Nomad by Trade

A travel blog for the kid at heart.

Spaghetti Eis in Munich, Germany

The Coolest Ice Cream in the World

A trip to the local ice cream shop is great, but the world offers so much more than just a scoop of chocolate or vanilla. Summer is heating up in the Northern Hemisphere, so it’s the perfect time to indulge in an icy cold treat. Check out this list of the coolest ice cream in the world from a group of globetrotting travel bloggers.

Eyescream & Friends – Barcelona, Spain

By Kylie from Between England & Iowa

Eyescream & Friends in Barcelona, Spain

Photo by Kylie

Eyescream & Friends originated in the Barceloneta neighbourhood in Barcelona, Spain and have since spread to several locations around the world.  They serve shaved gelato that look like ‘splat monsters!’  There are 7 different flavours to choose from, including one frozen yoghurt flavour, then 2 little sugar eyeballs are placed on top.  Each of the flavours create a different colour Eyescream & Friends character!   Next, customers choose 2 pots from a huge range of toppings, anything from different flavoured sauces (I tried watermelon!), gummy bears, variations of chocolate, sprinkles, nuts and many more!  The bowl of shaved gelato, the 2 topping pots and a spoon, all slot into a handy take out box…that also make for a good Instagram picture!

See more from Kylie on Facebook and Twitter.

The Kitchen Sink – Walt Disney World

The Kitchen Sink at Beaches and Cream in Walt Disney World

Photo Credit: Walt Disney World Resort

The Kitchen Sink is the premiere sundae at the Beaches and Cream Soda Shop between Yacht and Beach Club resorts in Disney World (that’s the one in Florida). You can go straight to the hotels or walk from the back entrance to Epcot. You’ll need a small army to finish this enormous dessert. It features eight scoops of ice cream and every topping in the shop, ranging from sprinkles to Oreo cookies to brownies. It’s finished off with an entire can of whip cream. The whole mess of deliciousness is served in a metal bowl that looks like an actual sink. When it’s served, the lights in the cafe flicker and the Kitchen Sink is announced to all diners present. The true Kitchen Sink can only be had by dining in at Beaches and Cream, but a smaller, less challenging version can be purchased at the shop’s walk-up counter. Since it’s in one of the hotels, it’s a great Disney experience if you’re in the Orlando area and don’t want to spend a fortune on park tickets. Do you think you can handle it?

Ices Plain & Fancy – St. Louis, Missouri

By Christina from Our Sweet Adventures

Ice cream being made at Ices Plain and Fancy in St. Louis, Missouri

Photo by Christina

Ices Plain & Fancy is an unique ice cream shop in St. Louis, Missouri and one of our favorite spots to go to every time we visit. What makes Ices Plain & Fancy ice cream special and unique is that they incorporate local and seasonal ingredients with liquid nitrogen!

Liquid nitrogen gives ice cream a distinct texture similar to Dippin’ Dots (which is also made with liquid nitrogen). The ingredients for the specific ice cream flavor are placed into the mixer, followed by the liquid nitrogen poured into the ice cream base using a coffee thermos. Next, the base is mixed on high speed and the “smoke” from the liquid nitrogen performs its magic and freezes the ice cream. After the ice cream is fully incorporated they use a torch on the outside of the bowl in order to loosen up the ice cream – yes, it is that cold! Eventually when the ice cream becomes pliable, they remove it and place it in a serving bowl for the customers. Finally, guests eat their wonderful ice cream in awe of the magical and delicious creation made right before their eyes.  Now I realize that all ice creams melt in your mouth, obviously, but, liquid nitrogen ice cream initially “warms up” in your mouth and then melts away, which makes the flavors even more profound. Ultimately, every ice cream is very smooth, creamy, and packed with flavor!

This whole process can be seen by the customers once they place their order. The customer can watch the employees through a glass divider as they pour the ice cream base and liquid nitrogen into the Kitchen Aid mixers. It is a really nice touch as it allows customers to be a part of the experience! Watching the process of your ice cream is fun for not only the kids, but the adults too!

