Best Ice Cream in New England

3.17 avg. rating (64% score) - 18 votes

Where do the experts go to find the best ice cream in New England? Read on to find travel and cookbook authors Jane and Michael Stern’s favorite ice cream stands and shops.

Famed travel and cookbook authors Jane and Michael Stern travel thousands of miles for their popular Web site, roadfood.com, so we asked them for their five favorite places to get scooped. Yankee‘s senior lifestyle editor, Amy Traverso, also chimed in with her pick for the best ice cream in New England.

Best Ice Cream in New England

Best Ice Cream in New England

Ridgefield Ice Cream Shop

The vintage soft-serve machines quite simply define chocolate and vanilla at their simple best.
680 Danbury Road, Ridgefield, CT; 203-438-3094

Gray’s Ice Cream

Gray’s must-haves are ginger and coffee. The former packs an eye-opening bite from bits of ginger root, while the latter is just-right sweet.
16 East Road, Tiverton Four Corners, Tiverton, RI. 401-624-4500; graysicecream.com

Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream

Ah, burnt-sugar ice cream. Seconds must include Mexican chocolate, khulfi, and banana-cinnamon.
1255 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA. 617-492-7021; christinasicecream.com

Bishop’s Ice Cream

Check out “Bishop’s Bash”: chocolate chips, nuts, and brownie chunks in dark chocolate.
183 Cottage St., Littleton, NH; 603-444-6039; bishopshomemadeicecream.com

Hodgman’s Frozen Custard

Big on classics such as a sundae royale featuring hot fudge, sliced bananas, whipped cream, nuts, and a cherry.
1108 Lewiston Road, New Gloucester, ME; 207-926-3553

Susanna’s Ice Cream

The secret is a rich custard base made with the finest ingredients. What makes Susanna’s ice cream extraordinary is the the hard work that goes into sourcing, prepping, and hand-mixing every ingredient to produce a base that’s both richer and lighter than you’ll fine elsewhere.
Sweet Berry Farm, 915 Mitchell’s Lane, Middletown, RI; 401-847-3912; www.sweetberryfarmri.com/susannasicecream.html

Read more about why Amy Traverso thinks Susanna’s Ice Cream is the best in New England.

And don’t forget to share your picks for the best ice cream in New England in the comments!

Comments
  • Frank’s Bake Shop in Bangor has remarkable ice cream and wonderful flavors, all hand made in the shop. I recommend the ginger flavor. Try some when you are there!

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  • Goose Rocks Dairy on Mills Road in Kennebunkport, ME has great homemade ice cream. Kid size cones are big enough to share!

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  • Nicole

    Rota Spring Farm in Sterling, MA has amazing homemade ice cream and you can sit and admire the herd of cows that helped produce it while you eat! The most unique flavor is Indian pudding. Definitely worth a stop, especially for anyone who is already planning a trip to Davis Farmland as it’s just a mile or two away.

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  • Richard

    Shaw’s Dairy in Dracut, Mass. has some great Rum Raisin ice cream

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  • Well, I remember when Steve’s opened in Medford, and the ice cream revolution began. These new places sound very tasty. However, now I live in the UK and take frequent trips to Italy – I am afraid there is no comparison to the ice cream (or Gelato) there. What is missing is lemon slush – which seems to be a treat from the North End, but not in Italy itself!

    SO I would cast a vote for some authentic Boston North End Slush, please!

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  • Anthony

    What about Ferris Acres Creamery in Newtown, Conn. or Cape Cod Creamery in South Yarmouth, Mass.?

    I’ve traveled all over New England and those top my list by far.

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  • Can’t believe you omitted Somserset Creamery on Route 6 in Somerset, MA. Their signature flavor, Cranberry Bog, with sweetened berries, chunks of dark chocolate and walnut halves is the best! Mochachino, with chocolate covered espresso beans is a wonderful 2nd.

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  • Dr. Mike’s ice cream shops in Monroe and Bethel, CT have the smoothest, richest ice cream around. My family always enjoyed the “Chocolate Malt”, “Rich Chocolate” and “Chocolate Lace & Cream” flavors. Priceless!

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  • The best ice cream in New England I ever knew of personally was at ‘The Gran-Val Scoop’ at the Brown farm in Granville, Mass.

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  • Barbara

    Dorman’s ice cream in Rockland Maine is the best. I have been going there since I was a child, since, at the time, my grandmother’s house was in walking distance. They were the first place I had ever tasted Peppermint Stick ice cream when I was a kid, and it became my favorite! Now I always get heir Ginger ice cream with bits of candied ginger in it. I’ve never found that any other place. They have been in business since 1950 or 1952 – can’t remember exactly, but they are an institution which I hope lasts forever!

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  • Tiffany

    Pear’s Ice Cream Shop in Casco, Maine. You can ride a horse there!!!

