Summer in Upstate New York means trips to Lake George, concerts at SPAC, and trying to stay cool in the unbearable heat. Of course, the best way I have found to stay cool is to eat ice cream. Below I've listed 12 of my favorite options around the NY Capital Region, sure to satisfy your ice cream needs and cool you off all summer long!

1. Kurver Kreme

For when you want soft serve ice cream.

Samantha Epstein

There's no question that the best thing to eat on a hot summer's day is an ice cream cone, and Kurver Kreme in Albany knows how to make one. Founded more than 60 years ago, Kurver Kreme is a staple in NY Capital Region and a must-try for any ice cream fanatic. With different soft serve flavors every week, as well as their rendition of Disney's Dole Whip, Kurver Kreme has proved to be one of the best soft serve ice cream spots in Upstate NY, even being name the best in the country by last summer.  

Location: 1349 Central Ave, Albany, NY 12205

2. The Dutch Udder Craft Ice Cream

For when you have dietary restrictions.

Samantha Epstein

The Dutch Udder in Troy has quickly become a Capital Region favorite, though much younger than the majority of others featured in this guide (Dutch Udder was founded in 2013, but opened in 2016). The Dutch Udder is home to spunky flavors, often that are infused with alcohol, including "Cookies and Irish Creme," and "Bourbon Bacon Butter Pecan." Every day, this scoop shops serves up 14 different flavors, always including gluten free, as well as dairy free options. As someone who is lactose intolerant, but is writing an article all about ice cream, going to The Dutch Udder was a day off for my stomach without dairy, but still incredible options to choose from. 

Location: 282B River St, Troy, NY 12180

3. Stewart's Shops

For when you want a cone on-the-go.

Samantha Epstein

A statewide treasure, a trip to anywhere in Upstate NY would not be complete without a stop at Stewart's Shops. It seems that around every other corner in the Capital Region is a location of Stewart's. Any time of day you are in the mood for an ice cream cone, it seems you can easily find a Stewart's and enjoy any of their dozens of flavors. Love what you've tried? Make sure to check out their freezer section for their half-gallon boxes of ice cream!

Location: All over the Capital Region

4. Jumpin' Jacks Drive-In

For when you want dinner and dessert altogether. 

Samantha Epstein

A seasonal location, Jumpin' Jacks in Scotia is one drive-in you do not want to miss. Just like the name, you'll be jumping with joy after trying their food. Jumpin' Jacks is home to two separate locations on one property-- the Charcoal Pit and the Twin Freeze. The first serves old-fashioned diner food, like burgers and twister fries, as well as summer shellfish options, like clam fry. The latter serves soft ice cream favorites, from sundaes to flurries. Just over the Mohawk River, Jumpin' Jacks is one summer staple you need to try before the summer is over.

Location: 5 Schonowee Ave, Scotia, NY 12302

5. Ben and Jerry's

For when you want ice cream from a chain.

Samantha Epstein

Though originally created in Vermont, Ben and Jerry's is a nationally acclaimed ice cream company, not only for their ice cream, but also their activism. Even if you don't live near VT, Ben and Jerry's has expanded nationwide with Scoop Shops open from coast to coast. Luckily, the Capital Region has been blessed with not one, but two Scoop Shops. If you've ever had the urge to just eat a pint of Ben and Jerry's, but want to be a little fancy, definitely check out either of their two locations! 

Location (Albany): 467 Madison Ave, Albany, NY 12210

Location (Saratoga Springs): 34 Phila St, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

6. Dairy Haus

For when you want hard ice cream.

Samantha Epstein

Though many of the ice cream shops I visited offered hard ice cream, none impressed as much as Dairy Haus. Located right around the block from Skidmore College, Dairy Haus is a small walk-up store with dozens of homemade hard ice cream flavors. They had so many choices I wanted to try that I continually had to allow people to pass me in line. From classic flavors like "Coffee" and "Cotton Candy," to more extreme flavors like "Date Night" and "Purple Cow," this sweet spot in Saratoga Springs is sure to cure the sweet tooth in all of us. 

