Oh ice cream, how we adore thee. That’s why we couldn’t be more excited for the return of ice cream season in the Hudson Valley. It’s a time when roadside dairy bar parking lots beckon us to stop for a scoop and quaint creameries become the coolest places in town. From Albany to Westchester, our Hudson River region is blessed with an abundance of local ice cream shops to satisfy sweet cravings on scorching (or even mildly warm) days.
This summer, make it a point to plan a pitstop to each and every one of the region’s decadent dairy shops. Not only will you explore new corners of the Hudson Valley, but you’ll get your just desserts, too.
Tucked quietly down an alley in Saugerties, Alleyway is a veritable hidden gem in the village. Each trip is an adventure, since flavors are ever-changing according to seasonality and the owner’s whims. As for the scoops, get flavors like ultra-rich Belgian chocolate and creamy buttermilk strawberry by the pint. For those with an adventurous streak, the neon-bright ube Heath Bar ice cream is a show-stopping treat.
Located at the top of Mount Peter in Warwick, Bellvale is a welcome reprieve for hikers in need of sweet, creamy fuel. It’s open daily beginning at noon and features signature homemade ice cream in fun flavors like Bellvale Bog (dark chocolate ice cream with brownie dough and fudge swirl) and Blueberry Cheesecake. You can get your scoops in a traditional cone or sundae bowl, but Bellvale’s homemade waffle cones are the only way to go for locals in the know. Because Bellvale is a family creamery, favorite flavors can run out throughout the day. Call ahead to confirm if your top scoops are onsite before you make a visit. P.S. If not, the homemade ice cream pies are a delightful consolation prize too.
A go-to sandwich and scoop shop in Port Jervis, Ben’s Fresh offers an extensive selection of ice cream, milkshakes, and zany desserts. The soft ice cream is made with local Jersey cream and real bourbon vanilla, while the hard ice cream uses New York State milk. There’s vegan ice cream, too, with flavors like the blueberry oats cream made from oat milk. Scoops are wonderful on their own or in an ice cream soda or sandwich, although they’re extra-special when swirled into a homemade milkshake that gets its creamy consistency from a splash of Ronnybrook Farm milk.
This ice cream shop is as homemade as it gets. The milk and cream comes from Hudson Valley Fresh, giving the ice cream, well, freshness. Hard ice cream is the specialty and, with flavors like fresh ginger and grapefruit Campari, The Blue Pig’s got all your niche tastes covered. Hot soup can be found in colder weather and, if you’re looking for specialties, ice cream cakes, sundaes, and root beer floats are where it’s at.
While the shop is not fully open, it’s offering pint sales on certain dates. Follow The Blue Pig on Facebook for updates on upcoming sales and flavor previews.
Celebrating more than 100 years in business, Boice Bros. is a low-key legend in the Hudson Valley dairy scene. When it comes to ice cream, the local business is bar none. Swing by its Milk House headquarters in Kingston to dive into loaded brownie sundaes, custom ice cream cakes, and, when it’s in season, maple Dole Whip.
A longtime Rhinebeck institution, Del’s is back and better than ever with a retro look and a hyperlocal list of purveyors like Del’s Dairy Farm and Dutchess Creamery. As for the menu, it’s all about Americana nostalgia with farm-fresh scoops like double Dutch chocolate and mint brownie. For the more adventurous, goat cheese and cherry is worth a try.
P.S. Can’t decide? Try a little bit of everything in a tasting flight.
A sweet retreat for the Troy-area crowd, The Dutch Udder has been churning craft ice cream since 2013. Visit for unusual offerings like birthday cake donuts (that’s birthday cake ice cream sandwiched inside a donut), Cookies-n-Irish Cream (which is exactly what you think it is), and apple cider sorbet made with Nine Pin hard cider. Come back often, since flavors rotate regularly and specials pop up all the time.
