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Ice Cream Lover's Guide to Hilton Head Island

Thank Heaven for Cow's Milk

The Frozen Moo has a life size statue of a cow that moos when she feels like welcoming patrons to this colorful ice cream parlor in Coligny Plaza.

The Frozen Moo has a life size statue of a cow that moos when she feels like welcoming patrons to this colorful ice cream parlor in Coligny Plaza.

Where Can I Find Ice Cream Shops on Hilton Head Island?

Let me tell you an insider's secret about Hilton Head Island- it's an ice cream lover's paradise with wonderful old fashioned ice cream parlors and stylish new ice cream shops tucked away in scenic locations that have indoor and outdoor seating overlooking marinas or lushly landscaped plazas. A true connoisseur can find more than a hundred different flavors and can have it served up in fresh baked waffle cones or with a multitude of toppings.

Hilton Head Island has miles of multipurpose pathways that are perfect for walking, biking or rollerblading. No matter where you're staying on the island, you can most likely find an ice cream shop near you. This guide includes a map with "pin markers" and addresses that can be entered into your GPS device. I've listed shops in order of location starting in the most populated southern area of the island at Coligny Plaza. I've also included photos, a brief description of what makes each shop unique and information about the availability of low fat, low sugar ice cream alternatives.

Every shop listed in this guide sells delicious ice cream, gelato or frozen yogurt and I have refrained from rating which one is the best. I suggest you visit several different places during your stay so you can choose your own favorite, or if you live on Hilton Head Island or have vacationed here before and already have a favorite feel free to leave a comment at the end of the article.

The Frozen Moo at Coligny Plaza

Visit Nearby Coligny Beach Park

Coligny Beach Park is across the street from Coligny Plaza and has benches, rocking chairs and wooden swings, many with views overlooking the ocean.

Coligny Beach Park is across the street from Coligny Plaza and has benches, rocking chairs and wooden swings, many with views overlooking the ocean.

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Frozen Moo at Coligny Plaza

When you hear the life size cow statue moo in this colorful ice cream shop you know you're in for a real treat. Just reading the menu can bring a smile to your face as many of the 92 different flavors have fun names such as Pirate's Plunder, Garbage Can, Gold Mine and Sunken Treasure but don't worry, there are also traditional flavors that you can order.

Those looking for a healthier dessert can choose low fat frozen yogurt (Chocolate Peanut Butter, Snickers, Peach, Mocha Almond, Oreo, Heath Bar) or no sugar added, low fat ice cream (Butter Pecan, Moose Tracks, Coffee Fudge, Pistachio, Amaretto Almond, Raspberry Cheesecake).

Make sure to visit nearby Coligny Beach Park after you're done with your ice cream. It has water fountains that the kids can run through, benches and swings with views of the ocean and public beach access where you can play volleyball, beach paddle ball, fly a kite, ride a bike, make sand castles or take a refreshing walk on the beach. All, great ways to work off those extra calories.

The Ice Cream Cone at Coligny Plaza

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The Ice Cream Cone

Menu banners hanging from ceiling.

Menu banners hanging from ceiling.

Close-up of table scene.

Close-up of table scene.

The Ice Cream Cone at Coligny Plaza

The Ice Cream Cone is also located in Coligny Plaza and has more outdoor seating than the Frozen Moo. The inside of the shop has colorful tables and chairs and a retro décor reminiscent of an old fashioned parlor.

Colorful banners hanging from the ceiling list more than 50 flavors of ice cream. You can also order sorbet or sugar free, low fat ice cream as well as a delicious brand of low fat yogurt called "Only 8" which has only 8 calories per ounce, no fat, no cholesterol and is safe for most people who are lactose intolerant or are diabetics (although it is sweetened with fructose).

This shop also serves burgers, steak-n-cheese and chicken-n-cheese sandwiches, plus has a special menu just for kids.

Rita's Italian Ice Concession Stand at Coligny Plaza

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Rita's Italian Ice at Coligny Plaza

Rita's Italian Ice will be familiar to those who are fans of this franchise chain which specializes in delicious Italian ices and frozen custard. Party orders to go are available in quart, gallon and 2.5 gallon containers.

Hilton Head Ice Cream, Inc. at Fountain Plaza

The decor is fun and eclectic with a life size pirate and pirate coconout heads hanging from the ceiling.

The decor is fun and eclectic with a life size pirate and pirate coconout heads hanging from the ceiling.

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Self-Serve Free Toppings Bar

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Compass Rose Park is Across from Hilton Head Ice Cream

This park has sheltered seating.

This park has sheltered seating.

