It’s true—we’re now less than a month away from when the calendar will declare the changing of seasons from summer to fall. (Insert gasps of disbelief here.)
Fortunately, our “banana belt” location here in the Black Hills means that summer probably won’t come to an abrupt halt and there’s still plenty of warm weather left to relish in your favorite summertime activities. For me, this means indulging in my favorite cool-down treat: ice cream, and lots of it!
Thankfully, there’s no shortage of the sweet stuff in the Black Hills. Whether you prefer the goods in a cone, cup, sundae, malt, or decadent ice cream sandwich, here’s our list—in alphabetical order—of the most favored local ice cream shoppes that are sure to satisfy your next sugar craving:
You know it’s summer when there is a never-ending line of people standing in front of Armadillo’s. Take a hint from the locals—you can’t beat Armadillo’s ice cream. Popular for their delicious old-fashioned sundaes and malts, they are best known for their delectable Sherbet flavors—including coffee, cherry, and strawberry butter.
Must-try: Sherbet Flavor of the Day
Gus’ Best Ice Cream
345 North River St, Hot Springs; (605) 745-6506
After a day of touring the southern Black Hills, make a pit stop at Gus’ Best Ice Cream in Hot Springs. Gus, the manatee mascot of this humble ice cream shop, will have you smiling ear-to-ear with his selection of ice cream flavors and shaved ice offerings. You’ll also enjoy the aroma of freshly made waffle cones and bowls.
Must-try: Hawaiian Shaved Ice
722 1/2 Main St – Old City Hall, Spearfish; (605) 644-6461
Opened in 2014, Leones’ Creamery in Spearfish has quickly become one of the hottest places for cool treats. All their ice cream is made on-site in small batches using high quality ingredients to create one-of-a-kind flavor combinations. They kick it up a notch with homemade ice cream sandwiches, fudgesicles, and frozen fruit bars.
Must-try: House-made Ice Cream Sandwich
The Silver Lining Creamery
Located in the Shops at Main Street Square, 512 Main St, Rapid City; (605) 791-1141
The Silver Lining Creamery is a local gourmet ice cream shop featuring handcrafted premium ice cream with over 1,000 flavor combinations. The best part is the chance to watch them make the ice cream and waffle cones from a viewing area inside the shop. They have earned local praise for their unique ice cream flavors—including hot mango, red velvet cake, peanut butter pickle, loaded rocky road and candied maple bacon!
Must-try flavor combo: Sage + Lavender Honey ice cream.
Thomas Jefferson’s Ice Cream at Mount Rushmore
Mount Rushmore National Memorial, 13000 Highway 244, Keystone; (605) 574-2515
Did you know that Thomas Jefferson is credited for the first written ice cream recipe in the United States? Today, the vanilla ice cream served at Mount Rushmore National Memorial is based on his original recipe from 1780! Locally produced by a small dairy farm, TJ’s ice cream has the same delicious, old-fashioned flavor Jefferson used to enjoy!
Must-try: TJ’s Vanilla Ice Cream