Your guide to ice cream in the Berkshires
School is out and the lazy days of summer are finally upon us, why not celebrate with ice cream? Go ahead, have a twist with sprinkles for dinner, we won't tell anyone.
In an effort to help you live your best life this summer, we mapped out 15 ice cream shops in Berkshire County so you too can eat your way through the region one cone at a time. Here is a comprehensive guide for you to pick from:
13 Main St., Cheshire
Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
The scoop: Located right along the Appalachian Trail and Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, Diane's Twist caters to the casual ice cream lover, the hungry bike rider, or the even hungrier thru-hiker. As one hiker wrote in the sign-in journal, "How was I supposed to resist an ice cream stand on the AT? I'm helpless!" Customers can enjoy cones, sundaes and floats with either soft serve or hard ice cream.
83 Spring St., Williamstown
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday
1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams
Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; Closed Tuesdays
The scoop: Enjoy the ever popular "Purple Cow" flavor right on the campus of Williams College or alongside contemporary art at its second location inside of Mass MoCA in North Adams. Ice Cream at the Williamstown location is sourced straight from Harrell's in Northampton while the Mass MoCA location offers homemade ice cream in a cafe setting.
Pedrin's Dairy Bar
1360 Curran Hwy, North Adams
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily
The scoop: Known for its fish fries and coleslaw, Pedrin's Dairy Bar also serves ice cream on its side counter. Visitors can enjoy a sweet treat sitting at one of their many picnic benches, whether that be a root beer float, ice cream soda, cone, frost, sundae, ice cream sandwich, milkshake or avalanche.
85 Summer St., Adams
Hours: 2 to 9 p.m., daily
The scoop: Situated by the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail in Adams, Rainbow Shack offers generous portions with 41 soft serve flavors and 18 hard ice cream flavors to choose from. Customers can also enjoy fat-free frozen yogurt, hot-fudge sundaes, banana splits, hurricanes (soft serve blended with cookies), milkshakes, slushies and floats.
505 East St., Pittsfield
Hours: Noon to 10 p.m., daily
The scoop: Ayelada — the name means "cow" in Greek — is aptly titled. This frozen-yogurt store prides itself on using yogurt made from local sources. Using skim milk from Mapleline Farm in Hadley, and low-fat yogurt from SideHill Farm in Hawley, Ayelada operates around their motto "Fresh, local, and real!" The store only carries four flavors a week to ensure freshness along with its mainstay and customer-favorite "Original" flavor.
Ben & Jerry's
179 South St., Pittsfield
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., weekdays; 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., weekends
The scoop: The Burlington-based ice cream chain is best known for its signature "Vermonster Bucket," a 20-scoop, 14,000-calorie sundae, but for those craving something lighter, Ben & Jerry's also offers milkshakes, dipped waffle cones and ice cream cakes. Popular flavors include cherry Garcia, chocolate chip cookie dough and chunky monkey.
Cravin's Soft Serve & Frozen Yogurt
119 Elm St., Pittsfield
Hours: Weekdays, noon to 9 p.m.; Weekends noon to 10 p.m.
The scoop: Cravin's soft serve is deliciously creamy, unlike any other soft serve you've tried. It's served warmer than most ice cream, so your mouth can enjoy the full extent of the velvety goodness. Customers especially enjoy the blue goo flavor burst, razzle (frozen yogurt and ice cream with one topping) and cookies and cream shake.
197 Tyler St., Pittsfield
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., daily
The scoop: Do you have dietary restrictions that keep you from enjoying ice cream? At Dairy Cone in Pittsfield, they accommodate for anyone who is trying to beat the heat. They offer more than 30 soft-serve flavors, including their 8 non-fat yogurt varieties and their WowCow ice cream for diabetics. They also mix up their customer favorite "Wizzzard" with any topping of your choice.
133 Fenn St., Pittsfield
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily
The scoop: King Kone's sizes live up to its name. The gargantuan portions seem to have been made for the enormous gorilla himself. They offer three flavors (vanilla, chocolate, twist) that they cover with the topping of your choice. A local favorite is their peanut butter cup sundae. But watch out! This much ice cream is sure to give you a brain-freeze.
585 S Main St., Lanesborough
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
The scoop: Tired of vanilla or chocolate? Krispy Cones on Route 7 offers an eclectic and intriguing list of flavors on their soft serve menu — 96 to be exact. Customers can try their fruitier flavors (blackberry, mango, cantaloupe) or opt for something richer (German chocolate cake, white chocolate, praline). The more adventurous ice cream lovers can satisfy their taste buds with licorice, orchard fruit salad and pumpkin pie.
6 Depot St., Dalton
Hours: 2 to 8 p.m., daily
The scoop: Reward yourself with a sweet treat after hiking this summer in Wahconah Falls State Park. Sweet Pea's is an old fashioned ice cream parlor a few steps from the trails that offers 32 flavors. The scoop masters behind the counter hope to satisfy all your family's cravings with local favorites such as cappuccino crunch and cotton candy. They also serve doggie ice cream for your four-legged hiking companion.
51 Church St., Lenox
Hours: Noon to 9 p.m., weekdays; Noon to 11 p.m., weekends
The scoop: They serve up 20 flavors of homemade ice cream and sorbets with classics such as molten chocolate and blackberry, and new concoctions like blueberry ginger and pomegranate sorbets (new flavor ideas are welcome!). Or, if you are feeling brave, try your luck at The Scoop challenge. If you can stomach 10 scoops and all the toppings in the store in under 20 minutes, you will win a T-shirt, a $20 gift card, and a well-deserved nap.
Local Lee Scooped Homemade Ice Cream
395 Laurel St., Lee
Hours: Opens weekdays, 1 p.m., weekends, noon; Friday and Saturday closes 9 p.m. All other days closes at 8 p.m.
The scoop: This nostalgic location offers 20 ice cream flavors made in the shop and one sorbet. Family favorites include classics like chocolate and cookies & cream, as well as specialty flavors such as coconut almond fudge. Kids can burn off the sugar rush in an outside play area while their parents explore the curiosities at the Retro Pop Shop next door or sit on the bowling benches enjoying their cold treat.
Lucky's Ice Cream & Grill
30 W Center St., Lee
Hours: Noon to 10 p.m., weekdays; Noon to 10:30 p.m., weekends
The scoop: This riverside shop in the heart of Lee prides itself on its variety. They offer more than 50 flavors of hard serve, soft serve, milkshakes, and blizzards. Local favorites include peanut butter pie, chocolate lovers chocolate, and the colorful flavor burst soft serve. Their extensive menu also features no-fat and vegan options, as well as gluten-free cones for those with dietary restrictions.
5 Railroad St., Great Barrington
Hours: Noon to 9 p.m., daily
The scoop: This high-end ice cream shop has become a staple in Great Barrington. It was recently featured as one of the top 10 places to go in New England by the Boston Globe. They serve up 25 flavors of all-natural, low-air, single-source dairy ice cream, which they make in shop. Some of their signature flavors include dirty chocolate and blueberry honey lavender. They are also releasing a special lemon basil sorbet this year for Tanglewood.
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