Ices Plain & Fancy make their liquid nitrogen ice cream flavors with either milk, coconut milk or soy milk and have a small selection of sorbet as well. Their menu has a lot to offer with classic flavors like vanilla and chocolate as well as boozy flavors like a dark and fancy. The flavor that is the most unique and a crowd favorite is their Campfire S’mores. For this flavor they use a smoke machine to infuse flavored wood chips into the ice cream. Once the smoke is infused into the mixer, they quickly put the ice cream into the serving bowl and then cover the bowl so that the smoke is captured. Once a guest takes the lid off, a wave of smoke seeps out, making it the best ice cream experience ever! The experience is one thing, but the flavor is also amazing. The smoke literally makes the ice cream taste like it was made over a campfire as the smoky taste lingers until the very last bite. Folded into the ice cream are small bites of mini marshmallows, chocolate chunks and ground graham crackers. Finally, there are graham cracker halves placed on top and then drizzled with hot fudge. This Campfire S’mores liquid nitrogen ice cream is AMAZING!!!! Hands down the best.

If you ever find yourself in St. Louis make sure you find your way over here, especially on a nice, hot summer day.

See more from Christina on Facebook and Instagram.

10 Below – New York, New York

By Kelly from Girl with the Passport

Ice cream from 10 Below in New York City

Photo by Kelly

This rolled ice cream purveyor not only uses fresh, organic ingredients, but they also churn out their delicious ice cream, to order, right before your eyes. So not only do you get a decadent, confectionery delight, but you also get a front row seat to the entire ice cream making process.

Inspired by ice cream making in countries like Thailand, 10 Below begins the ice cream making process with advanced cold plates that are cooled to -10 degrees (hence the name). Fresh cream is then poured atop the plate, while various mix-ins are added in, based upon the flavor you order. Employees slowly roll the ice cream atop until they achieve a smooth and creamy consistency that is totally worth the wait. The result? Fresh, delicious ice cream rolls in two minutes, without any added fat or emulsifiers. They literally look like little ice cream tacos that will make anyone’s stomach, and heart, happy. This ice cream is truly, a little bit of heaven in your hand.  And with innovative flavors like Cookie Monster (Yum), Fruity Bam Bam (Yum), and I Love You a Latte, there really is something for everyone in this funky, New York City ice cream parlor (They have a menu of mix ins to choose from so you can create any flavor combination you want).

See more from Kelly on Instagram and Facebook.

Spaghetti Eis – Munich, Germany

Spaghetti Eis in Munich, Germany

The first time I visited Munich, I was alerted to the existence of spaghetti eis by a friend who’d had some in the past. Things came up, and I didn’t get to try it that time, so I made sure to grab some the next time I was in town. Spaghetti Eis is ice cream that is squeezed through a noodle press so that it resembles spaghetti. It’s then topped with fruity red sauce so so that it looks like a bowl of spaghetti. It’s sweet, fruity flavor is so much better than pasta though! It’s the perfect treat for cooling down while strolling through the historic streets of Munich’s old town area. It’s available from multiple vendors, so keep an eye out as you explore the area.

Helado Obscuro – Mexico City, Mexico

By Lauren from Northern Lauren

One of my favourite ice cream shops in the world has to be Mexico City’s Helado Obscuro, which sells all kinds of quirkily named, alcoholic flavours. Yes, you read that right, (almost) all the ice creams, slushes and lollies sold in this quirky chain are laced with a healthy splash of booze. Honestly though, my favourite flavour (and this is coming from a non-vodka lover) is Dark Vader, a rich chocolately-vodka combo that totally plays on the punny name of the ice cream store itself (Helado Obscuro, a.k.a. ‘Dark Ice Cream’ is a play on the phrase ‘lado obscuro’ a.k.a. the Dark Side). There are tons of mezcal, tequila and rum spiked options, to name but a few, if you’re not down for vodka though.