A charming little shop in Tivoli, Fortunes offers a regular rotation of craft ice cream in Dutchess County. Go for scoops as standard as mint chip and maple walnut or get adventurous with the cherry pit stracciatella or labne black raspberry. For true Hudson Valleyites, the apple cider donut ice cream is a must.
A true blast from the past, Four Brothers Drive In is one of the best places to enjoy a cold cone and a hot flick. Roll up to the big screen and order ice cream online, via the theater’s outdoor kiosk, or by phone, then pick it up at the shack. The menu boasts a premium selection of locally sourced ice creams. If you’re in the mood for something different, there’s a few specialty sundaes like the Bubby Bubs, which comes with Nutella and a waffle. If you’re more of a milkshake connoisseur, Four Brothers has a unique menu of flavors, such as baklava, espresso, and even wine flavors (take your pick, Cabernet or Pinot Grigio).
Salty caramel pretzel and pink grapefruit sorbet are just two flavors you might find at this family run ice cream shop. Grab a shake, float, cone, or cup and head to Walkway Over the Hudson, which is located less than a mile away, to get spring started right.
Holy Cow is iconic. If you grew up in or around Dutchess County, chances are you made multiple trips to the Red Hook sweet spot on the dog days of summer. Inside the shop, prices are low and offerings are ample. Get an old-school sundae with hot fudge sauce and a cherry or keep it classic with a twisty chocolate and vanilla cone. You may have a tough time deciding between hard and soft ice cream, not to mention chocolate chip cookies sandwiches and parfaits, but we promise that whatever you ultimately choose will be nothing short of divine.
A relative newcomer to the Hudson Valley ice cream scene, Homestyle Creamery pairs Homestyle Desserts – its sister shop – pastries with locally made Jane’s ice cream. Whether you get a scoop of vanilla sandwiched between two fresh-baked oatmeal raisin cookies, frozen cheesecake delights shaped like mini cupcakes, or ice cream cake packed between two hefty layers of cookie dough, you won’t walk away hungry here.
This family focused ice cream joint has been specializing in making memories with creative treats since 1960. Joe’s has it all: soft serve, hard ice cream, sundaes, hot food, and Instagram-famous freak shakes. These made-to-order monsters are piled high with more toppings than you could imagine. The unicorn freak shake, a milkshake flavor of your choice filled with colorful marshmallow drizzle, surrounded by edible confetti, and topped with whipped cream, more marshmallow drizzle, edible dust, and a cupcake impaled on a lollipop is a sight to see.
Kelly’s is here to feed everyone’s ice cream cravings with its substantial stock of 34 artisanal flavors. Ooh and aah over varieties like death by chocolate and graham slam cracker, then top the scoops with berries, candies, nuts, or sprinkles. P.S. Don’t forget to pick up a pack of ice cream sandwiches for the road.
This stand has been serving up soft ice cream since 1952. It’s no wonder Kurver has everything from cones and banana splits to shakes, flurries, and homemade ice cream cakes. The specialty sundaes like fruit salad and toasted coconut in a homemade waffle bowl are musts if you crave something a little different.
Located in Highland, Lakeside Licks is a classic summertime stop for soft and hard serve, sundaes, and shakes. The soft serve selection is extensive here, which means you’ll have a difficult time choosing between flavors like amaretto, cheesecake, cinnamon, peanut butter, raspberry, and rum, to name only a few. Mix them into a make-your-own sundae or order one of the staff’s specialty versions. Don’t forget to order a homemade donut from Hole In One Donuts to pair with your scoops.
A community go-to in Poughkeepsie, Mapleview is a must for homemade ice cream that’s just about as creamy as it gets. Flavors change daily, but could include anything from Mary Lou’s raspberry and strawberry cheesecake to cannoli cream and pumpkin cheesecake. Sugar-free and dairy-free, vegan sorbets are on the menu, too.