Hilton Head Ice Cream, Inc at Fountain Center Plaza

Hilton Head Ice Cream was the first micro-creamery in the Low country and began serving delicious home made ice cream in the summer of 1982. Non-fat sorbet is also available.

The shop's owner, Creegan Edmonds, prides himself on creating creamy ice cream in new flavors with fun names and serving it in a shop that features fun and eclectic decorations such as pirates and a fun house mirror.

Though inside seating is limited, you can walk across the parking lot and eat your ice cream in nearby Compass Rose Park amidst meditation pools and lush scenery that attracts wildlife such as great herons and egrets. The park has several seating areas that are sheltered from the sun by open pavilions.

Hilton Head Ice Cream has garnered many awards and accolades and has also been featured in magazines such as Southern Living and on CNN.

Cinnamon Bear General Store at Harbour Town in Sea Pines Plantation

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Harbour Town Lighthouse Museum in Sea Pines

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View from the lighthouse.

View from the lighthouse.

Cinnamon Bear Country Store at Harbour Town in Sea Pines

Don't let the name fool you. The Cinnamon Bear Country Store located at Harbour Town in Sea Pines Plantation offers more than a fantastic selection of teddy bears and gifts to buy for your friends back home - it also has a selection of 16 hand-scooped flavors of mouth watering ice cream.

Kids will have fun eating outside watching the boats come in and out of the harbour and adults will love sitting in one of the rocking chairs or strolling along the paved path along the waterfront. In season there is often live entertainment.

Please Note: Sea Pines is a gated plantation and unless you're already staying in one of the condos or vacation houses there you will need to pay a $5.00 gate fee and enter via a car.

For more fun at Sea Pines visit the Harbour Town Lighthouse Museum after you finish your ice cream. The views from the top are stunning and include panoramic scenes of the Calibogue Sound, the famous Harbour Town Golf Links, and the bowl shaped Harbour Town Marina. There are also boutique and gift stores, several restaurants and a children's playground at Harbour Town.

Salty Dog Ice Cream at South Beach Marina in Sea Pines Plantation

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Fun Treat for Lovebirds & Kids

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Salty Dog Ice Cream Shop

The Salty Dog Ice Cream Shop offers more than 20 flavors with fun names such as Superman (red, yellow & blue vanilla) and Brownie Cheesecake (contains walnuts). They also serve low fat Vanilla Yogurt and Strawberry, Mango and Orange Sorbet. The shop also offers fruit smoothies and slushies.

The Salty Dog is located at South Beach Marina in the Sea Pines Resort and has lovely views of the marina at its outside tables. It's also fun to walk past the shops and sit at a group of tables that are in an alcove which has live colorful parrots.

In season, there's often live entertainment including activities that will keep the kids happy such as face painting, magicians and free pictures with Jake the Salty Dog.

Please Note: Sea Pines is a gated plantation and unless you're already staying in one of the condos or vacation houses there you will need to pay a $5.00 gate fee and enter via a car.

Scenic Outdoor Seating at Salty Dog in South Beach Marina

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Marley's Ice Cream & Trading Company in Park Plaza

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Marley's Ice Cream & Trading Company in Park Plaza

The Ice Cream & Trading Company is adjacent to Marley's Island Grill in the Park Plaza just outside the Sea Pines main gate and has a casual outdoor tropical setting that features live seasonal entertainment. Marley's Ice Cream & Trading Company is closed during the winter season and reopens in the early spring.

Marley's serves ice cream and sherbets that are made fresh daily.

Outdoor Seating at the Park Plaza Cine'-Cafe'

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Air Conditioned Indoor Seating

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Cine'- Cafe' at Park Plaza Cinema

Cine'- Cafe' at the Park Plaza is actually part of the Park Plaza Cinema but you do not have to purchase a movie ticket to eat inside the beautiful air-conditioned cafe. Of course, it's even more fun to watch one of the latest movies first and then discuss it with friends or family members as you eat ice cream in the beautiful air-conditioned cafe. There are also comfortable tables and chairs set up outside overlooking the lushly landscaped Park Plaza with its statues, fountains and flowers.

The cafe is open year-round and there is often live entertainment.

Pino Gelato in The Village of Wexford

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Pino Gelato has Sleek Italian Décor & Beautiful Displays

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The Pino Gelato T-Shirts are bright and colorful and if you wear one into the shop you get 10% off your next purchase.

The Pino Gelato T-Shirts are bright and colorful and if you wear one into the shop you get 10% off your next purchase.

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Pino Gelato in The Village of Wexford

Do you know the difference between gelato and ice cream? Both are cold, creamy and rich, but gelato contains less calories and is lower in fat and cholesterol. That's because gelato is made from milk and fresh ingredients whereas ice cream recipes add heavy cream.

