Whether you're spending a vacation on the Boardwalk or you or you opt for an Airbnb further inland, one thing that Virginia Beach does right: Ice cream.
After a long day on the beach, ice cream is the ideal treat to cool you down. While there are plenty of great chains like Cold Stone Creamery and Ben & Jerry's, Carvel, Baskin-Robbins, Dairy Queen, and Bruster's, we have great suggestions for some of the more local favorites.
While this isn't exactly inland, it's just not at the oceanfront. My roommates and I go on a weekly basis. Even during COVID-19, they offered drive-up service, and we'd go on an excursion to pick up our containers of fresh ice cream. We'd sit in the air-conditioned car, eat our ice cream, and forget about the world's troubles. If you're looking for real ice cream, Blue Cow is top of the line. This shop is right along the bay side, so if you're staying in the Chix beach area, check it out!
My Favorite Flavors: Key Lime Pie, Blueberry Goat Cheese
When this opened, I'm not kidding, the line extended around the block. Located centrally in Hilltop, this incredibly high-rated dessert spot serves 24 "House Favorite," flavors along with a rotating selection of 85 featured flavors. They make their delectable ice cream fresh and in small batches. Not only that, you can order quarts and pints online for curbside pickup. And yes--they also have pies.
Located centrally in Hilltop off Laskin Rd, this fancy and fun ice cream bar is top-quality, all-natural ice cream handmade every day on site. It's all served in a contemporary black-and-white soda shop/ ice cream parlor environment, perfect for the family to sit comfortably and make memories with tasty treats. Can't decide on a flavor? Try a "flight" of 4-6 ice cream flavors so you know which one you want next time!
If you're looking to support a small business, Gilly's is the perfect ice cream shop for you. The whole family can hang out at this old-fashioned little ice cream store at the Farmers Market in Virginia Beach (Pungo area). And all of their milk products are hormone and antibiotic-free!
If you want a customizable ice cream experience, this flash-frozen ice cream is the dessert for you. Founders Jerry and Naomi Hancock were drawn to the idea of customizable food, and with Jerry's degree in chemistry, they developed a method for flash-freezing ice cream using liquid nitrogen (watch them on Shark Tank!). Now you can find locations all over the United States. Choose your size, cream, flavor, and mix-ins. Since it's highly customizable, they can cater to many different kinds of dietary restrictions/preferences, including vegan, lactose-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and reduced sugar.
Located off General Booth Boulevard, this Australia-based franchise sells soft-serve ice cream as picture-perfect work of art that tastes as good as it looks. With a pastel color palette, comfortable and chic seating, photo-worthy decor, and picturesque ice cream creations, you'll never want to leave.
Their milkshake will bring you there, and I guarantee, it's better than yours. No, really. These outrageously amazing milkshakes were featured on Shark Tank (where owners, husband and wife team Logan and Chelsea Green made a deal with Mark Cuban!). The Greens then started their journey opening franchises all around the country--from Washington to Florida. Their milkshakes are not only incredibly tasty, but they'll also look amazing on your Instagram. They also sell amazing edible cookie dough, my guilty pleasure.
Lolly's is locally owned by one of the nicest couples in Virginia Beach. Not only are they constantly crafting new flavors, but their Instagram also showcases them in all their glory. Beware--if you browse their Instagram, you may just have to drop everything and drive (or bike) to one of their two locations--Virginia Beach Boulevard (by Town Center) and in the ViBe District. While you're at it--you should also check out their new sister company--Okie Doughkie Donuts. While Duck Donuts is great for Cake Donuts, Okie Doughkie perfects the yeast donuts (my preference) like no one else.
My Favorite Flavors: Fruity Pebbles, Takes the Cake
On the corner of 24th street and Atlantic Avenue, you'll find Kilwins--an incredibly tasty sweet shop with unbeatable ice cream, fudge, chocolates, toffee, caramels, "the perfect caramel apple," and caramel corn. If you're looking for the cream of the crop when it comes to dessert, look no further than Kilwins. Check out our family business feature on the Salecker Family who co-owns Kilwins--both locations (VA Beach and Williamsburg).
Boasting "explosive milkshakes," funnel cakes, churros, crepes, "bubble" waffles, and plenty of other mouth-watering treats, the Sweet Spot is a confection shop like no other. Their Instagram-worthy concoctions will be sure to wow you and your family. They promise fresh ingredients, making your delicious "art" on the spot when you order.
We just had to include it. When your doggie comes with you on vacation, he needs to have his own vacation treat, too! The Salty Paws knows exactly how to pamper your four-legged family member. Kick back and watch your dog enjoy cones, waffle bowls, or dishes full of dog-friendly ice cream with a topping bar that is a must for the pickiest pooches. From dehydrated chicken to sweet potato fries sprinkled on top or something absolutely delicious from our bakery section, you really can't go wrong! Salty Paws will keep your dogs wagging for more!
While this is technically in Norfolk, its 4.8-star review on Google speaks for itself. If you're in the Virginia Beach area, but you're up for the drive (it's only 25 minutes or so), visit this adorable nook serving housemade gelato in rotating flavors along with fruit smoothies, juice, and açai bowls.
Made from Archie Kohr's original 1919 recipe, this frozen custard has delighted six generations for over 100 years. You'll find 3 Kohrs Brothers locations off of Atlantic Avenue, all a few blocks from the beach and boardwalk. While they have a rotating menu, my favorite is chocolate peanut butter swirl (with sprinkles, of course). You can also get shakes, sundaes, and malts! Stroll down the Virginia Beach boardwalk with this unbeatable frozen treat.
When this franchise first arrived on the scene in 2008 in Virginia Beach, people went nuts. It quickly became a household name across the 757, for good reason! With plenty of delicious flavor options and dozens of toppings, you really can't go wrong. They have low-sugar, vegan, and non-dairy options, too!
If it's a frozen yogurt emergency, Sweet Frog is there for you. I say that because there are 4 locations between 18th and 30th street at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. They have lots of great flavors and a variety of toppings, perfect for after a long day at the beach. Fair warning, though, with convenience comes a steep price. In some locations, you'll pay over $11/lb for a cup of frozen yogurt. Sometimes we make sacrifices in emergencies, though.
As a bustling beach town, VA Beach has no shortage of mouth-watering frozen treats for after those long days in the sun. Where will you choose? Wherever you make the trek for a sweet, frosty, confection, share pictures with the people you love on FamilyApp!