A fan favorite, Moo Moo’s offers almost 100 flavors of hard ice cream. From chocolate do-si-do to walnutella, it has everything you might want, even if you don’t know what that is yet. Stop by after a hike for cool refreshers like Samoa Swirl, Chocolate Walnut, Tiramisu, and more.
No trip to Woodstock is complete without a visit to Nancy’s creamery. Operated by a Hudson Valley couple, Nancy’s sits on the quieter end of Tinker Street, making it an ideal destination for a sweet bite away from the summertime crowds. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional, vegan, or sorbet scoops, you’ll find them all inside the pretty little shop. Go for the sour cream cherry or the cream cheese carrot cake if you’re in the mood for a hard-serve style. Vegans, meanwhile, will love the mint chocolate chip with a coconut cream base, and dairy-free eaters will be all about the fresh and fruity blackberry basil.
If you’re heading down toward Westchester, don’t pass up a trip to Penny Lick. The Hastings creamery has been scooping up its signature custard-based ice cream, using locally sourced whole milk, eggs, and sugar, since 2013. Nowadays, it serves artisanal options like vegan dark chocolate coconut, lavender truffle, white bourbon caramel, and raspberry lime. Planning a birthday party? Call ahead to order a custom cake that is so much better than any run-of-the-mill Carvel concoction.
Situated just outside Beacon proper, Ron’s is a fan-favorite spot for quirky options like Blue Panda, which is very blue, and Birthday Batter, which packs more rainbow sprinkles into one scoop than you’d expect. Of course, hard ice cream is far from the only chilly delight you’ll find at Ron’s. If you want to switch things up, try crafting a custom ice cream’wich or picking and choosing between flurry flavors.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, Ron’s is not serving ice cream in cones, although it can include a cone on the side upon request.
Snowman has been serving soft and hard ice cream to the city of Troy since the mid-twentieth century. It offers specialty sundaes, hard ice cream flavors like orange pineapple and coffee Oreo, and vegan options. If you give the shop advance notice, it will even bake ice cream pies. With options like grasshopper (mint chocolate chip ice cream, crushed mint cookies, and hot fudge) and samoa (vanilla ice cream, caramel, hot fudge, and toasted coconut), how could anyone resist?
Throughout the Hudson Valley
What would a list of Hudson Valley ice cream spots be without a mention of Stewart’s? The beloved convenience chain is best known for its ice cream, which has something of a cult following among locals in the know. Everyone has a favorite flavor, but top picks include the Brownie Cookie Sundae, Peanut Butter Pandemonium, and Mint Cookie Crumble. Take home a half gallon or hand-packed pint to go or just stop by the closest Stewart’s near you for a cone, brownie sundae, milkshake, or – if you’re really feeling it – a banana split.
The bitty little ice cream shop in Wappingers Falls is a must-visit in the Hudson Valley. Come spring and summer, it keeps the scoops coming with flavors that range from back-pocket mint chip and butter pecan to indulgent cannoli and bittersweet sinphony, the latter which swirls coffee ice cream with bittersweet fudge and fudge chunks. Keep an eye out for the daily specials, which could be anything from an over-the-top sundae to a sweet ice cream sandwich.
Founded in 1956, Weir’s is the retro roadside stand of Instagram dreams. The shop is open from April to September and is locally famous for its homemade hard ice cream and unique soft serve flavors. Order the perfect twist of whatever soft serve options are on the menu for the day (strawberry and blue moon, anyone?) or get a sky-high stack of limited-edition flavors like S’mores or Movie Time, a kettle corn-flavored ice cream with chocolate-covered pretzels and a salted caramel swirl.
Zoe’s is the place to go for a true Hudson Valley ice cream experience. With dairy supplied by Hudson Valley Fresh and seasonal ingredients straight from local farms, Zoe’s scoops are the real deal. Go for classic varieties like cookie dough and birthday cake if you’re feeling nostalgic, or test out farm-fresh flavors like strawberry peach crumble or lavender honey for something unique.