Is the climate here especially conducive to happy cows, producing that superbly creamy milk, or is it the abundance of dairy farms, often with tried and true ice cream recipes passed down through the generations? Perhaps it’s just the cold winters, that leave us craving a treat that shouts “summer!”
Whatever the reason, Massachusetts does ice cream well!
You probably have a favorite ice cream spot near you, but this summer, why not venture to one you haven't tried, and enhance the experience by taking adavantage of a local treasure nearby, a place of natural beauty recommended by the locals?!
Open the map to click on an ice cream destination, and learn more about it.
Below is a full list of top-notch Massachusetts ice cream by region, and suggestions for planning your ultimate ice cream experience.
Branch Line 321 Arsenal St., Watertown, MA
Watch the skateboarders carve it up at the nearby Arsenal Skate Park. The park also boasts basketball and tennis courts, playing fields, picnic areas, and a playground.
Chilly Cow 451 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, MA
Enjoy the serenity of Spy Pond Park, right off the Minuteman bikeway. Contemplate Elizabeth Island from one of the benches, enjoy the playground with kids, or rent a kayak or canoe in the summer months.
Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream 1255 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA
You’re just a mile from Prospect Hill Park in Somerville. A Boston landmark with its four-story tower at the top of Prospect Hill, the park offers stunning vistas, and for those who take the time, there’s some fascinating history to be uncovered.
Eastern Standard 528 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA
Meander down Commonwealth Avenue, and discover the Emerald Necklace, a Boston landmark made up of approximately seven miles of parks, parkways and waterways, stretching from Boston Common to Franklin Park.
FoMu 655 Tremont St., Boston, MA
Explore the South End at the Southwest Corridor Park — the part between Mass Ave and Back Bay Subway stops, and check out some of the other eleven residential parks scattered about the neighborhood.
Forge Ice Cream Bar 626B Somerville Ave., Somerville, MA
Lincoln Park behind the Argenziano School, is the largest public park in Somerville, and has recently been renovated to include new playground equipment, surfacing, a multi-sport court, and fields, community gardens, a designated parkour area. (Parts of these renovations may still be underway.
Lizzy's Ice Cream 29 Church St., Cambridge, MA
You’re right next door to America’s first university. Enter the gates, and stroll across the lawns of the Harvard Yard, the oldest part of the prestigious school’s beautiful campus.
The Ice Creamsmith 2295 Dorchester Ave., Boston, MA
There’s a reason Forest Hills Cemetery is referred to as one of the jewels of Boston’s Emerald Necklace. Hosting an arboretum, lakes, gardens, and fountains, with art, architecture and sculpture everywhere, Forest Hills is a stunningly beautiful sanctuary outside of Boston.
Picco 513 Tremont St., Boston, MA
Take a stroll through the South End, a neighborhood that made the National register of historic places. You’ll be charmed by the quaint bow-fronted row houses, Victorian architecture, and the vibrancy of this culturally rich and diverse hub.
Rancatores 36 Leonard St., Belmont, MA - 1752 Massachusetts Ave., Lexington, MA - 333 Walnut St., Newton, MA
Leave the grid without leaving town at Belmont's Mass Audubon Habitat and Wildlife Sanctuary! Explore ninety acres of peaceful trails, meadows and woods, as well as ponds and vernal pools.
For Newton, head over to Cold Spring Park, where the locals go to play soccer, walk the trails, or let their dogs roam free in the big off-leash park.
Ron's Gourmet Ice Cream 1231 Hyde Park Ave., Hyde Park, MA - 559 High St., Dedham, MA
You can stay right at Ron's and bowl a few lanes at the bowling alley, or commune with nature at Stony Brook Reservation, a natural retreat providing many miles of hiking and biking trails as well as soccer and baseball fields, tennis courts and picnic areas. Turtle Pond is a treat, and a popular fishing spot.
Tipping Cow Ice Cream 415 Medford St., Somerville, MA
You’re just under 4 miles from the Middlesex Fells Reservation, referred to by locals as ‘the Fells’, it’s a peaceful retreat from the city, with over 100 miles of scenic trails, as well as wetlands, streams and five reservoirs.
