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Ice cream is that rich, cool treat that reminds us of summer, childhood and the thrill of teasing our taste buds with wondrous flavors. Basic Neapolitan or vanilla from the corner store can satisfy, but for true connoisseurs, only premium ice creams will do. One can find those in a freezer sometimes, but there’s nothing like taking a road trip to sample the best of the best. According to USA Today, that would be Moomer’s in Traverse City, Michigan. The parlor beat out places like A La Mode Shoppe in New York and Screamin’ Mimi’s in California to be named the best ice cream in America. What makes this Michigan treat so elite? Here are three reasons.

Ice Cream In The U.S.

Homemade Taste

Moomer’s ice cream is made on a real dairy farm. The family who runs the enterprise — the Plummers — and the cows that supply the milk and cream all live on site. The family turned their abode into the perfect backdrop for an ice cream shop in 1998. The husband, wife and at least two of the children are hands-on with the ice cream production, coming up with ideas for the menu, feeding the cows a good grass diet for quality milk, and actually working in the parlor to bond with customers. The product is made from scratch — and it shows. The family takes care to make sure the taste, ingredients, and techniques are top-notch.

Unique & Custom Flavors

On any day from spring through early winter, the Michigan family farm scoops out nearly 160 flavors to their long lines of customers, including carrot cake ice cream, blueberry cheesecake ice cream, and Samooa ice cream, which has coconut flakes, fudge cookies pieces, and caramel. They keep 20 flavors on standby but are ready to mix up custom flavors from their menu or their customers’ imaginations at any time. Some of their flavors are inspired by holidays and are seasonal. Other flavors are adopted from customers’ best requests. Their offerings are ever-changing so that patrons never get bored. The parlor’s willingness to customize underscores how much the family values catering to visitors in a way many ice cream stores can’t or won’t. By the way, the actual catering of events like weddings or birthday parties is possible. Just call.

A Total Dairy Farm Experience

From the time tourists approach the hills and spy the black and white cows grazing in the pasture, they can immerse themselves in the full ambiance of farm life. They can take a tour of both the 80-acre farm and the parlor. They can sit outside, eating ice cream cones while listening to cows moo and gazing at the scenic countryside. Visitors can also take a tractor ride or buy milk from the cows in the pasture. Don’t worry: you don’t have to pull any udders. The farm has a creamery on site where they sell milk by the bottle. During the holiday season, there are activities, such as gingerbread house construction. It’s no surprise an authentic atmosphere like this birthed the best ice cream.

Ice Cream In The U.S.

The farm-to-cone Moomer’s experience is rare. The farm and its retail outlets are only in Michigan. Also, the farm is only open part of the year. The steady stream of tourists shows that people from miles away and from all states are realizing that the unique attraction is one that deserves to be savored at least once every summer — and surely once in a lifetime no matter where you live.

Visit the famous farm and parlor at 7263 N. Long Lake Road, Traverse City, Michigan. Call (231) 941-4122 for questions, reservations, and guided tours.