It's getting hot outside, and the best way to combat the heat is with some cool summer treats. We've got the inside scoop on some new spots that have made their way into the area, as well as some familiar faces. From creamy custard to ice-cold slushies, Lake Norman has more than enough options for you and the family.
1. Scoop World Ice Cream & Arcade
Huntersville | S Old Statesville Rd
If you ever thought that arcade games and ice cream would be a great combination, then you can go ahead and thank Scoop World. With 40+ different flavors of ice cream and classic arcade games, you're bound to enjoy your time here. Ice cream options include Deep Dish Apple Pie, Peanut Butter Cookies & Cream, Salted Carmel Brownie and much more. They have cones, cups, sundaes, and milkshakes. Some games include Pacman, Dance Dance Revolution, and Stars Wars Racer.
2. Sunset Slush Lake Norman
Cornelius | Catawba Ave
Another new location in the Lake Norman area is Sunset Slush. While the company itself is over 18 years old with locations all around North Carolina, they just recently opened their first location in the Lake Norman area. They offer 50 different flavors for their slushies along with some tasty Italian Ice. Choose from Blue Vanilla, Bubble Gum, Key Lime, Strawberry Lemonade and many others. If you have a hard time choosing, customers are welcome to combine flavors to make their own unique treat and for the adults, there's an option to add some alcoholic infusions into your Italian Ice.
3. Bruster's Real Ice Cream
Cornelius | W Catawba Ave
While Bruster's is a franchise, it still brings that local feel to all of its locations. This ice cream spot is a perfect fit with the overall atmosphere of the Lake Norman area. With many different options for ice cream flavors, there's a lot to choose from when you visit. Not only do they have ice cream, but they also offer sundaes, splits, cakes, pies, blasts, milkshakes, freezes, floats and some other specialty items. Some of the ice cream flavors include Cake Batter, Fudgie Cheesecake, Southern Banana Pudding, and many more. Beyond dessert, they offer some food options that include Hot Dogs (add chili/cheese), French Fries, and Hot Dog Nuggets. If you're on the go don't worry, this location offers a drive-thru and to-go options.
4. Carolina Cones
Cornelius | North Main Street
One of the more familiar options is Carolina Cones. They've been doing business in the Lake Norman area for quite some time now and they have a great reputation. Even though the company has been around for a while, they are still introducing some new flavors like Brownie S'mores, Mackinaw Island Fudge, Cookie Monster, and Rich and Famous (brownie and cookie dough). They even have plenty of great toppings to add on to your ice cream if you want to spruce it up. They also offer different types of sodas, gatorade, coffee and they have some slushie options too. The location definitely brings a local feel to it, and is very welcoming to families that are in town for a visit. They have a little toy train you can watch inside, and a few rides outside that are great for the kids. Lastly, Carolina Cones Garden Center is located nearby and they have some great flowers during the spring season.
Huntersville | Birkdale Commons Parkway
Once you walk into this spot, the wonderful smell will keep you around for a while. Although Kilwins is a franchise their shops carry a local feel. This particular spot is located in Birkdale Village and has a great selection of desserts. They have many fudge options including Mud Fudge, Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chunk Fudge, and many others. Some of their ice cream options include "The Perfect" Apple Pie, Sea-Salt Caramel, and Superman. The shopping center offers benches and grass fields that are perfect spots to enjoy your ice cream. This spot also carries all kinds of chocolate including Boxed Chocolates, Chocolate Apples, Truffles, Toffee and more.
6. Andy's Frozen Custard
Cornelius | Nat Bynum Lane
This spot has a very wide selection of frozen desserts. Some of Andy's popular treats include concretes, jackhammers, sundaes, splits, malts, shakes, freezes, floats and much more. Popular options for concretes include the BootDaddy, Mint Chip, and Strawberry and Oreo. Keep your eye out for their seasonal menu options because during summer they offer Strawberry Shortcake Sundae, Peach Concrete, Peach Sundae, and Key Lime Pie Concrete. They also have seasonal options for fall and winter as well.
7. Whit's Frozen Custard
With two locations in the Lake Norman area, Whit's Frozen Custard has become a favorite for the locals. They are one of the few places that focus on custard rather than traditional ice cream and their menu includes a lot of sweet treats including Brownie Blitz, Strawberry Shortcake, Root Beer Float and many others. Choose from plenty of tasty toppings to add on to your frozen custard as well. We also recommend planning ahead to check their flavor of the week so you don't miss out on your possible new favorite. Their menu also includes some food options like Hot Dogs, Pulled Pork BBQ, Shredded Chicken Sandwich and Chili (Chili is seasonal).
8. Pelican's SnoBalls
Cornelius | Catawba Avenue
With over 100 flavors of original New Orleans shaved ice, Pelican's SnoBalls is a great place to cool down on a hot summer day. They don't use any high fructose corn syrup and they offer gluten free options as well. Some of their flavors include Blue Raspberry, Fruity Pebbles, Georgia Peach, Maui Wowee, Sour Apple, and plenty more. They also offer "Signature SnoBalls" which include options like Rainbow (Cherry, Pineapple, and Blue Raspberry), Shark Attack (Sour Tsunami and Tiger's Blood), and Dinosaur (Sour Grape and Orange). Not only do they offer flavored ice, they also have cream that you can add to any shaved ice option. You can add flavors like Chocolate Cream, Key Lime Pie, Cola Float, Creamsicle and much more to make your sweet treat even more sweet.
9. Ellie May's Dang Good Ice Cream
Davidson I Shearer Rd
Ellie May's Dang Good Ice Cream makes American style ice cream with tons of homemade delicious flavors. Their ice cream has a high butterfat content, paired with very little air in the mixture, and slow churned to perfection right here in Carolina. Their flavors are constantly rotating and they feature delicious options like Dutch Chocolate, Strawberry Fields, and even Harry Potter inspired flavors. Not only do they serve up delicious treats, they also partner with Feed NC, a non-profit working to fight hunger in our communities. With their "Scoop for Scoop" program, for every scoop they serve, they also buy a scoop of food for those who need help in our community.
10. Morelia Paletas
Huntersville I Birkdale Village
New to Birkdale, Morelia Paletas serves delicious paletas that are customizable to make a great dessert experience. First, choose your favorite flavor among their collection of Gourmet handcrafted Paletas. Then, you get to choose a dipping sauce, like dark chocolate, white chocolate, crunchy hazelnut, or cookie batter. To top it off, roll your paleta in the topping of your choice from delicious options like Oreo crumbs, peanuts, pistachio, almonds, M&M’s, or rainbow Sprinkles. With all of the fun combinations there is sure to be something for everyone!
11. Handel's Homemade Ice Cream
Cornelius I Torrence Chapel Rd.
Also new to the area, Handel's Homemade Ice Cream serves up delicious frozen treats. They have over 100 ice cream flavors including brownie dough, buckeye, peach, and coconut caramel delight. They have vegan sorbet options with flavors like mango, coconut, and strawberry or try one of their sherbet flavors including lime or pineapple. You can also enjoy a variety of desserts from cones and dishes, Handel Pops, hurricanes, shakes, or sundaes.
While you're off getting ice cream with your friends or family, don't forget to share your experience. Tag us in your photos @VisitLakeNorman.