Summer is here, June is National Dairy Month, let’s talk about the (very) serious subject of cheese and ice cream.
For an old-timey ice cream experience, hit up The Pearl Ice Cream Parlor in La Crosse, Wisconsin. This charming stop is a “Best of La Crosse County” winner for both its ice cream and old fashioned candy. Located in the historic downtown of this beautiful river town, the store looks almost like a museum, beautifully preserved. They make their ice cream in house (nearly two dozen flavors from real Wisconsin cream) along with fresh baked waffle cones. The Pearl is located a couple of short blocks from the Mississippi River so you can take your ice cream and stroll down by the water on a warm afternoon.
Feeling cheesy? Head to the Nelson Cheese Factory in Nelson, Wisconsin. Not only do they sell real Wisconsin cheese, but varieties from all over the world, so it’s a great place to pick up a rare or hard-to-find cheese for the connoisseur in your life. They also sell to-die-for garlic cheese curds and homemade ice cream (we recommend rum cherry!). While you’re in the area, make a stop at the National Eagle Center across the river in Wabasha, Minnesota to watch our national bird!
Another worthy stop in Minnesota is the Red Wing Confectionery in Red Wing. They have tons of rotating flavors of ice cream (try the hand-dipped waffle cones!) and happen to make some of the best root beer floats you’ve ever tried. Not related to dairy, but still delicious, are their homemade candies, including salt water taffy, chocolate-covered fruit and nuts and gourmet truffles. Take your treats across the street to LaGrange Park and sit by the fountain, or walk a quick block to take in views of the Mighty Mississippi.
Last on our list is the Hastings Co-Op Creamery in Hastings, Minnesota. Known as the “shake place,” you can get an unbelievable milkshake for an equally unbelievable price here. They’ve been in business for more than 100 years, so they know their dairy! They’re also famous for their soft serve ice cream, fresh milk and cheese curds. It’s a great place to stop after a hike or a bike ride!