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The Perfect West Michigan Ice Cream Tour for Summer

As we finally reach the warm months of summer, we are able to (more readily) enjoy a favorite pastime: ice cream. There are so many great local ice cream shops to visit that it is nearly impossible to go wrong — but we have decided to feature a few in West Michigan that are particularly noteworthy. So, take notes and let’s take a tour of some of the best ice cream shops this part of the state has to offer.

Big City Favorites:

We begin near Grand Rapids in Ada, MI. Scooper’s Ice Cream Shoppe is a summer favorite for those living in Ada. Its patrons often cite the friendly service, its location in the heart of Ada — a very walkable small town, and its plethora of options for any ice cream enthusiasts. You can check out their Facebook page to see more hours, photos, and menu options.
Another place to visit when driving toward the city is Jersey Junction. This “Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlour” with its checkered floors and schoolhouse benches (that you can sign your name to) has been serving ice cream in East Grand Rapids’ Gaslight Village since 1963. If you are driving through you can’t miss the bright red building. Learn more about their history and information here.

There are also a number of places to stop in Grand Rapids, but one worth noting and one that offers options for those who may have a sensitivity to dairy, but not a sensitivity to taste, is Furniture City Creamery. This 496 sq. ft. ice cream shop located in East town not only makes all its own ice cream, but they also make vegan-friendly ice cream. This doesn’t mean that dairy lovers can’t get their fix, but it also means that the dairy intolerant can enjoy a tasty treat as well, like their delicious vegan cake batter. Keep up to date with all their rotating flavors on Instagram or check out their website.

Inland Must-haves

As you head out of the city and into the heartland of West Michigan, it is imperative to stop at a couple of local joints, after all, Hudsonville hard ice cream was born in this farm country between the city and the lake.

The first place we recommend to stop along the way is Frosty Treat in Jenison, MI. This ice cream shop has been in Jenison for 20+ years. Though it has gone through a few renovations, this native spot offers a blend of family favorites: sundaes and flurries with new soft serve twists. Plus, if you bring your dog along, they will give him a dog treat. Check out their Facebook page for hours and photos to whet your appetite.

Another family favorite is Captain Sundae in Zeeland, MI. This is a wonderful spot to bring kids; it mixes the design sensibilities of Gilligan’s Island with the fun and pace of Craig’s Cruisers. Complete with Pirate’s Landing mini golf and crowd-pleasing, gummy worm “dirt” sundaes, Captain Sundae boasts over 30 sundae recipes for anyone from kids to adults. Check out more info here.

Lakeshore Sweet Stops

An ice cream road trip would not be complete without heading to the lakeshore and catching the sunset. Arguably, one of the best places to catch the sun dipping below the water is in Grand Haven. But, before you grab your seat for the sunset, head to Sweet Temptations. Located at the far north end of The Strip, this classic ice cream parlor has some of the best waffle cones in the state. The line is often long, so arrive early, but know that the product is worth the wait. Check out more information.

After sunset or a day at the beach, the final place to stop on your West Michigan tour is the former Miss Lisa’s in Ferrysburg, Michigan. At the end of the 2018 season, former owner, Dorothy Wheat announced that she would be placing the long-time staple, up for sale. There was some fear, but pastry chef and Spring Lake native, Blair Kunkel saved the day when she purchased the building. As of Memorial Day 2019, the newly named A La Mode has been operating out of the former Miss Lisa’s building. With a slight facelift to the outside—now bright pink instead of cream colored, Kunkel aims to blend the favorites of Miss Lisa’s: known for specialty sundaes and hard ice cream with some new takes on soft serve. This blend of new ideas and old favorites is a great spot for anyone leaving the lake. Check out the hours here.

If this list proves anything it is that we are lucky the summer is three months long because there is so much to try and so much to taste.
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