Before you get your next cone, freeze! Ice cream is serious business. Let’s start with a quiz:
1. How do you spend a day at the beach?
a. Collecting seashells or relaxing with a book
b. Flying a kite or taking nature photographs
c. Surfing or swimming
2. Which is your favorite Cape road?
a. Route 6A because of its antique shops, captains’ houses, and scenic beauty
b. Route 28 because of its mini-golf, seafood shacks, and pancake houses
c. Route 6 because I just want to get where I’m going
3. What is your favorite rainy day attraction?
a. The Cape Playhouse or the JFK Museum
b. Cape Cod Central Railroad or the Sandwich Glass Museum
c. Dolphin Fleet Whale Watching in a poncho
4. What’s your favorite mode of summer transportation?
5. What’s your ideal evening activity?
a. The Cape Cod Baseball League
b. The Wellfleet Drive-In
c. Art’s Sunset Dune Tour
Are you ready for dessert? Check your answers:
Mostly A's: Classic
You’re old-school, and you love Cape Cod at its classic best: weathered boardwalks, historic inns, and boats rocking in the harbor. When you’re not sipping cranberry-vodka cocktails in an Adirondack chair or taking a barefoot stroll on the Paine’s Creek flats, you’re in line at one of two ice cream parlors. First, Four Seas in Centerville, where the blacksmith-shop-turned-ice-cream-store has changed little since 1934, and the menu of homemade flavors includes old-fashioned New England penuche and a strict no-jimmies policy that is perfectly purist. (If you think you need sprinkles, the menu of sixteen homemade toppings, from locally farmed berries to walnuts in maple syrup, will convince you otherwise.) Second, Cape Cod Creamery, where thirty ultra-creamy homemade flavors are inspired by local towns and treasures, from Vineyard Vanilla and Nauset Peach to Patti Page Peppermint. Bonus: The new Hyannis location serves soups and sandwiches, making it ever easier to get a head-start on dessert.
Mostly B's: Fun-loving
Your creative spirit means that you love quintessential Cape Cod with a playful twist: movie nights at the historic Wellfleet drive-in, ferry trips to the island, and the kitsch along Route 28. Find the best of both of worlds at two local ice cream parlors known for classic homemade goodness and quirky style. In Mashpee, Polar Cave serves up decadent flavors in handmade-to-order waffle cones and waffle bowls in a fun atmosphere jam-packed with nostalgic Coca-Cola memorabilia to entertain you while you debate ordering the ice cream “nachos” or a perfect sundae. In Brewster, you can’t miss Kate's Seafood & Ice Cream, where you can wash down your fried clams with ice cream or frozen yogurt in a homemade waffle cone (toppings range from crushed heath bar to peanut butter cups. Or opt for one of their classic frappes and ice cream sodas; the Peppermint Patty Shake and Mocha Mudslide are all-time favorites.
Mostly C's: On-the-go
You, sweet friend, are tough to pin down. When you are not zooming along the bike path or hitting the waves, you’re the first one in line at the juice bar and the last one off the beach. You are never without good footwear or a bathing suit under your clothes. You prefer your cone ideally at an ice cream shop conveniently located to your next activity. A few suggestions: 1) Sundae School, where dozens of homemade flavors and just as many toppings means you can channel your unstoppable energy into any number of zany combinations. And with locations in Dennis, Harwich and Orleans, you're never too far from finding one. 2). When you're on the go, dinner and dessert in the same location is key; a soft serve cone at either Captain Frosty's in Dennis or Arnold's Lobster & Clam Bar in Eastham is the perfect complement to your fish & chips. 3) You can’t end a day at the Cape Cod National Seashore without a stop at Ben & Jerry’s (truly—it’s at the Brackett Road intersection on Route 6 in Eastham on the way home). Maybe it’s Vermont-based, but something about the Eastham shop’s wooden beams and friendly, low-key vibe have always made it feel like one of the locals.
Two-way tie: Only one way to settle it. Try all, and report back.