7 Great Ice Cream and Gelato Shops You Gotta Visit
It doesn’t matter how old or how young you are, ice cream is universally loved by all! It’s sloppy, drippy, run-down-your-arm fun! And summertime is the absolute best time to enjoy everyone’s favorite cool down comfort food.
President Ronald Reagan declared July as National Ice Cream Month in 1984, which gives you all the more reason to enjoy it this month. But wait! There’s more! He also declared the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day. That’s how much America loves it.
Who are we to argue? If you’re visiting the Shenandoah Valley or heading to Charlottesville, you absolutely have to know the very best places to get ice cream and its cousin, gelato.
So without further ado, here are our picks for enjoying this frozen treat on both sides of the mountain. Let’s start with the Valley.
Ice Cream and Gelato Shops in the Shenandoah Valley
In Waynesboro, there are two much beloved ice cream shops. The first is Kline’s. It’s been around a long time, since 1949. What makes this ice cream shop so special is how it makes its confection.
They use a continuous freeze method because it doesn’t add extra air to the dessert. A slow and laborious process, this way of making ice cream is almost obsolete. So Kline’s, we thank you. And for making it fresh every morning! You’ll find Kline’s in Waynesboro and Staunton.
Another long time favorite is Willy’s Ice Cream. Open seasonally, Willy’s not only has ice cream but also gluten-free, dairy free desserts. It’s a custard style ice cream that has been around for over 20 years. They also serve great milkshakes. You’ll love it!
In Staunton, you’ll find The Split Banana. Not really an ice cream store, The Split Banana is
a gelato and sorbet shop with a rabid fan base. Once you taste their selections, you’ll understand why.
Made on-site every day, the shop uses as many locally sourced ingredients as possible. With flavors like Guinness Extra Stout, Highland County Maple, Apple Pie, and Sticky Rice, you’ll see why this gelato store stays busy even in the winter!
Wright’s Dairy-Rite isn’t technically an ice cream shop although it started out that way in 1952. Back then, it was a small frozen custard store. Its popularity grew and the family gradually added burgers, fries, and shakes.
What makes Wright’s so unique is that it is a drive-in restaurant. It was recently voted one of the top 10 drive-in restaurants in the nation. You can get traditional chocolate, vanilla and chocolate-vanilla swirl ice cream as well as vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate or peanut butter.
They also have banana splits, floats, Strawberry Delight which is yellow cake, vanilla ice cream, strawberries and whipped cream, as well as hot fudge cake. We’re guessing you’ve never experienced anything like this. Well worth the drive up!
Crozet and Charlottesville Ice Cream and Gelato Shops
Head up Afton Mountain to Crozet to find a newer ice cream shop. Crozet Creamery not
only has ice cream, they have dairy-free alternatives as well. The shop makes their ice cream in small batches right on the premises using the finest ingredients.
On the dairy-free side you’ll find ChocolOAT!, Grapefruit Sorbet, Raspberry Sorbet, and Coconut Chip. On the ice cream side, you’ll find tempting flavors like Red Velvet, Cherry Vanilla, Cinnabomb, and Chocolate Chip. A wonderful ice cream shop!
Heading down the other side of the mountain into Charlottesville, you have to stop by
Splendora’s, a fine gelato shop made the way Italian families made it hundreds of years
The shop combines only the simplest and most natural ingredients–whole milk (without growth hormones), heavy cream, skim milk powder and sugar. You can also get Italian espresso drink and dessert specialties. Absolutely delicious!