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  • Joanne

    Brown’s ice cream on the Nubble in York Beach is the best hand made ice cream anywhere with the most flavores. True, it’s only open in the summer, but it’s worth waiting for. Ask anyone who goes to York Beach: They’ll tell you that Brown’s is an institution.

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  • J. Foster’s in Simsbury and Avon CT is simply outstanding. Best maple walnut ever. My grandkids from Ohio insist on several visits when they come to CT for vacation.

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  • The Ice Cream Machine in Cumberland, RI is wonderful. All great ingredients, large portions. They have great seasonal ice cream like blueberry in the summer and then great pumpkin and warm apple sundaes in the fall.
    I don’t understand why Grays Ice Cream in Tiverton always wins “the best of RI” and made this list…. it is ok, but not the best.

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  • They must have missed Slick’s in Woodsville, NH – AMAZING ice cream! “Bite This!” is a must try for peanut butter lovers – rich creamy peanut butter ice cream with dark chocolate chunks – YUMMY!!

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  • Herrell’s in Northampton, MA. They are the original “Smoosh-In” and still the best. All homemade too!

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  • Lears Ice Cream in Wiscasset, Maine, they have the best ever, smoothest, creamiest, most flavorful, they just came out with a new flavor this year, remember the old mary jane candies? they make “Maine Jane” icecream, you’d swear you were eating a mary jane without the stick to your teeth! beyond amazing! We are an ice cream family and some one mentioned Ferris in Newtown, been there, its wonderful, but Lears…. Oh MY!

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  • The best ice cream stand in New Hampshire is Jordan’s Ice Creamery on rt. 106 in Belmont NH. They have the best home made ice cream anywhere. They are the “Ben and Jerry’s of New Hampshire” They deserve to be on the list.

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  • Westview Farms Creamery on Easthill Rd. in Monson MA has some of the best ice cream you will ever have. The coffee ice cream is made with real coffee, and it is creamy and delicious. Hard to choose from all the flavors .

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  • Bubbling Brook in Westwood, MA (since 1951), Nola’s in Hingham, MA, White’s, in Ipswich, Brown’s in York, ME, Kimball Farms in Carlisle, MA….why would you do a list of 5 in a reqion of hundreds of spots for ice cream?

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  • Marian

    Gray’s in Tiverton is excellent but Wood’s in Westport, MA is most awesome too!

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  • Heather

    BEST ICE CREAM IN CT: Grass Roots Creamery, Granby! This one-year old artisanal, family operated shop is amazing! They offer up the most unique flavor combinations (many suggested by customers) scooping 36 flavors that rotate daily based on what’s freshly made. They use the best local ingredients ingredients, organic when possible. We love them! Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1n66MC1
    CT Now Article: http://bit.ly/1ltlTEH

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  • Absolutely! Rota Spring Farm is the best ice cream in New England!!

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  • It must have been an oversight…
    Crescent Ridge Dairy in Sharon, MA is wonderful!

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  • Another vote for the Gran-Val Scoop in Granville, MA! Some of their homemade flavors are so creative but I recently tasted their “Sweet Cream” flavor. I thought it would be boring (what, not even vanilla in it?) but it had the loveliest, freshest dairy flavor. Amazingly good! The whole farm setting is delightful too and a really nice staff. In short, the best!! :)

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  • Best slush is Riches’s in Revere,Ma it does sale to some chain stores Soooo good.

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  • Peaceful Meadows on route 18 in Whitman, MA. Its a stand right on the dairy farm itself and it doesn’t get better or fresher than that. There are also locations in Plymouth and Middleboro.

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  • Marissa

    Ferris Acres Creamery in Newtown, CT. It is a working dairy farm that’s makes their own ice cream on the premises. They also do soft-serve, milkshakes, ice cream sandwiches (homemade of course), ice cream cakes and pies, and last but not least, the pup cup for your favorite 4-legged family member! Be prepared for a line, but they have it down to a science and if moves pretty quickly! They are only open April to the end of October with two holiday pie and packed ice cream pick ups in November and December.

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  • Glad to see Bishop’s there. I have family in that part of New Hampshire, and Bishop’s is almost worth a trip to the North Country just in itself!

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  • You missed Ice Cream Sandwich in Sandwich! Nothing like ice cream after a day on the beach!

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  • How could you omit Ben & Jerry’s? From their origins in the garage in Burlington to the shop in Eastham….always delish!

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  • An ice cream at The Willey House site, Crawford Notch, NH, can’t be beat for the surroundings.