For over 200 years Italian families have passed down gelato recipes adding their own personal touches to suit different tastes.

Pino Gelato is an exclusive version of gelato developed from a family recipe in Sicily. It's made by hand and whipped in a gelato machine. And the finished product looks divine after it's shaped into large rectangular logs that are decorated with fresh fruit toppings. You can sample the gelato before buying so it's a great place to experience new flavors that you might otherwise hesitate to try.

Eager to help customers develop healthier eating habits, Pino Gelato also serves Sorbetto which is 100% fat free. And now the company has found a fun way to encourage healthy portions- they're partnering with a company that makes Yum Yum Dishes- small, brightly colored bowls that are dishwasher safe. Each bowl holds a 4 ounce portion and has a hand painted inscription along the inner edge and bottom of it that says: "Yum Yum Time is.... Over." You can purchase a single bowl filled with gelato or Sorbetto and/or take home a set of 4 bowls that will help encourage your whole family to practice portion control at snack time.

Pino Gelato also makes gelato cakes as well as an assortment of pastries, Italian cookies and cannolis.

The Pino Gelato shop on Hilton Head Island is located between mile markers 10 and 11 off of Highway 278 in The Village of Wexford plaza.

Munchies "Soup to Sundaes Shoppe" at Main Street Village

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Main Street Village

View of Main Street Village shops.

View of Main Street Village shops.

Munchie's "Soup to Sundaes Shoppe" at Main Street Village

Munchies is a whimsical ice cream shoppe and was voted Hilton Head Island's Best New Ice Cream eatery by HH Monthly Magazine. It specializes in premium ice creams and homemade baked goods that will satisfy anyone's sweet tooth. There is indoor and outdoor seating and the shoppe is in the middle of the Main Street Village which is designed to look like an old fashioned main street and there are bountiful displays of flowers and boutiques stores that make shopping there a pleasure.

As it's name implies, this shoppe offers more than just ice cream - it's a restaurant and catering store specializing in wraps, sandwiches, paninis and salads.

A Fun Vacation Idea: Host an Ice Cream Party

A fun thing that ice cream lovers can do in Hilton Head Island is to host an Ice Cream Party. Invite new friends that you've met on the beach or by the community pool back to your condo or house after dinner. Give your dessert party an island flare by playing Reggae music and consider showing a movie that was filmed in the lowcountry such as Forrest Gump or The Last Song.

Serve the ice cream buffet style along with fresh fruit toppings, nuts and chocolate syrup. Top with brightly colored umbrellas and your guests are sure to enjoy their special ice cream creations and the opportunity to socialize with new and old friends.

I hope you have enjoyed this ice cream "tour" of Hilton Head Island and if you're unable to visit Hilton Head I hope you consider hosting a summer ice cream party in your own back yard.

Comments

Gail Sobotkin (author) from South Carolina on April 23, 2017:

Hi Audrey,

So good to hear from you. Hope you do get to visit some day. Hilton Head has great ice cream shops and so many other wonderful things to do.

Hope you have a blessed day.

Love & Hugs,

Gail

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on April 21, 2017:

Hilton Head Island is now on my bucket list. I'd go just for the ice cream alone. Love this hub loaded with so much fun information...and a map to boot!

Thanks Gail and peace and love to you and yours.

Gail Sobotkin (author) from South Carolina on September 21, 2014:

Hi Cheryl,

Sounds like you love ice cream as much as I do. Thanks for leaving a comment.

CherylsArt on September 21, 2014:

The ice cream options sound delicious. Almost makes me want to make a special trip to Hilton Head.

Gail Sobotkin (author) from South Carolina on March 14, 2013:

Hi Ryanjhoe,

Hope you do get to visit Hilton Head and eat ice cream in some of its great ice cream parlors.

ryanjhoe from Somewhere over the rainbow on March 13, 2013:

I love ice cream and I have article about the benefits of Ice cream for health. Hilton Head island looks interesting place, hope someday I can visit there. Thanks for sharing, nice hub!

Gail Sobotkin (author) from South Carolina on June 27, 2012:

Hi Davecurrtis,

I totally agree. Thanks for taking time to leave a comment.

davecurrtis on June 26, 2012:

Ice cream is one of my most favorite food, and going to this paradise is like heaven.

Gail Sobotkin (author) from South Carolina on June 11, 2012:

Hi Lyricwriter,

So thrilled that you enjoyed the hub and I hope that someday you will be able to visit these places.

I had great and delicious fun doing research for this article. LOL.

Thanks so much for your kind words, specific feedback and the vote up and also for starting my day on such an upbeat note.

Your friendship and support is greatly appreciated.