Toscanini's 899 Main St., Cambridge, MA
Walk the grounds of MIT, a campus that has inspired and cultivated some of the best brains in the world. Among the beautiful architecture, you’ll find buildings by notable architects such as Alvar Aalto, Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, Steven Holl and Frank Gehry.
Acushnet Creamery 264 Main St., Acushnet, MA
Escape to LaPalme Farm, once a dairy farm, today almost 50 acres of meadows and forests leading to the Acushnet River, part of the Acushnet River Reserve. A peaceful destination for fishing, hiking, or just enjoying the outdoors.
Bedford Farms 68 Thoreau St., Concord, MA - 18 North Rd., Bedford, MA - 19 3rd Ave., Burlington, MA
At the Bedford or Concord locations? Whether you want to revisit revolutionary history, visit
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and Author’s Ridge, or enjoy the scenery and cool waters at Walden Pond, there’s plenty of nature and history nearby.
There's something for everyone at Burlington's Simonds Park, which boasts sports fields, a playground, tennis courts, a skate park, a street hockey court, frisbee golf, and a wading pool!
Benson’s Homemade Ice Cream 181 Washington St., Boxford, MA
Visit the beautiful Kelsey Arboretum for a four-acre fix of flowers, plants and trees, designed by the early 20th Centruy landscape architect.
The Black Cow 1397 Main St., Millis, MA
Just an 8 minute drive up the road, you’ll find the beautiful Stoddard Park and Winthrop Lake, a popular spot for picnickers, with a great playground, and community swimming.
The Bubbling Brook Restaurant 1652 High St., Westwood, MA
At Fork Factory Brook Reservation, you can see the ruins of an old Pitchfork Mill, and explore trails traversing wetland, hay fields, and woods.
Erikson’s Ice Cream 12 Great Rd., Maynard, MA
At the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge, you’ll find wetlands, woodlands, fields, ponds, and streams. There are vernal pools for wildlife, as well as public trails, some you can bike through.
Hilliards' Chocolates 316 Main St., North Easton, MA
Visit the nearby Governor Oliver Ames Estate, with lawns landscaped by Frederick Olmstead, and trails across hills, meadows, and woods, where you’ll discover serene views of Langwater Pond.
Kimball Farm 400 Littleton Rd. (Rt. 110) Westford, MA - 1543 Lunenburg Rd. (Rt. 70) Lancaster, MA - 343 Bedford Rd. (Rt. 225) Carlisle, MA
If the family fun park at the Westford location isn't your style, walk the trails of the Forge Pond Conservation Area to the beautiful Noquochoke River. There’s even a Town Beach at Forge Village off of Route 225 (Plain Road), Westford.
From the Lancaster location, visit Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge with its diverse array of habitats including ponds, wetlands, wooded trails, and meadows. Turtles, salamanders, and birds are just some of the wildlife you may encounter if you looke carefully!
At the Kimball Farm in Lancaster, you're just five minutes from Greenough Land, where revolutionary soldiers once trained in the filelds. A brook with an earthen dam forms the beautiful Greenough Pond, and there are a number of trails to choose from, one of which leads to the banks of the Concord River, which runs through Greenough Land.
Meola's Wayside Ice Cream 165 W Boylston St., West Boylston, MA - 110 Leominster Rd., Sterling, MA
Once on a hill, West Boylston’s Old Stone Church is a fascinating remainder, and all that was left, of a town that was flooded when the Wachusett Reservoir was created. Abutting the water, it’s a beautiful setting to picnic, or walk the grounds, enjoying the fresh air.
New City Micro Creamery 28 Main St., Hudson, MA
You’re half a mile from Tripp Pond, where you can stroll through the woods or make use of the picnic tables. Relax with your ice cream on the stone and wooden benches dotted about, and admire the peaceful view.
Peaceful Meadows 60 N Bedford St., Whitman, MA - 170 Water St., Plymouth, MA - 109 W Grove St., Middleborough, MA
Not far from the Peaceful Meadows, Whitman location, escape the hustle and bustle walking the trails of the Burrage Pond Wildlife Management Area. Meander around cranberry bogs, ponds, and wooded areas, where you might catch a glimpse of a variety of birds and other wildlife.
