Hail to the Chief—President Ronald Reagan, specifically, who in 1984 proclaimed July National Ice Cream month, and the third Sunday of the month National Ice Cream Day. Regardless of one’s politics, the overwhelming majority of Americans support the ice cream party, so let’s get one started. The Paradise Coast is sprinkled with shops selling the frozen treat, churning out a mouth-watering spectrum of specialty flavors along with the traditional. Celebrate the month at one of these favorite local stops:
- Jack & Rita’s Homemade Ice Cream, Naples (239-260-1407): A rotating assortment of 93 flavors using secret, time-tested recipes. New flavor: orange-pineapple.
- Royal Scoop, Bonita Springs (239-992-2000): July 19, National Ice Cream Day benefits—a free scoop to the first 100 customers, raffle, Brain-Freeze ice cream–eating contest, and Pint for a Pint in conjunction with NCH Healthcare System (donate a pint of blood, get a coupon for a pint of ice cream). Most popular flavors: butter pecan and turtle caramel pecan.
- Sweet Annie’s Ice Cream, Marco Island (239-642-7180): Old-fashioned parlor opened 29 years ago offers 47 flavors. Best-seller: Sunken Treasure, vanilla ice cream with caramel ribbon, chocolate-covered caramel cups, and chocolate-coated pecans.