I particularly like the Roma branch of Helado Obscuro, but there’s a few dotted around the city. Top tip: the one in the Zona Rosa also doubles as a bar.

See more from Lauren on Instagram and Facebook.

Ice Cream City – Tokyo, Japan

By Marie-Pier from Cravings of a Wanderher

Ice Cream City in Tokyo, Japan

Photo by Marie-Pier

During my trip to Tokyo, I heard about an indoor theme park, which had a section for foodies. I had to go see that! When I got there, I discovered there were in fact three food “theme parks” dedicated to pan-fried dumplings, ice cream, and dessert.

That’s where I discovered Tokyo’s Ice Cream City. It consists of 2-3 ice cream shops, among the incredible Soft Cream Bar and Cup Ice Museum shops.

Cup Ice Museum shop specializes in the most unique ice cream flavors of the world. While you can buy a cup of classic ice cream flavors, such as strawberry, vanilla, blueberry, or chocolate, you can also taste special flavors like pumpkin, melon, red bean, sunflower, or custard. If you’re brave enough, you can also try some of the most disgusting flavors: curry, miso noodle, caviar, corn, etc. They even sell a cup of garlic ice cream, which is called Dracula!

I didn’t try those weird flavors because I didn’t want to get sick over ice cream, so I went to Soft Cream Bar shop, where there is an awesome variety of soft ice cream: white peach, soda, sea salt vanilla, melon, soybean flour, wasabi, grape, strawberry, etc. Although it’s unusual, the wasabi flavor was quite good!

Tokyo’s Ice Cream City is hidden in Namco NamjaTown, an indoor theme park located in the Sunshine City complex (Ikebukuro area, Tokyo). Namco NamjaTown may seem boring to people who don’t speak Japanese, since all the attractions have Japanese instructions. That’s probably why it’s often overlooked by tourists! But it’s only a few dollars to enter and it’s definitely worth the visit!

See more from Marie-Pier on Facebook and Instagram.

Penn State Berkey Creamery – State College, Pennsylvania

By Karen from Wanderlustingk

Ice cream from the Penn State Creamery in State College, Pennsylvania

Photo by Karen

If you love ice cream, you need to visit the Penn State Berkey Creamery in State College, Pennsylvania, USA! The Penn State Creamery is run by the Pennsylvania State University Department of Food Science.   Since 1865, Penn State has been perfecting the science of ice cream and it’s where Ben & Jerry’s (among others) learned how to make ice cream. The line can be very long when Penn State has football games and you cannot mix flavors without being a US president (Bill Clinton asked!), so ask for a small portion as the portion is huge.  The ice cream flavors change daily as new flavors are invented by Penn State Food Science students every day, but you can find all the basics in addition to more experimental ones.  My favorite is the chocolate chip cookie dough, which tastes as good as the real thing.  Be warned that their ice creams are super rich with a butterfat percentage of 14.1%.

See more from Karen on Instagram and Facebook.

Sakura Ice Cream – Japan

By Cory from You Could Travel

Sakura ice cream in Japan

Photo by Cory

The first time I went to Japan, I heard a lot about matcha tea sweets. Naturally, I tried a matcha tea ice cream and loved every single bit of it. The second time I went to Japan, I tried Sakura flavoured ice cream. Now, this was the time I forgot everything I’ve ever known about ice cream, because this Sakura icy treat, just rocked my world. Is it hard to describe the taste of cherry blossom ice cream? I’m going to start with the fact that this ice cream is pink. It’s sweet and full of flavour. It’s the creamy texture which makes so much more intriguing than your ordinary ice cream. The taste is a little earthy and fruity, with a bit of rice pudding after taste. I can’t imagine anything better than sakura ice cream. Should you ever find yourself in Japan, forget matcha treats and go for the Sakura instead. I promise you won’t regret it.

See more from Cory on Facebook and Instagram.

