photograph by Matt Ray Photography

Check out 81 additional sweet spots across the state! Click here.

Sure, we can eat ice cream year-round. But nothing compares to the heady, delicious joy of a trip to an ice cream parlor to get a scoop (or three) on a hot summer day. The lines can be long, and sometimes we must wait outside in the muggy, buggy air, but that just gives us more time to read and reread the list of flavors. Anticipation builds. When our turn comes, we step up to the glass window, ready to feel the whooshing burst of frosty air on our hot faces when it slides open — the portal to sweet relief and just rewards. From the first taste off the top of a sweet scoop to the final crunch of a crisp cone, ice cream is pure delight.


Located within steps of Pisgah National Forest and within a few miles of dozens of storied sleepaway camps in the Brevard area, Dolly’s sits at the crossroads of many summertime comings and goings in the mountains. The shop is a well-known local landmark for hikers, campers, and cyclists headed into or out of Pisgah, and for many families as they launch and close camp week. A field trip to Dolly’s has been a special and spirited outing for generations of campers, who clamber aboard buses and bellow out songs the whole way there and back. Many beloved flavors are named for those summer camps (like Camp Highlander, aka coffee cookie fudge), providing another chance to proclaim our loyalties to our camp and affection for our favorite cone. Dolly’s stickers dot the back windows and bumpers of family cars and minivans across the state, the tastiest badge we earned all year.

128 Pisgah Highway, (828) 862-6610

Enjoy a sweet treat at this pastel-colored pit stop. photograph by Matt Ray Photography


Many of us have gone out with friends to get some ice cream, but these three best friends — Marques Johnson, Jae Hatchett, and Rich Moyer — combined their skills to share their love of ice cream with us. It’s a tasty strategy to make new friends all the time. Since opening their first shop in Plaza Midwood in 2016, they’ve opened two more colorful and family-friendly locations in Charlotte’s South End neighborhood and in Mooresville. Johnson, who learned to make ice cream from his family in Florida, dreams up playful creations like Krazy Kake, Bartman, Wake Up Call, Dabba Doo, Papi Crunch, and Not Your Mama’s Pumpkin Pie. Check out their double-wide ice cream cones, designed to hold — you guessed it — two scoops.

913 Central Avenue, (704) 900-5792


On the Holden Beach Causeway — gateway to many a family beach trip — sits Beaches-N-Cream. Their nearly 200 flavors in regular rotation, plus another 30 seasonal favorites, are made with local ingredients from contented North Carolina cows. Two hundred flavors — including Beach Sand, made with honey and brown sugar, and Turtle Tracks — is a lot to choose from, but if a cone or a bowl just isn’t enough, try the “Bad Decision”: If challengers can eat 16 scoops of various flavors, plus toppings, in 40 minutes, their ice cream is on the house.

3316 Holden Beach Road, (910) 842-7326


The Hop has been an Asheville icon since 1978. Current owners Greg and Ashley Garrison continue the tradition with three locations and flavors as artistic and creative as the city itself. Try blueberry kale or a vegan flavor, like strawberry pepita milk.

640 Merrimon Avenue No. 103
(828) 254-2224,


At the “Home of the Warm Waffle Cone,” the aroma of made-to-order vanilla, chocolate, and cinnamon cones greets you at the door.

170 East Sylva Shopping Center
(828) 586-9441,


Plenty of places make ice cream cakes. Boombalatti’s is famous for its towering ice cream pies. At the flagship location, choose any combination of the shop’s 24 flavors with fudge or caramel, all nestled in a homemade cookie-crumb crust.

1127 Military Cutoff Road No. B
(910) 679-4955,


Founder Scott Wilson loves to experiment with flavors — the Cold Sweat, made with hot peppers, has earned national publicity — and he has about 130 in rotation, from apple pie to White Russian. Fortunately, he’s happy to let you sample a few to find your heart’s desire(s).

8617 NC Highway 55 South
(919) 427-7118,


Andia Xouris and her husband, George, both grew up in traditional Greek homes centered on food and family. Flavors like baklava and rose pistachio are inspired by Andia’s childhood on the island of Cyprus, and George’s family-heirloom ice cream scoop — inherited from his pappou — holds a place of honor in their shop.

