Want a way to maintain your highbrow tastes while cooling off this summer? Gourmet and artisanal ice pops are popping up across the country. These aren’t your kids’ red dye #5 white-shirt-oblitterating coolers either—they’re high-class, big-flavor and the most fun you can have on a stick.
Loco Pops, Chapel Hill, NC
This triangle area—that’s Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill—establishment serves a daily selection of both water- and dairy-based pops to satisfy every palette. Adventurers should try the Mango Chile pop for a sweet and spicy treat. Follow them on twitter @locopops for daily flavors and promotions.
People’s Pops, Brooklyn, NY
Martha Stewart and Brooklynites alike are fans of this locally-sourced ice pop purveyor. With new brick-and-mortar locations at the Chelsea Market and the High Line, the pops also make appearances at the Brooklyn Flea Market and special events. Flavors change daily but we love the raspberry-basil. Follow them on twitter @peoplespops for new locations and flavors.
King of Pops, Atlanta, GA
This teeny cart on the corner of North Ave. & North Highland (by Buddy’s Gas Station) carries super cool concoctions ranging from strawberry-lavender to grapefruit-hibiscus. Follow them on twitter @thekingofpops for cart locations and flavors.
Bi-Rite Creamery, San Francisco, CA
The locally-sourced ice pops at this Mission District staple may play second fiddle to the awesome ice cream, but we think the Blood Orange on a stick is worth skipping a scoop of Earl Grey for (if only once).
Borgata Hotel, Atlantic City, NJ
The Borgata is bringing a little class back to the Jersey Shore with artisinal icepops for a poolside cooler. For an adult-flavored snack try the “Nojito”—an alcohol free Mojito-inspired pop—or the refreshing Campari-pink grapefruit gelato in push-pop form. At as little as $3/pop they’re way cheaper than a drink, and no hangover!
Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, NV
At the Pool Cafe at the Mandarin Oriental, the pops pack a little more punch; don’t overdo it on the orange-red wine sangria version with real fruit chunks and a real alcohol content. Teetotalers can try the watermelon-lemongrass for an equally sinful sweet.
Where do you find the best treats for the heat?
Charlotte Savino is the online listings editor at Travel + Leisure.