Here in Maine we love our ice cream. As soon as our favorite ice cream stand opens, we get in line. Snow may still be falling, but we’ve been waiting all winter for our double scoop of black raspberry on a sugar cone with jimmies (a.k.a. sprinkles)! Round Top, Gifford’s, and Shain’s are all Maine ice cream companies, so if that’s what’s on offer, you know it will be good. Some states like their “creamees” or soft-serve cones, but here in Maine we prefer “real” ice cream (hard-serve).
These are our favorite local ice cream spots in the Camden area:
Dorman’s Dairy Dream. My grandmother always looked forward to our regular outings to this family-owned ice cream shop; she would get a hot fudge sundae with hard-serve vanilla or a chocolate frappe. Located on Route One between Thomaston and Rockland, Dorman’s has been delighting ice cream lovers with its homemade dairy delights since 1951. It opened for the season in April, and I’ve already brought the third generation of kids for their first cone of the spring. Closed Sundays.
Camden Cone. This literal hole in the wall is tucked between two shops on Bayview Street in Camden, but you’ll have no trouble finding it because of the long line blocking the sidewalk. They serve Round Top ice cream, which is made not far away in Damariscotta. They open in mid-May, and keep long hours, staying open most nights til 10 p.m. Check out their novelty ice cream creations like the Belted Galloway!
River Ducks Ice Cream. Located at 19 Mechanic Street in Camden, this colorful ice cream stand offers outside seating right next to the flower-filled footbridge over the Megunticook River. Serving Maine-made ice cream, both hard-serve and soft-serve, with such flavors as Maine Wild Blueberry, Maine Deer Tracks, and Camden Cappuccino Crunch. If you’re lucky, you’ll hail from the State of the Day and get a free small ice cream!
Lulu’s Ice Cream. This whimsical ice cream place is tucked away off Main Street in Rockland behind the restaurant Fog. Serving hard-serve ice cream from nearby Stone Fox Farm Creamery, as well as Maine-made gelato and sorbetto. Opens in late May.
Mount Battie Take Out & Ice Cream. This take-out stand is found on Route One just north of Camden, immediately before the entrance to popular Camden Hills State Park. For the quintessential local outing, enjoy a hike up Mount Megunticook, the second highest mountain on the Atlantic coast–or less athletically-inclined visitors can drive up the park’s auto road to the summit of scenic Mount Battie–then follow it up with fried seafood and a Shain’s ice cream cone here! Open 11:30 – 7.