Location: 476 Maple Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

7. Snowman

For when you want the most bang for your buck.

Samantha Epstein

Another great spot in Troy, Snowman makes the phrase "bang for your buck" an understatement. Last time I went, I got a regular-size deluxe peanut butter sundae, which came out to be $5.75. This sundae was doused with peanut butter, hot fudge, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and topped with loads of whipped cream and nuts. The best part? The amount of ice cream given lasted me two extra servings. That being said, for typical cones or cups, the prices are relatively low, and great for college kids balling on a budget, but craving a sweet treat.

Location: 531 5th Ave, Troy, NY 12182

8. Guptill's Ice Cream

For when you want a big selection.

Samantha Epstein

If you're a picky eater, or the Indiana Jones of ice cream, Guptill's in Cohoes has something for you. Known for its large selection, Guptill's offers both soft and hard ice cream, as well as a variety of sundaes, from brownies to strawberry shortcake, ice cream floats, and flurries. Located next to Guptill's Arena, this location offers a great afternoon of roller-skating followed by incredible ice cream.

Location: 1085 New Loudon Rd, Cohoes, NY 12047

9. Emack and Bolio's

For when you want something over-the-top.

Samantha Epstein

If you were on Instagram in 2013, and followed any ice cream fan who visited New York City or Boston, it was almost guaranteed you would see a shot of Emack and Bolio's. Emack and Bolio's was first opened in 1975 by a music lawyer, Bob Rook, as a spot for musicians and fans to go after clubs closed. Now, E&B is home to some rocking ice cream, with crazy flavors and even crazier cones. E&B is a bit more pricey than the other options on this list, but with the quality and quantity of ice cream you get, the hefty price tag is worth it. 

Location: 366 Delaware Ave, Albany, NY 12209

10. Cappie's Drive In

For when you want some old-fashioned ice cream.

Samantha Epstein

If you don't know Cappie's is there, you will miss it. Cappie's features old-fashioned classic diner food, complete with a car-hop. Enjoy seasonal flavors like coconut or cookie dough, though you can't go wrong with banana or black raspberry either. This small spot is only open from March until September, so make sure to stop by during this six month period. Once you try Cappie's, you may never go back. 

Location: 264 NY-67, Amsterdam, NY 12010

11. Martha's Dandee Creme

For when you want to #instagram your ice cream.

Samantha Epstein

Probably the one I was most excited for, I've been seeing pictures of Martha's Dandee Creme on Instagram for years. Only recently, however, did I realize how close it was to me. Therefore, one hot summer's day I headed up to Lake George for a swim, and cooled down with an ice cream cone. Let me tell you--this did not disappoint. Not only are their prices fantastic for how much you get, but it tastes incredible as well! I tried "Blue Moon," which tasted like the milk left after a bowl of Froot Loops, covered in Fruity Pebbles. The best part (for me at least) is how well it photographs! I always love posting pictures of my food, but this just came out phenomenal!

Location: 1133 U.S. 9, Queensbury, NY 12804

12. Bumpy's Polar Freeze

For when you don't want to travel far from Union.

Samantha Epstein

Any Union student reading this knows this list wouldn't be complete without our campus's favorite spring and summer spot-- Bumpy's! Bumpy's is known for their 101 flavors of soft-serve; the only downside is that to get these flavors, you must get a medium or larger (though who has ever complained about eating more ice cream)? It's almost a sure promise that whenever you head to Bumpy's during the year, you'll bump into other Union students. Only a ten minute drive from campus, Bumpy's is a stop you cannot miss when in the Schenectady-Niskayuna area. 

Location: 2013 State St, Schenectady, NY 12304

Well, as I am extremely lactose intolerant, I guess I'll go lay in bed and sleep for three weeks. Unless I get hungry-- then I'll get some ice cream.