Wild Flavors – Miyajima Island, Japan

By Kallsy from Pages of Travel

Photo by Kallsy

Japan is a country known for many unique and sometimes strange sweets. While in Hiroshima we took a day trip to Miyajima Island. There we found some of the most bizarre ice cream flavors we had seen! We opted for a black sesame sake swirl and a wasabi cone. The black sesame and sake had a mild red bean and smoky flavor mixed with a light touch of alcohol from the sake. We both expected the wasabi to taste incredibly spicy but it wasn’t! Instead, it had a creamy almost cucumber flavor with a kick of wasabi for the aftertaste. The best part of all though was the croissant donut cone that each of these bangin’ ice cream flavors came in. It added a nice sweet crunch to balance out the strange yet appetizing flavors. If you find yourself in Japan don’t be afraid to try out one of the many unique flavors of ice cream the stands have to offer! 

See more from Kallsey on Instagram and Facebook.

Which one sounds like it would be your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

Globetrotting travel bloggers from around the world share the coolest ice creams they've ever had.

Globetrotting travel bloggers from around the world share the coolest ice creams they've ever had.

Globetrotting travel bloggers from around the world share the coolest ice creams they've ever had.

Globetrotting travel bloggers from around the world share the coolest ice creams they've ever had.

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Minelot Falls in Thacher State Park

Thacher State Park

If you’re a fan of waterfalls, Thacher State Park might be a perfect escape in the New York capital region. Located about half an hour west of Albany, it’s a great spot to visit if you find yourself in the area. It’s an easy drive, and at only $6/vehicle for a day pass, it’s an affordable place to explore.

I visited in the evening after work, so I didn’t have time to explore the whole park. Even though I only had a couple of hours before dark, playing in nature beats sitting in a hotel room watching bad tv reruns any day. Based on recommendations from some of the locals I was working with, I focused on the Indian Ladder trail. It’s a relatively easy hike that can be completed in less than an hour if you don’t spend too much time enjoying the scenery. From end to end, the trail is about half a mile.

Minelot Falls in Thacher State Park

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Cinderella Castle and the Hub at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World

The Most Important FastPass+ at Every Disney World Park

Booking your FastPass+ reservations is an essential step when planning a visit to Walt Disney World. Not all FastPasses were created equal, however, and it’s important to make the best choices when making your selections. I’ve put together a guide to the most important FastPasses at each Disney park. I factored in the popularity of the ride and the usual standby wait time along with my own personal preferences. Your choices will obviously vary based on your tastes and the people in your travel group, but here are my best recommendations for your initial three Disney World FastPasses.

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Mackinac Island from Fort Mackinac

Summer on Mackinac Island

It just so worked out that my birthday fell on a Saturday last summer, and as soon as I realized this, I decided to take a weekend trip somewhere. I picked Mackinac Island, one of my favorite places in my home state. I went there regularly with my family when I was growing up, but I had somehow managed to go eight whole years without visiting, and I was super excited to see it again. Summer on Mackinac Island is perfect and there’s something for all ages and interests.

Mackinac is a little island in Lake Huron between the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. No cars (except emergency vehicles) are allowed on the island, and it gives it a charming, old-fashioned atmosphere. Fun fact: it was the US’ second National Park, after Yellowstone, though it is no longer part of the National Park system. Bikes and horses are the preferred methods of transportation during the summer, so we borrowed my parents’ SUV and bike rack to haul our gear Up North (yes, that’s a proper noun in these parts) and hit the road for the weekend.

Hotels on the island and in the closest cities (Mackinaw City in the Lower Peninsula and St. Ignace in the Upper) are crazy expensive for summer weekends. The Holiday Inn Express in St. Ignace (I’ve found that the hotels on the UP side are slightly cheaper) was going for almost $500/night when I was trying to make reservations six months in advance. Instead, I opted to stay at Straits State Park, a gorgeous campground right at the base of the Mackinac Bridge and we took a ferry over first thing in the morning.

