Although summer is coming to a close, the heat is still pretty brutal in the South. One of the few things that will make me venture out into the heat is the alluring thought of ice cream. I've tasted my fair share of frozen desserts, and have narrowed down my favorite vendors that the South has to offer. If you are looking for delicious ways to cool off in the late summer swelter, here are some of the best ice cream places around. 

1. Carvel 

cream, chocolate, sweet, sprinkles, candy, goody, ice, milk
Marisa Stout

Carvel claims to be "America's freshest ice cream" because all of its soft serve flavors are made fresh in its shops. Flavors like Egg Nog and Peach Marshmallow will have you craving Carvel no matter what temperature it is outside. Each creamy scoop will always be worth the price.

2. Sprinkles

cake, coffee, chocolate
Marisa Stout

At this unique cupcake and ice cream parlor, you can venture into the unknown with their signature crazy flavors. My personal favorites are the Triple Chocolate and the Peanut Butter, but rest assured there's something for everyone. The ice cream here is carefully made so that you taste the freshness of each ingredient. Even vanilla counts as a bold flavor here, because you can actually taste the vanilla bean in the ice cream.

#Spoon tip: Get your ice cream scooped into a red velvet waffle cone to get your fancy on. 

3. Dairy Queen 

ice, cream, chocolate, milk
Marisa Stout

One word: blizzards. They're essentially milkshakes with toppings woven throughout creamy goodness, but are thick enough to eat with a spoon. Candy-flavored blizzards are optimal if you are in the mood for a sweet treat, but the fruit version hits the spot if you don't want anything too overwhelming. I always go for the Chocolate Extreme and sub out the brownie pieces for M&M's (#glutenfree). 

4. Vintage Frozen Custard 

cream, chocolate, ice, caramel, milk, sundae, sweet, dairy product, whipped cream, coffee
Marisa Stout

Located in downtown Atlanta, this custard stand is home to multiple creative masterpieces. The Coffee Toffee creation is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. You can choose vanilla or chocolate custard as the base of your treat. Then it's topped with coffee, caramel, and Heath bits.

5. Bruster's 

cream, ice, chocolate, sprinkles
Marisa Stout 

If you hate making decisions, you might be holding up the line here. Bruster's has a ton of different flavors to choose from, including unique ones that would otherwise be hard to find. I personally enjoy the Cotton Candy Explosion. Once you take a bite, Pop Rocks explode in your mouth. If you are wanting a sweet treat but without as many calories, Bruster's also offers yogurts and sorbets. 

6. Menchie's Frozen Yogurt

candy, chocolate, milk, sweet, sprinkles, frozen yogurt, goody, cream
Marisa Stout 

Menchie's, on the other hand, is perfect for the indecisive. They let you to sample as many flavors of frozen yogurt as you like before you commit. If you happen to like every flavor you try, you may help yourself to as many as you can fit in a cup. Their extensive toppings bar gives you complete control over your fro-yo creation. If you want to put in five spoonfuls of rainbow sprinkles, no one can stop you. 

7. Ben & Jerry's 

cream, chocolate, ice, chocolate ice cream, goody, sweet, sprinkles
Marisa Stout 

Ben & Jerry's comes up with some of the most creative ice cream flavors out there. You can buy the pints in almost any grocery store and gas station, but visiting a Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop is a special experience. I'm obsessed with Phish Food, because who wouldn't want chocolate, marshmallow, caramel, and fish-shaped chocolate pieces, all engulfed in one scoop of ice cream?

Unlike the freezer aisle, the store lets you choose a cup or fresh cone, mix-and-match flavors, and load up on additional toppings. 

#Spoon Tip: Ben & Jerry's now sells dairy-free ice cream!