Imagine the perfect day in Gatlinburg. It probably involves a casual stroll along the Parkway, complete with stops at the cutest stores or, perhaps, a nice lunch out. If anything could take this outing up a notch, however, it’s ice cream.
Better yet: ice cream from a charming shop that fits in with Gatlinburg’s homey vibes. You’re in luck, as Gatlinburg is home to some truly spectacular ice cream shops. From recognizable chains to nostalgic soda fountains, you’ll feel plenty of options to keep you cool as you satisfy your sweet tooth.
Mad Dog’s Creamery
Serving two dozen paw-some varieties of ice cream, Mad Dog’s Creamery is a local staple on hot days. Many people favor Mad Dog’s for the funnel cake, while others make a point of stopping in the morning for donuts. On a relaxed summer afternoon, however, Mad Dog’s most compelling treat is easily its ice cream, which is even more enjoyable when paired with those legendary donuts.
This is also the perfect place to take your four-legged friend when you need a break from your walk. Instead of leaving canine visitors to fend for themselves while humans lick their ice cream cones, the shop serves special doggie treats. These include canine versions of donuts and ice cream.
Yes, it’s named for chocolates, and yes, these are in abundant supply, but there’s so much more to Kilwins than truffles and fudge. The Gatlinburg location also serves a variety of delicious ice cream flavors, which can be enjoyed in a simple cup, or better yet, a waffle cone. If you typically struggle to choose a flavor when stopping for ice cream, Kilwins is your ideal shop; the staff will patiently assist you in sampling so you can choose the best flavor possible.
Kilwins is as entertaining to visit as it is delicious. Even if you don’t end up purchasing fudge, peanut brittle, or caramel apples, you’ll likely get to observe experts preparing these and many other delicacies. Don’t be surprised if, despite stopping exclusively for ice cream, you leave with a variety of other tasty treats.
The Village Café & Creamery
The Village Café may be one of the best places in town to get your caffeine fix, but it’s also a top spot for enjoying ice cream in its many forms. That includes a simple scoop, of course, but the best treats here up the ante as sundaes, malts, and floats. If you need both caffeine and a cold treat, you’re in luck; The Village Café serves unforgettable espresso milkshakes.
The location is as compelling as the ice cream itself, so don’t hesitate to dedicate a day from your packed Gatlinburg itinerary to the Village Shoppes. Order your ice cream and enjoy it on foot as you take in the old-world charm of this adorable destination.
Ben & Jerry’s
Yes, you can grab a pint of Ben & Jerry’s at nearly any grocery store, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on the shop. You’ll quickly discover that, as much as you enjoy eating Ben & Jerry’s from the comfort of home, it’s that much better when scooped into a fresh-baked waffle cone or with hot fudge and whipped cream. Add friendly service and a laid-back atmosphere, and you have the makings of a wonderful dessert experience.
At the Ben & Jerry’s location in Gatlinburg, you’ll find all your favorite flavors, including Chunky Monkey and Cherry Garcia. A small selection of alternatives can also be purchased, including multiple non-dairy ice cream flavors, plus sorbet and frozen yogurt. Feel free to grab a handpicked pint for the road.
Glades Soda Fountain
If you’re on the hunt for an authentic, vintage ice cream parlor experience, look no further than Glades Soda Fountain. Whether you order a malted milkshake, a sundae, or an ice cream soda, you’ll be impressed by the friendly service and in heaven as soon as you take your first bite.
Do yourself a favor and keep your smartphone in your purse or pocket during your visit; the more you lean into the time capsule feel of this soda fountain, the better. As you enjoy your ice cream at the counter, you’ll chat with the staff members and luxuriate in the nostalgia. You’re also welcome to hang out on the patio, which may be preferred if the small shop gets crowded.
Cookie Dough Bliss & Creamery
If you’re addicted to cookie dough ice cream, you’ll fall head over heels in love with Gatlinburg’s Cookie Dough Bliss & Creamery. This isn’t just any edible cookie dough shop; it serves your favorite ice cream ingredient in every flavor and style imaginable. If you’re as eager for ice cream as you are for the shop’s staple ingredient, give one of the specialty desserts a try. Favorites include cookie dough shakes, cookie dough ice cream sandwiches, and the Bliss ice cream bar.
Keep in mind that this location has more of a batter-like consistency than some edible cookie dough shops. While many people prefer solid styles, the Bliss variety is perfect for enjoying in place of ice cream (in a cone, for example), or better yet, with it. Don’t let dietary restrictions or preferences get in the way of a great dessert. At Cookie Dough Bliss, you can enjoy your favorite treats without dairy or gluten, if you so choose.
As you explore Gatlinburg, don’t miss out on the simple delight of ice cream. You’ll be glad you took time out of your busy day to treat yourself and your loved ones.