In Plymouth, walk North for about 8 minutes to Nelson Memorial Park, which sports a spray park for kids, a play area, picnic benches, a bike trail, and of course the beach, all with the most spectacular ocean vista.
Not far from Middleborough is the Massasoit State Park, with miles of quiet trails, cranberry bogs, and the beautiful Lake Rico; don't forget your fishing pole, kayak or canoe!
Somerset Creamery 1931 Grand Army of the Republic Hwy., Somerset, MA - 146 County St., Somerset, MA - 1268 MA-28A, Cataumet, MA
Located in Swansea village, just several minutes drive from the Somerset Creamery, is the Village Park, with woodsy trails, and rock formations, meadows, and a waterfall/dam. A great spot for hiking, walking and mountain biking.
Squeteague Harbor Beach is a small, kid-friendly beach in Cataumet Village. With gentle waves, a boat ramp and Lawrence Island to explore, it's the perfectly picturesque spot to enjoy an ice cream.
Trombetta's Farm 655 Farm Rd., Marlborough, MA
Have a round of mini-golf right at Trombetta's, or take the tranquil trail alongside the Sudbury Reservoir. Try and spot a beaver, or a deer, as you enjoy beautiful views of the lake and surrounding area.
Alvin Rondeau's Dairy Bar 1300 Ware St., Palmer, MA
If you love animals, horses in particular, visit Blue Star Equiculture, an old dairy farm that has been transformed into a home for horses, draft horses and down ponies, providing them with a compassionate, caring 'retirement' home, in a beautiful setting. Blue Star does adopt horses out to loving forever homes too. The farm, and farm garden are open to the public every day.
Christopher’s Homemade Ice Cream Shop 22 West St., Millbury, MA
Go watch the dogs play at the Butler Farm Dog Park. With beautiful views of Singletary Pond, fruit trees and community gardens, it’s a very pleasant spot to eat your ice cream.
Gibson's Dairy Farm 50 Sunderland Rd., Worcester, MA
You’re right near Worcester’s Ecotarium, an indoor/outdoor museum dedicated to the natural world, but also look for Green Hill Park, Worcester’s largest park, situated atop a hill, where you can find ponds, a petting zoo, picnic areas, and more.
Howard's Drive In 121 E Main St., West Brookfield, MA
Visit Rock House Reservation just a few miles down Rte. 9 going West. Explore the intriguing rock formations, once a winter camp for Native Americans, and roam the trails around the beautiful pond.
Pearson's Elmhurst Dairy Farm 342 W Main St., Millbury, MA
Take your ice cream and walk for three minutes to Davidson Sanctuary Conservation Land, a town-owned bird sanctuary with 30 acres, and nature trails.
Rota Spring Farm 117 Chace Hill Rd., Sterling, MA
Enjoy the petting zoo right on the premises, or look for turtles, salamanders, birds, and other wildlife, at the Bolton Flats Wildlife Management Area, where you can follow trails through open meadows and forests, and alongside streams and ponds.
Shaw Farm 204 New Boston Rd., Dracut, MA
Enjoy the rich natural landscape at a forest located in three towns. The Lowell-Dracut –Tyngsboro State Forest offers 6 miles of trails, ponds, swamps, and wetlands.
Sullivan Farms Ice Cream 176 Middlesex Rd., Tyngsborough, MA
It’s worth a visit to The Butterfly Place, a beautifully landscaped, indoor garden, where you can walk among regional and tropical species of butterfly, as well as koi fish and birds.
Uhlman's Ice Cream 234 E Main St., Westborough, MA
You’re just 5 miles or so from Whitehall State Park in Hopkinton, where you can hike, kayak, fish, and picnic, all the while enjoying gorgeous views of the Whitehall Reservoir.
West End Creamery 481 Purgatory Rd., Whitinsville, MA
West End Creamery has animals, mini-golf, and more, but an exciting adventure awaits at Purgatory Chasm, less than a mile down the road. Intrepid explorers will love clambering over, and through, the unique rock formations that make up the half mile trail of this landmark. For the less adventurous, beautiful shaded trails along each side of the chasm are available.
Classic Burgers 1261 Westfield St., West Springfield, MA
With flat, paved roads as well as hilly trails, Robinson State Park is an excellent hiking spot for all abilities. If it's not enough to just enjoy the peaceful views of the beautiful Westfield river, jump in and cool off!