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View of the Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada

5 Things that Surprised Me in Las Vegas

Las Vegas never really seemed like my kind of place, but I’ve always been curious about it because it also kind of seems like somewhere everyone should try to see at least once in their lives. Due to a last-minute booking for a recent work trip, I ended up with a six-hour layover there, and since LAS is right next to the Strip (I’m not joking – it’s basically across the street from the Luxor and Mandalay Bay.), I decided that it was the perfect opportunity to get a taste of the town. Plus, I got to check off Nevada (hey, #45) on my list of states that I’ve visited. Here are five things that I learned in my four hours in Las Vegas.

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Worldwide Color: Best of May 2017

I love bright colors. I also love finding those bright colors out in the world while I’m exploring. A while ago, I came up with the crazy idea to start a feature account that showcased the kind of colorful photography you can find in travel pictures, and my account, Worldwide Color, was born. Every day, I repost three pictures of a certain color, cycling through the rainbow, mixing submissions from other Instagrammers in with a few of my own. These are my favorites of each color from May.

Red

I love the red lanterns contrasted with the purples in this one. They’re two colors that are hard to pull off together, but look great when paired up properly. Want to see them in real life? You’ll have to head to Guangzhou, China. Follow @lincalincalinca on Instagram and check out her blog, Reverie Chaser, for more great content.

Other top red images this month were from @beckythetraveller and @yavaeya.

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First Timer’s Guide to the Garden of the Gods

I’d somehow never heard of Garden of the Gods until I started planning a trip to Colorado Springs. As soon as I saw pictures of it, I knew I’d have to visit. It’s an incredible naturally formed area full of red rock formations that will dazzle you. I loved wandering through the enormous boulders and spires and marveling at the power of nature. Bring your camera and some hiking boots and be prepared to explore some awe-inspiring scenery. Best of all? It’s free!

What to Do

Perkins Central Gardens Trail

Kissing Camels formation in Garden of the Gods Colorado Springs

So cute!

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Lake Michigan from the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore

Nine Reasons to Visit Michigan This Summer

Summer in Michigan is when the state really comes to life. Traffic jams fill northbound I-75 on Friday evenings as metro-Detroiters head Up North for a weekend of fun. Lazy summer days stretch into long nights and campfires. Nothing beats a Michigan summer. Here are 9 reasons to add it to your vacation list this year.

The Great Lakes

Beach on Lake Huron in Oscoda, MIchigan

The beach in Oscoda, Michigan

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Hiking the Gem Lake Trail

Rocky Mountain National Park is full of gorgeous scenery and offers all kinds of hiking trails, from an easy stroll around Sprague Lake to a climb to the summit of Longs Peak. As Midwesterners (aka from low elevation) of average fitness level, we stuck to the easy/moderate rated trails. Mostly. Our last hike of the weekend challenged us a lot more than we expected, and left us so exhausted that we barely made it out for dinner that night.

Hiking the Gem Lake trail in Rocky Mountain National Park taught us a very important lesson: always be very clear about your level of fitness when inquiring about hiking trails in the mountains. We were pointed toward Gem Lake by a NPS volunteer at one of the visitor centers and eagerly headed off to check out the views he talked about. The problem: when we told the first park volunteer that we were looking for a moderately easy trail to fill up the rest of the afternoon, she called over this other guy and didn’t relay the message that we weren’t looking for something strenuous. Based on his enthusiastic recommendation, we set off to hike to Gem Lake, with stomachs full of elk and bison burgers, fries, and pop.

Gem Lake Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park

There will be a lot of stairs along the way.

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What to Pack for a Disney Vacation

Your resort is booked. Your dining reservations are set in stone. Your FastPasses are all scheduled. The only question that remains is what to pack for your Disney vacation.

Packing for Disney parks

Packing for Disney parks can be daunting for first time visitors. There’s a lot to think of ahead of time, and I really don’t like having to waste money buying overpriced essentials at the airport, parks, or hotel just because I forgot to bring something I need. I usually start my packing lists about a month in advance and keep them on my laptop so they don’t get misplaced. I have sort of a “master” list in one file that I alter for each specific trip.

Suitcases and a dog

My dog wouldn’t stay out of the picture, so I gave up and just took the shot with him in it.

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