10120 Green Level Church Road No. 208
(919) 822-1866,


The “ice cream” this shop is best known for is frozen yogurt. In the 1960s, when the building housed Jockey Ridge Restaurant, people stuck change in the ceiling to tip the servers. Owners Jesse and Whitney Hines — a professional surfer and an artist — kept that tradition and donate the money to a good cause: Surfing for Autism.

2408 South Virginia Dare Trail
(252) 441-7873,


Founder Buck Buchanan started making ice cream for his kids, upgraded to a shed behind his house, then expanded to an ice cream shop. Now, his long list of inventive flavor combinations includes Buchanan’s Black and White (whiskey ice cream mixed with chocolate chips) and Wired Hippy (coffee ice cream with trail mix).

306 East Wait Avenue, (919) 878-7700


Before opening their North Raleigh shop (and a second one on Person Street), Jared and Kelsey Plummer served ice cream out of a turquoise-and-white camper and at Durham Bulls games, building a following with “forever flavors” like coffee bourbon and blackberry hibiscus. The name is a tribute to Jared’s granny’s farmhouse, where two black wooden roosters kept watch over family gatherings. Which included ice cream, of course.

7713 Lead Mine Road No. 49, (919) 803-9369


Alex and Liz Hannah met growing up in Cary, graduated from Appalachian State University, and wound up opening a South End ice cream shop, plus a second location in South Park. Scratch-made flavors like fresh strawberry and salted Oreo are not only delicious, they also support the growth and prosperity of the Hannahs’ community: A portion of their monthly profits, which they call the Queen’s Share, goes to various local charities.

170 West Summit Avenue, (980) 938-0925


Finding the way to the rocker-lined front porch of Maple View Ice Cream is easy: Just follow the cyclists on surrounding country roads each weekend, zipping along in lines like ants to a picnic. This working dairy offers milk and other products, but it’s the sweet treats that draw most people for a big cone or a pint packed in Maple View’s signature Holstein-spotted cartons.

6900 Rocky Ridge Road, (919) 960-5535



Alexander County

16/90 T’ville Scoops
604 West Main Avenue
Taylorsville, NC 28681
(828) 471-5255

Avery County

Locus Post
2043 Tynecastle Highway
Banner Elk, NC 28604
(828) 963-0394

Buncombe County 

The Hop Ice Cream Café
640 Merrimon Ave #103
Asheville, NC 28804
(828) 254-2224 

Burke County

Toasted and Rolled
109 North Sterling Street
Morganton, NC 28655
(828) 475-6889

Caldwell County

Corner Cremery
808 West Avenue NW
Lenoir, NC 28645
(828) 754-2173

Catawba County

Udderly Delicious Ice Cream
1006 Conover Boulevard West
Conover, NC 28613
(828) 465-1070

Cherokee County

915 Main Street
Andrews, NC 28901
(828) 516-9662

Cleveland County

Uptown Sweets & Treats
221 South Lafayette Street
Shelby, NC 28150
(980) 404-0167

Gaston County

Tony’s Ice Cream
604 East Franklin Boulevard
Gastonia, NC 28054
(704) 867-7085

Graham County

Pop & Nana’s Kitchen and The Scoop
52 Rodney Orr Bypass
Robbinsville, NC 28771
(828) 479-8461

Haywood County

Log Cabin Frozen Treats
2052 Dellwood Road
Waynesville, NC 28786
(828) 400-7596

Henderson County

Mills River Creamery
4193 Haywood Road
Mills River, NC 28759
(828) 891-4007

Iredell County

Mooresville Ice Cream Company
168 North Broad Street
Mooresville, NC 28115
(704) 746-9371

Jackson County

Jack the Dipper Ice Cream Parlor
170 East Sylva Shopping Center (near Quin Movie Theater)
Sylva, NC 28779
(828) 586-9441

Lincoln County

Morgan’s Ice Cream Parlor & More
1619 East Main Street 
Lincolnton, NC 28092
(704) 748-2599

McDowell County

Jack Frost Dairy Bar
2449 Sugar Hill Road
Marion, NC 28752
(828) 652-1178

Mecklenburg County

Two Scoops Creamery Plaza Midwood
913 Central Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28204
(704) 900-5792

