You are here

3 Jul 2020
Related Items: 

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Summer is here, along with hot temps.  That means it’s prime time for a couple things.  Time to hit the beach, get in the ocean… and eat some ice cream.  There’s no doubt about it, ice cream is the perfect hot weather treat that all ages love. The Lowcountry around Charleston, and especially the barrier islands, have no shortage of excellent options to get your frozen on.  Ice cream is just the beginning.  You can also find plenty of frozen yogurt, sorbet, gelato, frozen custard, rolled ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, snow cones - the options are plentiful. Here are some of the top places to get ice cream and other frozen goodies near the beach, broken down by island.  

Best ice cream places on the Isle of Palms…


  • Ben and Jerry’s  -  The guys from Vermont know how to make ice cream, that’s for sure.  Even though it’s a big chain, B&J is also a staple of the Isle of Palms Front Beach area and is locally owned and operated.  They also serve up flavors you can’t find in the grocery store.  They’re located at 1109 Ocean Boulevard on the IOP and are open from 11:00 a.m. till 11:00 p.m. seven days a week for your frozen pleasure.  You can reach them at (843) 886-6314.  They also have a location on Kiawah.
  • Island Joe’s Ice Cream & Espresso  -  Island Joe’s is a totally local place, the grab-and-go appendage of Coconut Joe’s.  It, too, is located at IOP’s Front Beach (1122 Ocean Boulevard, to be exact).  They serve hand-dipped Wholly Cow ice cream, which is locally made and delicious.  Island Joe’s is open seven days of the week, from 11:00 a.m. till 9:00 p.m. most days, 10:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Chills 360  -  If you want something cold but are feeling adventurous, try out this place.  They serve Thai-inspired rolled ice cream, custom made to your specs and mixed right before your eyes on a giant cold slab.  Chills 360 is a chain but a boutique one.  Most of their locations are in Texas, but they have one right here on the Isle of Palms, in the Harris-Teeter shopping center.  1515 Palm Boulevard, for your GPS.  They’re open seven days a week from noon till 11:00 p.m.  Reach them at (843) 242-8469.


On Sullivan’s Island…


  • Beardcat’s Sweet Shop  -  This gelato paradise is located on Sullivan’s Island, just below the crazy-good restaurant Obstinate Daughter.  They serve coffee drinks using Durham’s Counter Culture Coffee, breakfast and light bite lunches… but come for the house-made gelato.  They also make gelato floats, gelato milkshakes, gelato sundaes, gelato sandwiches and gelato cakes, yum.  FYI, Beardcat’s provides gelato for the Obstinate Daughter dine-in and curbside pickup as well.

Their signature flavors include: Vanilla Bean, Milk Chocolate, Strawberry, Biscoff Almond Crunch, Pistachio, Stracciatella, Espresso, Hazelnut, Fior de Latte, and Olive Oil & Sea Salt.  They also make these rotating flavors: Mint Chocolate Chip, Butterscotch Brownie, Banana Cream Pie, Key Lime, and Red Velvet Cake, Dark Chocolate Sorbetto, Blackberry Key Lime Sorbetto, Banana Berry Sorbetto, Strawberry Basil Sorbetto, and Strawberry Acai Sorbetto.   All sorbettos are dairy free.  For the perfect afternoon pick-me-up, try an Affogato  -  two scoops of gelato with freshly brewed espresso.  Call Beardcat’s for hours and info at (843) 416-5025.  They’re located at 2063 Middle Street on Sullivan’s Island.

  • Republic Ice Cream  -  Republic Ice Cream & Custard is a family company that has over 100 years of experience and tradition making and selling great ice cream.  This is how they describe it:  “Intensely flavored and carefully crafted… an authentic taste that has taken us generations to perfect – just enough time to create the world’s most delicious ice cream!”

Their flavors include Cherry-on-Top Vanilla, Southern Butter Pecan , Around-the-World Chocolate Chip, Thunderstorm Chocolate , Cool Peppermint Chocolate Chip , Old Fashioned Strawberry , Homestyle Cookies & Cream, and last but not least, Island Vanilla.  Republic’s creamery and main office are located on Seaboard Street in Myrtle Beach, but they have a location on Sullivan’s Island.  It’s at 2120 Middle Street, right smack dab in the commercial district.  They’re open seven days a week from noon till 10:00 p.m. and can be reached at (843) 882-0296.


On Folly Beach…


  • Dolce Banana Café is located at 18 Center Street on Folly Beach. If you find yourself on the Edge of America, it’s your go-to place for frozen yogurt.  Flavors rotate daily, but they may include Vanilla, Chocolate, Sugar-free Chocolate, Strawberry-Banana Sorbet, Mango Sorbet, Salted Caramel, Wild Berry, Cappuccino, Natural Italian Tart, Island Coconut, Nutella, NY Cheesecake, Black Cherry, Pistachio and Green Apple.  You can get really creative by choosing among dozens of toppings, like fresh mango or blackberries, cheesecake, pineapple, chocolate candies of all kinds, or five different flavors of boba.  They’re open daily from 9:00 in the morning till 11:00 at night.  You can reach the good folks at Dolce at (843) 633-0187.

So hit the beach, and cool off with some cold treats.  You can take your pick of places on the islands near Charleston. All best, Lowcountry Lisa your Isle of Palms vacation blogger