Ice cream: Favorite places to beat the heat

Indulging in rich, homeade scoops is how you survive the summer.
Different flavor ice cream cones

By Jim DuFresne

Right along M-53 in Marlette, a white-lettered sign urges travelers to “Eat Moore Ice Cream!”

That’s good advice from Moore Ice Cream Parlor, whose roof the sign adorns. Indulging in scoops of rich, homemade ice cream is how you survive summer.

Here are five ice cream stops well worth the drive, along with my personal picks for each:

Moomers Homemade Ice. Once named the nation’s best ice cream by Good Morning America, Moomers ( is a dairy farm just south of Traverse City that produces 100 different flavors with more than 20 available daily. You know the ice cream is fresh; a red milk barn, creamery and black-and-white Holsteins are right there in view. 

Personal favorite: Cherries Moobilee. Black cherry ice cream with chunks of black sweet cherries, red tart cherries and homemade brownie pieces.

The Parlour. If you’re a lover of ice cream and diners, then The Parlour of Jackson is heaven on earth. Since 1944, this hot fudge haven has been serving up sinfully big sundaes, shakes and splits.

Personal favorite: Deluxe Pecan Combo. Three scoops of ice cream smothered in hot fudge and hot caramel, sprinkled with pecans, and buried in real whipped cream. Use your spoon like a shovel.

Jones Home Made Ice Cream. Since 1942, campers and cottage owners in the surrounding Pere Marquette State Forest have been making trips to this classic corner storefront with its red-and-white awning in Baldwin. Sure, they offer only 12 flavors, but  they’re all good.

Personal favorite: Orange Pineapple, tangy with bits and pieces of real fruit.

Cook’s Farm Dairy. What began as a dairy farm in 1933 near Ortonville expanded into ice cream in 1982 and northern Oakland County’s waistline has never been the same. At Cook’s (248-627-3329), you step up to the counter to order a double scoop (more than a pint tops the cone), then go outside to enjoy it not far from the cows. Go ahead — you can pet the calves if you want.

Personal favorite: Cow Pie. Double-dark chocolate ice cream with caramel swirls and chocolate-covered cashews.

Moore’s Ice Cream Parlor. Like the small rural town it is located in, Moore’s (989-635-2020), is country simple, a parlor overlooking the railroad tracks across the street from a grain silo. Inside the shop are red-checkered tables with wire chairs, local knick-knacks for sale and a counter featuring a dozen or so flavors. The scoops are so huge you’ll need 20 minutes to demolish a double in a waffle cone.

Personal Favorite: Blueberry Crunch. Fresh blueberry ice cream with candied crunchy bits. Dig in!

Jim DuFresne is a Clarkston-based travel writer and a contributor to

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