Golden Cow Creamery
170 West Summit Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28203
(980) 938-0925

Polk County

The Ice Cream Barn
567 East Mills Street
Columbus, NC 28722
(828) 802-1149

Rutherford County

Scoop Rutherfordton
286 Chimney Rock Road
Rutherfordton, NC 28139
(828) 980-5675

Swain County

Soda Pops Ice Cream Parlor
125 Everett Street
Bryson City, NC 28713
(828) 488-8456

Transylvania County

Dolly’s Dairy Bar & Gift Shop
128 Pisgah Highway
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
(828) 862-6610

Union County

Waxhaw Creamery
109 East North Main Street
Waxhaw, NC 28173
(704) 843-7927

Watauga County

King Street Creamery
595 West King Street
Boone, NC 28607
(828) 262-4622

Wilkes County

Igloo Ice Cream and Sandwich Shop
4337 NC Highway 16
Millers Creek, NC 28651
(336) 667-5461

Yancey County

Cool Catz Candy & Cream
110 West Main Street
Burnsville, NC 28714
(828) 536-5180



Alamance County

300 North Main Street
Graham, NC 27253
(336) 350-9946

Cabarrus County

Cabarrus Creamery
21 Union Street South
Concord, NC 28025
(704) 784-1923

Caswell County

Busy Bee Coffee Company
118 Main Street
Yanceyville, NC 27379
(336) 459-6099

Chatham County

S&T’s Soda Shoppe
85 Hillsboro Street
Pittsboro, NC 27253
(919) 545-0007

Davie County

Hillbilly Diner & Holy Cow Ice Cream
4395 Highway 64 Alternate West
Mocksville, NC 27028
(336) 492-3173

Durham County

The Parlour
117 Market Street
Durham, NC 27701
(919) 564-7999

Forsyth County

Black Mountain Chocolate
732 Trade Street Northwest
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
(336) 293-4698

Guilford County

Homeland Creamery
6506 Bowman Dairy Road
Julian, NC 27283
(336) 685-6455

Lee County

Yarborough’s Homemade Ice Cream
132 McIver Street
Sanford, NC 27330
(919) 776-6266

Montgomery County

Speckled Paw Coffee
104 North Main Street
Mount Gilead, NC 27306
(843) 384-6972

Moore County

The Ice Cream Parlor Restaurant
176 NW Broad Street
Southern Pines, NC 28387
(910) 692-7273

Kalawi Farm and Ben’s Ice Cream
1495 NC Highway 211
Eagle Springs, NC 27242
(910) 673-5996

Orange County

Maple View Ice Cream
6900 Rocky Ridge Road
Hillsborough, NC 27516
(919) 960-5535

Person County

The Ice Cream Shoppe
126 South Madison Boulevard
Roxboro, NC 27573
(336) 599-5770

Randolph County

Bangkok Street Fare Ice Cream
1512 Zoo Parkway
Asheboro, NC 27205
(336) 864-1793

Richmond County

The Berry Patch
351 Cargo Road
Ellerbe, NC 28338
(910) 652-3276

Rockingham County

Mayberry Restaurant Ice Cream Parlor
698 South Scales Street
Reidsville, NC 27320
(336) 342-3277

Rowan County

The Sweetest Thing Ice Cream Shoppe
823 West C Street
Kannapolis, NC 28081
(704) 298-4422

Scotland County

Scoop N Dip
1025 South Main Street
Laurinburg, NC 28352
(910) 506-4363

Stokes County

The Milk Bar
213 North Main Street
Walnut Cove, NC 27052
(336) 591-9262

Surry County

Miss Angel’s Heavenly Pies
153 North Main Street
Mount Airy, NC 27030
(336) 786-1537

Yadkin County

Alex’s Grill and Ice Cream
119 Pauline Street
East Bend, NC 27018
(336) 699-5000



Beaufort County

Dairy Palace
120 Bridge Street
Washington, NC 27889
(252) 946-1894

Brunswick County

3316 Holden Beach Road
Supply, NC 28462
(910) 842-7326

Carteret County

Sweet Spot
8201 Emerald Drive
Emerald Isle, NC 28594
(252) 354-6201

Happy Cow Ice Cream
404 Evans Street
Morehead City, NC 28557
(252) 269-9890

Chowan County

The Freeze
320 West Queen Street
Edenton, NC 27932
(252) 482-2402

Columbus County

The Creamery at Daddy Joe’s
626 Richard Wright Road 
Tabor City, NC 28463
(910) 653-2155