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  • Kimball Farm in Lancaster,MA Westford, MA Carlisle, MA and Jaffrey, NH
    Huge servings of yummy ice cream

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  • Norman

    The BEST ice cream in Maine is Toot’s in North Yarmouth. More creative flavors than anyone, the best pistachio, full of real pistachio nuts. I grew up eating black raspberry, and theirs is incredible especially the very black raspberry. If you love lemon their sherbert is out of this world. This is a farm with cows, chickens, sheep and more right by the caboose where they serve the ice cream. Kids love seeing all the animals up close. People even travel from the islands of Casco Bay just for their ice cream. Need I say more?

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  • I couldn’t agree more with you on Susanna’s the Salted Caramel is like nothing I have ever had, I’m addicted! But you completely missed the boat on Somerset Creamery’s rich flavors,the Black Rasberry Chip frozen yogurt is too die for!!

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  • I agree…so many great rich flavors!! I can’t see how they overlooked that one!!

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  • Ellsworth, Maine….. Morton’s Moo. Best ice cream I’ve ever had!

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  • Fielder’s Choice in Manchester, Maine…the absolute ultimate!! Trust me on this one. ;-))) Lots of wonderful flavors but mine is Maple Walnut, Butterfinger, Pumpkin…can’t pin it down to just one. It’s worth the trip.

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  • azyank54@yahoo.com

    BROWNS!!! In York Me near the Nub………wonderful flavors and an awesome view of the ocean to go with your yummy ice cream!!!!

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  • azyank54@yahoo.com

    way back when. (early 60’s)…lol…there was an Italian store in Everett Mass that had these huge floor tubs of the best lemon slush I ever had ….you would get one of those paper cones and just scoop it yourself and pay the guy…..I have so much trouble trying to explain to people nowadays exactly what it was..especially the texture…the ice was smooth…almost creamy and lemony….never been able to find it since…..sigh!!

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  • Michelle

    The best place is The Ice cream barn in Swansea Mass. Homemade goodness and huge serving size. Smores really good. My fav is the raspberry chocolate chunk frozen yogurt. I still want to try lemon blueberry.

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  • Hodgman’s Custard in New Gloucester IS very good, but my all-time favorite ice cream is from B&R Dairy Bar in neighboring Gray, ME. They make all their own in-house, and it’s flavorful without being as sugar-packed as others.

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  • Melissa

    Ferris Acres Creamery in Newtown CT, my cousin runs a dairy farm in upstate NY, and even HE agrees, best ice cream he has ever had!!!!

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  • UCONN Dairy Bar—-ice cream made on Univ of CT campus in Storrs. A must visit if on campus.
    The chocolate is the creamiest—maple walnut superb—and new flavors/ I like the huge cone (single scoop). Grew up in Storrs, went to UCONN, and live close by—-and have never matched their flavors.

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  • Shirley

    Peaceful Meadows in Whitman, MA or Plymouth, MA…..Cocoanut chocolate almond…..Yummm

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  • Dennis

    I think you forgot a very outstanding hoe-made ice cream shop on your list. I can personally vouch for the:

    Gran-Val Scoop in Granville, Massachusetts!

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  • Down here in southern Rhode Island/Connecticut, we go to Buttonwood Farm in Griswold, CT (watch for their fields of sunflowers in August!) and our favorite, Holy Cow, at its new location in Charlestown, RI. The owners, sisters Jan and Jean, will welcome you warmly!

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  • …and the dairy bar at the University of Connecticut, the Creamy In Northfield Mass and for you travelers Sweet Peaks in Whitefish, Montana beats them all!

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  • Beverly

    Jordan’s gets our family’s vote. It is worth the 40 minute drive from our home! On our first visit there, after finishing a a single, my husband and our daughter looked at each other and said, “let’s do it!” Off they went to get one more scoop of the amazing Buttercrunch- we call it Salted Caramel. While other ice cream places may have Buttercrunch, it can’t come close to Jordan’s Buttercrunch, in which the ice cream base itself tastes like caramel and then has lots of bits of buttercrunch in every bite. (At other places, Buttercrunch is vanilla with a few pieces of buttercrunch.
    Another favorite is the Peanut Butter Peanut Butter Cup; it is so creamy:-)

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  • Agreed! Not a bad drive from our home in Manchester, open year-round, staffed by students, great flavors. You can also get fresh eggs, milk, cheese curds…

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  • Stella

    We moved to NJ from NH to be closer to children and grandchildren. We miss family, friends, and Puritan’s ice cream in Manchester, NH. Great ice cream and the best coffee ice cream soda ever!

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  • I’ve obviously missed a lot of good ice cream, but I still have to keep going back to Kimball Farms in Westford. Their patriarch just passed away this Spring, but the brand goes on! God bless!

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  • Handy Hill Creamery in Westport, MA carries Bliss ice cream and has the most unusual gourmet flavors I’ve ever heard of; Red Velvet Cake and Salted Pretzel Caramel (or something like that). That one is ahhhmazing.

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  • I remember Peaceful Meadows when I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s. I lived in Brockton, Ma. at the time. You’re right, it was great ice cream.

