Top ten California places to make ‘sweet’ memories

Smitten Ice Cream's strawberry white balsamic with natural rainbow sprinkles is only served in the VIP area of Coachella Valley Music Festival in Indio, California, April 23, 2016.

July is national ice cream month. What better way to celebrate than to hit the road with a list of “must visit, must taste” ice cream parlors in your pocket or purse? Here are 10 “road-trip worthy” of the miles … and the calories. There’s even a few “day-trip” options for Santa Clarita Valley residents who want a few “local-ish” options.

Cowlick’s Ice Cream

250 N. Main St., Fort Bragg


Cowlick’s Ice Cream is an icon of the North Coast, made with local ingredients, in small batches and all by hand. Founded in 2001, the shop is passionate about local ingredients. The “must-try” flavor is the Mushroom ice cream, infused with Candy Cap mushrooms, which is not only unique, but strangely delicious — think rich maple syrup. Black Forest, Black Raspberry Chocolate Chunk and The Rockiest Road are also worth a “lick.”

Fallon House Ice Cream Parlor

11175 Washington St., Columbia


Columbia State Historic Park is known as an 1850s gold mining town, but the local favorite spot is the Fallon House Ice Cream Parlor. The building dates to 1860, but the ice cream parlor (in the location of a former saloon) wasn’t established until 1986. Try the Nutty Minor ice cream special. Enjoy your treat while sitting on the boat dock and taking in the views of the High Sierra. The parlor offers 16 flavors of premium ice cream, sundaes and old-fashioned ice cream sodas with flavored soda water, shakes and malts.

Penny Ice Creamery

913 Cedar St., Santa Cruz

820 41st Ave., Santa Cruz


The Penny Ice Creamery makes ice cream completely from scratch and you can watch … if you get there at the right time. With renowned Pastry Chef Kendra Baker, who was the former pastry chef at the Michelin-starred Manresa, they’ve got something for everyone, including at least two vegan/dairy-free scoop options, a vegan house-made popsicle and a vegan float. Flavors change with the seasons.

Jolly Kone

178 Main St., Bridgeport


You can’t miss Bridgeport’s Jolly Kone, with its festive white-and-red checkered facade and big red sign, on the north side of Highway 395. Famous for its chocolate-dipped cones, it also serves burgers, burritos and fries. There is plenty of outdoor seating shaded by large umbrellas, which makes it the perfect spot to enjoy a cold treat on a hot summer day while soaking in the classic vibes. With roots dating back to the 1860s, this shop is a must when visiting the Eastern Sierra.

Roll Me Some

356 Pollasky Ave., Clovis


Roll Me Some offers a unique and fun experience for ice cream lovers. The shop makes their ice cream with a natural cream base on top of a -32 degrees cold plate, a unique fast-freezing method. Toppings are added directly onto the cream and once it freezes, it is hand rolled. Popular flavors include Himalayan Crunch, The Pollasky, and Nutella and Chill. Roll Me Some was inspired by a popular Thailand ice cream freezing method known as “Thai fried rolled ice cream.”

Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab

114 W. Branch St., Arroyo Grande

860 Higuera St., San Luis Obispo

725 E. Betteravia Road, Santa Maria


Enjoy the fun and wacky flavors made in Doc Burnstein’s lab. Here you can taste classics like the award-winning traditional vanilla along with some crazy creations such as the Elvis Special (banana ice cream with peanut butter), Merlot-Raspberry Truffle (with Central Coast wine), Jack and Coke (with real Jack Daniel’s) or the fan favorite, Motor Oil (dark chocolate and Kahlua ice cream with fudge swirls).

Smitten Ice Cream

850 S. Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo


When you walk into a Smitten scoop shop, there’s no ice cream at the counter. After you pick your flavor, a “Brrrista” will pour fresh ice cream base and then a chilly fog billows over the counter as liquid nitrogen freezes each scoop to order. This is ice cream in its purest form, a scoop of Smitten’s Salted Caramel ice cream, is made with California cream, milk and butter, cane sugar, a drop of lemon juice and a dash of salt. Try the sweet summer corn flavor, or chocolate ganache with 61% Guittard cacao.


400 Disney Way, Ste 184, Anaheim


Snowpolis, a hand-crafted dessert “lounge,” is famous for 24Karat, pure gold ice cream costing $14.95 a scoop, with limited daily supplies. If that’s too rich for you, try one of the massive Snowopolis desserts, like shave ice as big as your head, (120 tropical flavors), or the Tabletop S’mores dessert.

Coastal Cone in Ventura Harbor.

Coastal Cone

1583 Spinnaker Drive #104 Ventura


Coastal Cone offers more than 40 flavors of ice cream and soft serve at its dock-front location in Ventura Harbor. Favorites include organic matcha green tea and pineapple Dole whip. Ice cream is served in cups and homemade waffle cones, and the shop also offers shakes, malts and floats. The Magical Unicorn Poop ice cream is a popular selection.


Locations: Northridge, Arcadia, Cerritos, Garden Grove, Glendale, Irvine, Los Angeles Koreatown, Torrance and San Diego, among others.

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Indulge in beautifully crafted Taiyaki soft serve at SomiSomi, which specialize in “ah-boong.” A Japanese-Korean fusion, this goldfish-shaped waffle cone is stuffed with filling and a tantalizing swirl of soft-serve ice cream. From there, choose from fillings like red bean, custard and Nutella, and soft-serve flavors, such as matcha, ube, milk and black sesame. This is a national chain with no less than 10 locations in Southern California. Visit the website for details.

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