Craven County

Bear City Fudge Company
236 Middle Street C
New Bern, NC 28560
(252) 636-1360

Cumberland County

Gillis Hill Farm
2701 Gillis Hill Road
Fayetteville, NC, 28306
(910) 867-2350

Currituck County

The Chill Spot
610 Currituck Clubhouse Drive
Corolla, NC 27927
(252) 597-3311

Dare County

Donutz On a Stick and Ice Cream
1216 Duck Road
Duck, NC 27949
(252) 261-0484

Surfin’ Spoon
2408 South Virginia Dare Trail
Nags Head, NC 27959
(252) 441-7873

Edgecombe County

Tarboro Coffee House
439 North Main Street
Tarboro, North Carolina 27886 
(252) 563-6510

Granville County

Southern Snow Company
935 College Street
Oxford, NC 27565
(919) 906-1372

Greene County

La Monarca Ice Cream & Fruit Bar
111 SE 2nd Street
Snow Hill, NC 28580
(252) 747-4336

Halifax County

Wakeboard Willie’s
2475 Eaton Ferry Road
Littleton, NC 27850 
(252) 586-6866

Harnett County

Sunni Sky’s Homemade Ice Cream
8617 NC Highway 55 South
Angier, NC 27501
(919) 427-7118

Hertford County

Charlie West’s Grill-Ice Cream
21 East Memorial Drive
Ahoskie, NC 27910
(252) 332-4133

Hyde County

The Slushy Stand
473 Irvin Garrish Highway
Ocracoke, NC 27960
(252) 928-1878

Johnston County

Nancy Jo’s Homemade of Clayton
200 East Main Street #103
Clayton, NC 27520
(919) 333-7895

Jones County

Sweetie’s Ice Cream
505 Main Street
Maysville, NC 28555

New Hanover County

Boombalatti’s Homemade Ice Cream
1127 Military Cutoff Road No. B
Wilmington, NC 28405
(910) 679-4955

Onslow County

Tiki Turtle’s Ice Creams and Mocktails
214 A2 North Topsail Drive
Surf City, NC 28445
(910) 928-8080

Pamlico County

The Bean
304 Hodges Street
Oriental, NC 28571
(252) 249-4918

Pasquotank County

Nu-Quality Ice Cream Bar
801 North Hughes Boulevard
Elizabeth City, NC 27909
(252) 335-0901

Pender County

Beach Bunny Ice Cream
501 Roland Avenue
Surf City, NC 28445 
(910) 520-1144

Pitt County

Simply Natural Creamery
1265 Carson Edwards Road
Ayden, NC 28513
(252) 746-3334

Robeson County

Dairy Ranch
931 East 4th Avenue
Red Springs, NC 28377
(910) 843-5424

Vance County

Farmer John’s Produce and Homemade Ice Cream
675 Kelly Road
Henderson, NC 27537
(252) 432-9215

Wake County

Andia’s Homemade Ice Cream
10120 Green Level Church Road No. 208
Cary, NC 27519
(919) 822-1866

Lumpy’s Ice Cream
306 East Wait Avenue
Wake Forest, NC 27587
(919) 878-7700

Two Roosters Ice Cream
7713 Lead Mine Road No. 49
Raleigh, NC 27615
(919) 803-9369

Warren County

Buchanan’s Store
6547 Drewry-Virginia Line Road
Manson, NC 27553
(252) 456-2580

Wayne County

Stay Sweet Bakery
469 Buck Swamp Road
Goldsboro, NC 27530
(919) 947-5965

Wilson County

Sweet Southern Scoops
3475-K Airport Boulevard NW
Wilson, NC 27896
(252) 292-3514

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Sheri Castle hails from Watauga County, but came down off the mountain to go to Carolina and now lives in Fearrington Village. She is a writer, recipe developer, cooking teacher, and popular public speaker. She is fueled by mountains, excellent bourbon, farmers’ markets, and searching for the right word. Sheri believes that stories happen only to those who can tell them. Check her out at