Every corner of Chester County is filled with wonder and delights: gardens, history, wineries, breweries, shopping, and everyone’s favorite – ice cream!
Starting in the southern end of Chester County, next to another area treat – Herr’s Snack Food Factory, the trail of scrumptious ice cream creations and flavors begins. Nottingham Inn Kitchen and Creamery is the perfect one-two punch; a great meal at the Kitchen is followed by the Creamery’s cold confections. There is scooped or soft serve, cones or sundaes and too many toppings to count- everyone leaves full and happy!
Traveling north of Nottingham, the next town – Kennett Square is known for being the Mushroom Capital (over 64% of the nation’s crop is produced in the region.) Yes there is a mushroom ice cream – produced each year for the annual Mushroom Festival held the weekend after Labor Day. La Michoacana, homemade Mexican ice cream creates the mushroom flavor (it’s good!) but seasonally offers so much more. Their corn ice cream is amazing! A sprinkle of cinnamon or chile powder is encouraged. So many flavors from the traditional to adventurous as well as hand-made popsicles will make deciding what to order the only problem of the day.
Down the road from Kennett in Unionville is Foxy Loxy, a nod to the region’s equestrian heritage. Their charming shade-covered patio is the perfect spot to enjoy a light bite, coffee and an ice cream treat.
The central county seat – West Chester, is a thriving historic downtown (winner of the 2017 Great American Main Street Award) and an ice cream mecca! La Michoacana’s sister store, Tropical Homemade Ice Cream, offers similar delightful Mexican ice cream and popsicles; there are two fantastic gelato shoppes – Gemelli and D’Asenzo’s; West Chester Coffee and Ice Cream Bar; and frozen yogurt fans will enjoy the variety of flavors at Kiwi Frozen Yogurt. Just outside of town, West Chester’s Artisan Exchange is a unique market open Saturday’s from 10am to 2pm and is home to iSwich Gourmet; a family owned and operated artisan ice cream/frozen Desert Company. Come bring home these all-natural, locally sourced, works of ice cream art (think bananas foster ice cream sandwiches!) As an added bonus, plan to explore over 30 other artisans at this extraordinary market. Note to out-of-towners – bring a cooler!
Downingtown is home to Margo’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream and Arcade, a marriage made in heaven, with cool treats on one side and pinball on the other! There is seating in between and lots of family fun throughout. Farther north in beautiful Chester Spring, history is as homegrown as the ice cream. History Yellow Springs is a unique living historic village celebrating arts, education and the environment and the Mill at Anselma, a 1747 National Historic Landmark, is a fine example of a water –powered grain mill. Indulge in rich history and then equally rich (and delicious) ice cream at the Chester Springs Creamery at Milky Way Farm. This century-old family farm serves up the freshest ice cream with milk from their livestock. Cones, sundaes and milkshakes with delightful flavors named for the cows they come from – think Bessie’s Black Raspberry!
Finally in the northern end of the county Phoenixville and St Peter’s Village have a rich heritage of history and arts as well as you guessed it – great ice cream. Phoenixville’s legacy as an industrial leader in steel production helped forge this beautiful town. And landmark Colonial Theatre is a historic venue that features movies, concerts and events throughout the year. Before or after the theater Browns Cow is the perfect treat, serving “udderly delicious” Bassett’s ice cream which has been produced in the region since 1861. Seating is available both inside and out.
The Village Scoop Ice Cream Shop is like a step back in time – as is the whole of St Peter’s village. This charming 19th century industrial village is a mere quarter-mile in length, narrow and winding with quaint shops including a bakery and arcade. The newly renovated Village Scoop is as charming as the surroundings.
You may come to Chester County’s Brandywine Valley for a myriad of reasons but while here try as many of our flavors as you can – and you’ll be back for sure!