Elsie's Creamery at Randall's Farm 631 Center St., Ludlow, MA
Dip into an ice cream, and then dip into Haviland Pond, a local treasure only three minutes-drive from Elsie’s Creamery. The pond sports a beach with lifeguards, during the summer months.
Flayvors of Cook Farm 129 S Maple St., Hadley, MA
At Skinner State Park you can drive or, for the more adventurous there are hiking trails, up to the Summit House, a popular mountain top hotel located on Skinner Mountain. The views are just breathtaking; on a clear day, you can see four states; Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
Gran-Val Scoop 223 Granby Rd., Granville, MA
Visit the petting zoo while you enjoy the ice cream, but don’t miss a visit to the Granville Gorge. With miles of trials to a scenic overlook and, of course, the beautiful streams and waterfalls, bring a picnic, your swimsuit, or dress for a hike!
Herrell's 8 Old South St., Northampton, MA
Look Memorial Park has 150 acres of picturesque lawns, trees, a pond, a petting zoo, bumper boats and paddle boats, mini-golf, and a spray park. The perfect destination for a summer day!
Maple Valley Creamery 102 Mill Valley Rd., Hadley, MA
You're ten minutes from Puffer's Pond, a watering hole, popular with the locals. The pond is just beautiful; there's a beach area, as well as plenty of shady, mossy spots to sit along the banks of the pond. Bring tubes, paddle boards, and even canoes; it's a fun and refreshing find on a summer day!
Mc Crays Country Creamery 55 Alvord St., South Hadley, MA
Once you’ve visited the petting zoo and played mini-golf, at Mc Crays, why not head over to the beautiful Mt. Tom State Reservation, where you can explore over 2000 acres of trails and nature. Picnic tables by the water and a playground are also part of this sanctuary.
Moolicious Farm 258 Feeding Hills Rd., Southwick, MA
Approximately 7 miles from Moolicious you’ll find Stanley Park, with woods and trails for hiking and biking, playgrounds, landscaped lawns and gorgeous gardens, a duck pond, a frog pond, and even dinosaur footprints! This park has something for every nature-lover.
Murdock Farm Dairy 62 Elmwood Rd., Winchendon, MA
Less than 5 miles from Murdock Farm Dairy is Lake Dennision Recreation Area, where you can picnic, swim, boat and fish. There are also about 50 miles of hiking trails in the adjacent Birch Hill Wildlife Management Area, and if you need to pitch a tent for the night, you can do that too!
SoCo Creamery 5 Railroad St., Great Barrington, MA
With an ice cream in hand, try the Housatonic River Walk, which provides a lovely, not too lengthy stroll, off the beaten track, along the Housatonic River.
CAPE & ISLANDS
Cape Cod Creamery 5 Theater Colony Rd., South Yarmouth, MA - 645 Iyannough Rd., Hyannis, MA
A hop, skip, and a jump from the Yarmouth location is West Dennis Beach, one of the most popular beaches, and a great spot for windsurfing and kite flying–there’s a spot reserved just for kids to fly kites. It’s a spacious beach stretching over a mile of ocean front, with swings and a snack shack.
In Hyannis, watch the windsurfers, swim, or search for shells at Kalmus Beach. There's a section of water that's protected by the bay, and therefore calmer, and designated for swimming, as well as an area with more wind and waves, popular with wind surfers.
Four Seas Ice Cream 360 S Main St., Centerville, MA
2 minutes away, on Nantucket Sound, is the beautiful Craigville Beach, a large stretch of Atlantic Ocean beachfront, that has plenty of parking, and soft sand and swimming for everyone!
The Ice Cream Smuggler 716 Main St., Dennis, MA
Get a birds-eye view from Scargo Hill Observation Tower, a 30-foot observation tower, a relatively easy climb, and definitely worth it! On a good day, you can see the coast from Plymouth to Province town, and the beautiful Scargo lake below.
The Juice Bar 12 Broad St., Nantucket, MA
At the end of Harbor View Way, is Children’s Beach, perfect park for families and kids, with calm waters for safe swimming, beautiful views of the harbor, a grassy stretch for running around, and a playground. Keep a lookout for activities, sponsored by the town, that take place on the green during the summer months.