    Now I have lived in Burlington, VT. for many years. So the best we have is Ben & Jerry up here.

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  • The best in our neck of the woods is a little place called Down River on John Wise Avenue (Route 133), in Essex, MA, near the Ipswich line. Everything is made on-site, and they certainly don’t scrimp on either the ingredients or the servings. Big selection of fabulous flavors, all with catchy names. A must stop !

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  • Benson’s Ice Cream in Boxford Ma. Black Raspberry made from locally grown fresh picked berries…
    Absolutely divine! Chocolate Walnut Fudge comes in at a close second….

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  • Glad to see other fans of Kimball’s in Westford and Carlisle MA – it has fabulous ice cream! Am saving this article – we’re about to move back to New England (ME) from VA (where there is no good ice cream except chain stores) – we’ll look forward to trying some of the places mentioned in ME – already love Goose Rocks Dairy – it’s right up the road from where we’ll be living – and it’s the same yummy ice cream that’s sold at the farm at Great Brook Farm State Park in Carlisle, MA.

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  • Charlotte

    Grass Roots in Granby, CT. They have many very unusual flavors. Ginger Lemon is delicious.

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  • Janice

    Why didn’t anybody mention 4 Seas in W Hyannisport, MA? It is the best!!!

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  • I remember going there as a kid as well. We drove by it when going to visit family in Hingham. I think my dad timed our coming home so we could stop in for a cone ! Great memories…..

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  • Joanne

    My husband grew up in Little Compton, RI. He brought me, a central CT girl, to Gray’s when we were dating. A double scoop of their sublime peach ice cream on a sugar cone won me over: with him as well as with Gray’s!

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  • Been to those but none hold a candle to The Ice Cream Barn in Swansea, MA

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  • Ice Cream Barn in Swansea, MA should be included here! Coffee Milk ice cream, S’mores ice cream and a truly wonderful Lemon Blueberry frozen yogurt. Fantastic service and a staff that’s always smiling and patient as can be as customers try all the wonderful flavors.

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  • Ice Cream Barn in Swansea has the best homemade ice cream and waffle cones! The portions are huge and the ice cream is so creamy and delicious! Everyone is so friendly!

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  • The Icecream Barn in Swansea, MA. I love the Cranberry Jubilee, the portions are very big, the prices are great and it is homemade on the farm.

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  • Carrie

    The Ice Cream Barn in Swansea, MA has the best homemade ice cream & homemade waffle cones. Great setting & great servers too!

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  • Bonkers

    The Maple soft serve is fabulous! It’s a “limited edition”.

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  • I totally agree with Laura – Jordan’s Ice Creamery has truly yummy ice cream!!! Don’t miss it :)

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  • I so agree with you, Wanda! Rota Springs does have the best ice cream and environment!

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  • Jillianne

    The Brown Family is still hard at work making their own ice cream and they now have a lunch menu with daily specials. There is a small “petting zoo”, with goats, llamas, alpacas, donkeys, sheep, cows, bunnies, chickens, etc. kids love it! Best ice cream hands down!

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  • Berry’s Ice Cream & Candy Bar in New London CT has premium locally made ice cream from Lisbon CT. The coconut is amazing & try any milkshake you can think of making.

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  • Absolutely Somerset – and they have another stand in Cataumet, MA. They bring their fresh made ice cream over from the main Somerset place. It’s creamy and smooth. Coconut almond joy and cranberry bog!

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  • UConn Dairy in Storrs, Ct is right on campus where they make the best ice cream I have ever had. Ben & Jerry’s and Peaceful Meadows were my favorite before I went here. They may not have 40 flavors, maybe half. The Cherry Vanilla is the best vanilla based ice cream ever… There is limited inside air conditioned seating, but a lot of outside seating. There are cow barns also to visit. Opened every day till 10pm. When college is in session it’s a bit more crowded but Summer is fine.

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  • sharon

    My husband’s favorite, Rum Raisin. Always looking for shops that carry it.

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  • Our family’s vote goes to Round Top Ice Cream in Damariscotta, ME. They have both iconic, traditional flavors (Black Raspberry, Orange Pineapple, Frozen Pudding, Peppermint Stick, to name a few) and newer flavors such as Caramel Macchiato, Salted Caramel, and Moose Tracks. My daughter’s personal favorite is Ruby’s Birthday, which contains strawberries and pieces of cake. The ice cream at Round Top has a creaminess and delightful texture which is memorable and inspires us make several trips there during the summer months. Nothing says “summer” more to us than a cone at Round Top!

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  • You have got to try ice cream at Shain’s of Maine at 1491 Main Street in Sanford Me. It is definitely a five star place to visit while traveling in Southern Maine. I am 66 years old and have traveled all over New England and nothing comes close to this place.Many many choices of ice cream and reasonably priced.

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