When Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month back in 1984, it seems he had sun-drenched summer afternoons on South Beach in mind. And while July sadly slipped away too quickly, you'll be happy to know that you can still enjoy these top ice cream spots all summer long.
1. The Loews Hotel has long enjoyed a reputation as a kid-friendly resort with SoBe Kids Camp poolside activities, Nintendo Wii game consoles, and a teen hideaway done up in Pottery Barn brights. That's why the latest addition of a nifty 1950s-styled ice cream bar called SoBe Scoops makes it that much cooler for guests looking to beat the heat and celebrate the season. Executive Pastry Chef Renee Contee is creating whimsical custom flavors daily and filling out the menu with a limited selection of hand-crafted Graeter's of Cincinatti options and plain old Häagen-Dazs as well. The shop also spins up fresh cotton candy, cookies, and sweet treats from 11am until 11pm. 1601 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach.
2. New Yorkers love Danny Meyer's Shake Shack and its "Concrete" frozen custard creations that make Manhattan summers that much sweeter. When Miami foodies heard about the long lines and the impending opening of the first Shake Shack on Lincoln Road Mall, they knew that the stand-out menu items were definitely going to be the Concretes crafted specifically for the Florida market. Luckily there isn't much of a wait for the Key Lime Pie - Oh My(vanilla custard whipped with a slice of key lime pie), the Shark Attack (chocolate custard whipped with peanut butter, truffle cookie dough, Valrhona pearls and sprinkles), and the Shack Beach Diet (vanilla custard whipped with coconut-passion caramel and fresh kiwi). 1111 Lincoln Road at Lenox Avenue, South Beach.
3. The landmark Tides Hotel enjoys pride of place on the Ocean Drive strip with luxurious suites and a Kelly Wearstler-designed lounge. Executive Chef Gonzalo Rivera and his Ice Cream Sommelier Katherine Montero have launched a mobile ice cream cart that makes its rounds during lunch and dinner service, tempting diners with creative fusions like vanilla marsala, chocolate jalapeño, and tangy basil ice cream topped with tomato marmalade to simulate an unusually cool pizza. Scoops start at just $3, so fans of the edgy new inventions can easily afford to work their way through the bold spectrum of flavors. 1220 Ocean Drive, South Beach.