Katie’s Homemade Ice Cream 568 Main St., Hyannis, MA
For a cultural experience in a picturesque setting, head to Bismore Park, less than a mile away, and located right on the harbor. In the artist shanties there, you’ll find numerous Cape Cod artists, working on their photography, painting, jewelry, ceramics, mosaics, mariner knot work, wood carving, tapestry, fiber art and much more. The artists change over the summer, so there’s always something new to see.
Lewis Brothers Ice Cream 310 Commercial St., Provincetown, MA
Take a stroll with your cone down MacMillan Wharf, always a bustling hub of activity, from ferry depots and whale watching launches, to local artist shacks, you can watch the boats come and go, or just enjoy the gorgeous water views, from one of the benches along the pier.
Schoolhouse Ice Cream 216 Cambridge St., Burlington, MA - 749 MA-28, Harwich Port, MA
On the Nantucket Sound side of Cape Cod, Red River Beach has gentle waves, and is a great spot for crabbing. For something different, head a few miles North to Cape Cod Lavender Farm, where you can find 14 acres of different lavender varieties, a faerie garden, and wooded trails on the grounds.
Somerset Creamery 1931 Grand Army of the Republic Hwy, Somerset, MA - 146 County St., Somerset, MA - 1268 MA-28A, Cataumet, MA
As popular as it is beautiful, Old Silver Beach is a great choice for a hot summer day. If the parking lot is full, discover Wing Pond Woods right next door, with its quaint old mill house by the edge of the pond, a working cranberry bog, easy trails and a rope swing, perfect for swimmers who like a little adventure!
Squeteague Harbor Beach is a small and kid-friendly beach in Cataumet Village. With gentle waters, a boat launch and Lawrence Island to explore, this is an absolutely delightful and picturesque spot to eat your ice cream.
Sundae School 381 Lower County Rd., Dennis Port, MA - 606 MA-28, Harwich Port, MA - 210 Main St., Orleans, MA
From the Dennis Port location, head straight to the ocean, or try Sea View Park Recreation Area, which features a playground, walking paths, community gardens, picnic tables, and spectacular views of Nantucket Sound.
In Harwich Port cool off in the warm Nantucket Sound waters at the Bank Street Beach. A good size stretch of soft sand, and gentle waves make this a popular summer-time destination.
In East Orleans, Meetinghouse Pond is a beautifully quiet and serene place to commune with nature. This tidal pond is great for launching a kayak or small boat, and there's also a public swimming jetty, off Barley Neck Road.
Captain Dusty's 60 Beach St., Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA - 143 Derby St., Salem, MA - 642 Hale St., Beverly, MA
Manchester-by-the-Sea's Singing Beach is a gorgeous, clean and sandy stretch of ocean front. It got its name because when the sand is dry it actually squeaks (or sings) when you walk.
If you're in Salem, visit Waikiki Beach at Winter Island Park, a popular spot for camping, but also a great place to spend just a few hours. Follow a trail along the waterfront to a lighthouse, explore the ruins of an old fort, and enjoy the sea views from the overlook.
In Beverly, don't miss Long Hill, a beautifully landscaped 114-acre retreat with beautiful views. From gardens, to wooded trails, orchards, vernal pools, meadows and more, there's something for everyone here.
Cherry Farm Creamery 210 Conant St., Danvers, MA
You can walk from Cherry Farm Creamery to Proctor Farm, where you’ll find a mile and a half of trails winding through fields, ponds, wetlands, and forest. Look out for a variety of wildlife, birds and beavers included!
Down River Ice Cream 241 John Wise Ave., Essex, MA - 120 Newburyport Turnpike, Rowley, MA
Lose yourself in the natural beauty of Willowdale Sate Forest, where there are ample trails, for hiking, walking, biking, or jogging. Traverse the woodlands that pass swamps and marshes, and look out for the 100 acre Hood Pond, or Willowdale Meadow.
Hodgie’s 71 Haverhill Rd., Amesbury, MA
One of Newburyport’s absolute gems, Maudsley State Park, abuts the Merrimac River, and provides many options for walking, hiking, biking, etc. Part of a former estate, the park spans many acres, and includes beautiful gardens, open fields and woodsy areas.
