cheese delicacy at the farm stand: cheese curds.

 

10 OF 17

Maple View Farm

WHERE: Hillsborough, North Carolina

At this Chapel Hill creamery’s country store in Hillsborough, award-winning (yes, really!) and antibiotic-free flavors are served. There’s even a roster of flavors exclusive to each month. For example, June featured two strawberry flavors: Strawberry Cheesecake and Strawberry Ricotta.

11 OF 17

Calder Dairy & Farm

WHERE: Lincoln Park and Flat Rock, Michigan

In business since 1946, Calder Dairy & Farm’s Carlton farm is southwest of Detroit and open to visitors. A gorgeous pavilion overlooking a pond is the perfect spot to relax with ice cream but indoor seating is available on chilly or rainy days, too. Thirty-five different flavors rotate through, so depending on the day you might enjoy red velvet cake or oatmeal raisin.

INSIDER TIPShow up by 4 pm to see “the girls” being milked via a viewing room.

 

12 OF 17

Braum's

WHERE: Oklahoma and other states

A 10,000-acre working dairy farm supplies hormone-free milk to make ice cream sold at stands inside Braum’s 300 stores, across Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas. Each store is no more than 300 miles from the farm to ensure the milk is as fresh as possible. To give you a sense of scale, this is one of the country’s largest ice-cream makers—and still milking its own cows.

13 OF 17

Buttonwood Farm

WHERE: Griswold, Connecticut

Within the same family since 1975, Buttonwood Farm launched its ice-cream line in 1998 and continues to evolve. The latest is installing solar power in the dairy barn, providing energy to power the farm and ice-cream shop. With 50 flavors, one visit isn’t enough: lemon blueberry and Shark Bite (white chocolate with a raspberry swirl and raspberry-filled chocolates) are just two of the flavors.

INSIDER TIPOrder a waffle cone because it’s made daily on site (in other words, not stale).

 

 

14 OF 17

Homeland Creamery

WHERE: Julian, North Carolina

This family-run dairy farm likes to show customers the farm operation, including a hayride and newborn calves, on a 90-minute tour each morning. Inside the creamery store scoops of ice cream are sold, as well as milkshakes for a more indulgent treat. Al-fresco dining is available thanks to picnic tables.

15 OF 17

Cruze Farm

WHERE: Knoxville, Tennessee

Ice-cream flavors at Cruze Farm range from classic (chocolate and strawberry) to seasonal (lavender honey) and any flavor can be dipped in chocolate, peanut butter, or cherry for an extra layer of sweetness. Shakes, churns (like concrete mixers), and floats are also available.

INSIDER TIPSchedule your visit Wednesday-Sunday because that’s when the Pizza Barn is open.

 

16 OF 17

Rich Farm

WHERE: Oxford, Connecticut

While Rich Farm—a fifth-generation family farm that debuted ice cream in 1994—also has a store in Brookfield, Connecticut, the Oxford one is right at the milk source, where the cows live and work. Daily specials are crazy-cool flavors, such as maple bacon, sweet red wine, and cinnamon bun.

INSIDER TIPAre you an Oreo fan? There are 11 different ice-cream flavors weaving in Oreo cookies.

 

17 OF 17

South Mountain Creamery

WHERE: Middletown, Maryland

Since the 1980s, this family-run creamery, now on its third generation, retains its charm with home-delivery service for its bottled milk as well as ice cream crafted from the milk of its pasture-raised cows. Ice cream is served at Karen’s Kountry Store, right on the farm. Calves are fed at 4 pm daily and visitors are invited to watch. Self-guided tours are also offered.

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