I scream, you scream, we all scream for…ICE CREAM!
Summer is in full swing and some days it’s down-right hot. What’s a better way to cool off than to have some ice cream? Dig the Dunes, with the help of our social media followers, chose 7 spots that we thought deserved to be mentioned. Then, we sent our junior writer, Rachael Hennessey, out to sample them all. Here’s what she had to say!
(in no particular order)
- Cabo’s Ice Cream Shop (Michigan City) – Cabo’s is one of the most unique ice cream shops I’ve ever been to. It is a small shop that is run by two families, and they make their own ice cream within those walls each day. After trying close to ten different flavors at my stop there, my favorite had to have been coconut, which had just been made fresh the night before. Not only do they have 38 homemade ice cream flavors there, but also fresh juices, popsicles, chocolate covered bananas, you name it. As I was told by one of the owners, they’re ‘not vanilla’, and I must say, I agree. The bright color scheme is as inviting as the ice cream. I definitely recommend Cabo’s for anyone looking to try something a little different when it comes to ice cream, as they have so much to offer all of their customers. They are seasonal though, so make sure to make it out there before they close up shop for the winter.
- Temple News Agency (LaPorte) – I have gone to Temple several times since I first visited it last winter. I originally fell in love with the place for it’s amazing coffee, but then decided to head over there for some ice cream one day. They have been serving up Sherman’s ice cream since the 80’s, and the ice cream sundaes are to die for. My favorite flavor still to this day is birthday cake, and when you turn that into a sundae with chocolate syrup, caramel, and whipped cream, it’s something else. They may not make their own ice cream on site like Cabo’s does, but stay tuned, as the owner told me that it may be in the shop’s foreseeable future. Go in and get yourself a sundae or banana split, then take a seat in the open side room and take a gander at all the books they have lining their walls. You’ll find yourself at home there any time of the year.
- Oink’s (New Buffalo) – Oink’s ice cream is known in New Buffalo as a tradition. Just as someone would go to Redamak’s for a hamburger, someone would go to Oink’s for ice cream. Their decor is enough to draw in customers, as the little seating area is covered in history and, of course, pigs. I found myself wanting to spend extra time in there just to look at everything that decorated the walls. The atmosphere is definitely unique, as is the ice cream. They had a few flavors I had never heard of before, one of them being a peach flavor that was delicious. You won’t find any place like this anywhere else, and if you find yourself in New Buffalo looking for a sweet treat, stop by Oink’s. I can guarantee you’ll find yourself marveled by everything this shop holds.
- Valpo Velvet (Valparaiso) – Valpo Velvet was the only other ice cream shop I visited that made all of their ice cream on site. When I say ice cream, I mean a lot of ice cream. There were so many flavors to choose from that it took me quite awhile to decide what I wanted to try. This family owned business has been around since 1947, and aside from the fact that the ice cream is made at the shop, I was also told that a few of the flavors are made using ingredients from the owner’s own backyard! That stood out to me and is what makes Valpo Velvet very unique. If you live in Valparaiso, or even if you don’t, a drive out there would be worth it, and I’m sure you will have just as hard of a time deciding what to try as I did. They are open from March through November, depending on the weather, so it’s the perfect time to go out there.
- Bubbles Ice Cream Parlor (Michigan City) – Found in the heart of Michigan City right across from Carlson’s Drive In, you’ll find this family-friendly ice cream parlor with bubbles flying around outside. Growing up here in Michigan City means that I heard a lot about Bubbles from the time I was a toddler until now. As soon as they opened each year in March, everyone would head over there to get a cone! It is a very customer orientated shop and everyone is extremely friendly. Many times you can find the owner right out front talking with his customers. Their ice cream flavors are unique, and their flavor Zanzibar Chocolate is award-winning. I would recommend Bubbles for it’s homey ice cream parlor atmosphere, as their delicious ice cream certainly is a great bonus.
- Dog Days (Chesterton) – Being my first time in downtown Chesterton, I found Dog Days to be a cute, quirky little shop. Their yellow walls along with old-timey music playing in the background gave the shop a much different feel than any of the others I had visited. They had a lot to choose from ice cream wise, from gelato to a chocolate ice cream that’s soy based. Their pistachio gelato was the first green ice cream I had ever tried, and while I was skeptical, it was amazing! They also serve the same ice cream as Bubbles in Michigan City, so if you are in the Chesterton area and looking for a nice place to relax, I would recommend Dog Days.
- Fire & Water (Michigan City) – Fire & Water is open for it’s first full season this year and although it is a full restaurant, it also has a large selection of gelato…and is located right on the beach at Washington Park! The gelato is very smooth & creamy and really hits the spot on a hot day. It was a great stop for me to sit back and relax while taking in the view and the beautiful Michigan City Lighthouse.
Rachael Hennessey has been writing for Dig the Dunes during her summers. She studies Visual Communications Design at Purdue University and is home for a brief summer break. You can read more of Rachael’s blogs in our trails & beaches section, just look for the heading “Teens getting Out”.
Feature Photo: Bubbles Ice Cream by Stephen Lehman