Hodgie’s Too 136 Rabbit Rd., Salisbury, MA
Just across the Merrimack River, enter the Mosley Woods, a 16-acre park featuring a playground, complete with a zip line, shaded picnic areas with gorgeous river views, and hiking trails.
Mad Maggie’s 1025 Osgood St., North Andover, MA
Mad Maggie’s is practically on the shores of Lake Cochichewick. Though there is no swimming allowed in this lake–it’s the town’s drinking water supply– there are plenty of trails for hiking, and biking, one right along the shores of the lake. For the most scenic views, hike to the top of Weir Hill!
Meletharb Ice Cream 393 Lowell St., Wakefield, MA
Hop over to the Spaulding Playground and Lake Quannapowitt. The park is a relaxing spot, with a beautiful view of the lake. If you walk around the lake, it’s about 3 miles, but well worth it for the gorgeous scenery.
Putnam Pantry 255 Newbury St., Danvers, MA
Visit the beaver dam at Ferncroft Pond, a wildlife habitat. Just under a mile of nature trails through woods and wetland provides the perfect retreat to take your ice cream.
Richardson’s Ice Cream 156 S Main St., Middleton, MA - 50 Walkers Brook Dr., Reading, MA
Don’t go far! Richardson’s Farm, in Middleton, has animals to look at in the back, and there are also two miniature golf courses, batting cages, and a driving range right on the premises.
If you're in Reading, the Spaulding Playground and Lake Quannapowitt are not far. The park is a relaxing spot, with a beautiful view of the lake. If you walk around the lake, it’s about 3 miles, but well worth it for the gorgeous scenery.
Treadwells 46 Margin St., Peabody, MA
Walk, run, bike, or roller-blade on the Independence Greenway Bike Route. Both shady and sunny in parts, and sometimes running alongside a stream, this is the perfect way to get a little exercise. There’s a fair amount of wildlife too, if you keep your eyes peeled!
White Farms 326 High St., Ipswich, MA
There’s mini-golf on the premises, but White Farms is not too far from the stunningly beautiful Castle Hill on the Crane Estate. Walk the grounds of this seaside estate, with lawns running down to the beach, fabulous architecture, majestic views and 4 miles of trails and roads.
Dairy Twist 580 Washington St., Pembroke, MA
Have fun exploring the Wildlands Trust Willow Brook Farm Preserve, once a dairy farm, now acres and acres of varying landscape that includes, cranberry bogs, woodland, clearings, meadows, an observation tower, the remains of stone structures, and much more.
Farfar’s Danish Ice Cream 272 St George St., Duxbury, MA
A six-minute drive from Farfar’s, it’s worth checking out the Mass Audubon's North Hill Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary. 1,000 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and a 90-acre pond provide plenty of habitat for wildlife. Take a trek down some of the 5 miles of trails to enjoy this sanctuary to the fullest.
Hornstra Farm 246 Prospect St., Norwell, MA
Find a piece of calm and beauty at the Wompatuck State Park, stretching over 4,000 acres. A popular camping spot, this park offers plenty of trails for hiking and walking, some paved, and others more rugged. At Mount Blue Spring, you can refill your water from a fresh underground stream.
Nona's Homemade Ice Cream 19 Main St., Hingham, MA - 1 Mill Wharf Plaza, Scituate, MA
Scituate is a wonderful coastal town, and there’s no better place to see that, than while visiting the Scituate Lighthouse, a historical site that offers fantastic views of 1st Cliff and Scituate Harbor. Walk along the rocks and watch the waves break; it’s a great way to get close to the water, without needing a beach permit.
In Hingham, check out World's End, once an island, now part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area. This park, designed by the famous landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, offers plenty of trails, and magnificent views of Hingham Harbor and the Islands.
Peaceful Meadows 170 Water St., Plymouth, MA
You’re less than a half mile from Pilgrim Memorial State Park, actually the smallest park in the Massachusetts state forest and park system, but don’t let that stop you from visiting. It’s beautifully landscaped, and right on the water, providing scenic views of Plymouth Harbor, walking paths, and benches. Steps away are the replica of the Mayflower II, and Plymouth Rock, both popular tourist destinations.