Richard Ricky Hale from West Virginia on June 10, 2012:

Once again you have created a class "A" article HBN. Awesome work. Voted up and all across but funny. You truly touch every aspect in your title, something few are capable of doing. There is so much useful information. Those ice cream shops were amazing, I love how they are decorated. I swear, one of these days, I am going to visit all these beautiful places you write about. Awesome work. Great photos and well written my friend!

Gail Sobotkin (author) from South Carolina on April 10, 2012:

Hi Vespawoolf,

Thanks so much for the lovely comment. Hope you enjoy Hilton Head as much as I do and have fun sampling ice cream at the different shops. I truly couldn't decide which place I liked best but am interested in getting other people's opinions.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on April 10, 2012:

I am definitely an ice cream lover and I am so stoked about seeing Hilton Head! I can't wait to get there and visit all the quaint little ice cream shops. I love the map, too, with all the locations pinned. Thank you!

Gail Sobotkin (author) from South Carolina on March 29, 2012:

Hi Billybuc,

Your comment made me blush, but I can assure you it was the ice cream that was the draw, not me!

So thrilled you loved this light-hearted hub and that you and Bev make it a weekly practice to enjoy ice cream cones together after a drive in the country. That sounds like a little piece of heaven to me. Yes, you would be able to dazzle her with over a hundred different flavors of quality ice cream if you ever get to Hilton Head!

Am excited about your book and looking forward to reading it.

Thanks for the kind words and support.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 28, 2012:

Look at all of these comments! You are a rock star on HubPages! I finally found out your name; it only took getting you to buy my book so thank you Gail! By the way, loved this hub; you are a woman after my heart with this ice cream guide! Bev and I treat ourselves to an ice cream cone each weekend after a drive in the country. I'll be all set to dazzle her if we ever visit your area of the country.

Gail Sobotkin (author) from South Carolina on March 27, 2012:

Hi Susanm23b,

So glad you enjoyed the hub and photos and have had a chance to visit the island many times.

Munchies and Cine' Cafe' are new and all the shops are tucked inside different plazas. Tourists can easily miss them as the plazas are often hidden by trees and signs are small. That's the main reason I wrote this hub.

Summer is the only season that I haven't visited Hilton Head but yes, I'm told it is very hot and humid at that time which is when the ice cream parlors with indoor, air-conditioned seating would be a welcome relief from the heat.

Thanks for the vote up and for leaving such a great comment.

susanm23b on March 26, 2012:

This was such a fun hub for me to read! I have been to Hilton Head Island many times. I remember first going to Coligny Plaza in the 70's. I have had dinner at Harbour Town--great seafood there! I never realized there were so many ice shops there--I guess it's because it's SO HOT and HUMID! Great hub--your photos really made it come to life. Voted up!

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on March 25, 2012:

My eyes filled with tears...tears of feeling loved by the most beautiful of all hubbers - Gail. Love your choice of songs and the clever way you use them in your very sweet comment to me.

Just wanted you to know and to thank you for sending me this "one-of-a-kind" feeling. Hugs!

Gail Sobotkin (author) from South Carolina on March 24, 2012:

Hi Audrey,

When I saw your fun comment I burst into song- a rather croaky version of that old Beatles classic, "She Loves You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah..."

and then the magic started- I heard an angel's voice like yours singing, "In My Mind I'm Going to Carolina..."

Ben & Jerry's makes great ice cream but there'd be nothing as fun as singing a duet of "Zippity Doo Dah, Zippity Day, My My My What a What a Wonderful Day" at The Ice Cream Shop across from the fabulous Coligny Beach in Hilton Head!

In the meantime, "Thank You For Being a Friend" and for the "Yummy Yummy Yummy" vote up!

Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on March 24, 2012:

Dear Gail - If you really love me then you'll take me on a personal tour of Hilton Head and treat me to ice cream :-)

If that's not possible, I will simply read this marvelous hub again, taking a virtual trip while devouring a bowl of Ben and Jerry's. But you won't be here with me and that would be the best part!

Thank you Gail, for this interesting, useful and awesome hub which I voted a yummy up!

Gail Sobotkin (author) from South Carolina on March 21, 2012:

Hi Simplyreviews,

Ahhh...water views and delicious ice cream shared with the one you love- sounds wonderfully romantic.

Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment.

simplyreviews from Global Citizen. on March 21, 2012:

@Happyboomernurse

I'll be happy to enjoy a cone of ice cream at Salty Dog in South Beach Marina with someone I love!

Gail Sobotkin (author) from South Carolina on March 16, 2012:

Hi Sharyn,

Thanks for the good chuckle and kind words. I really appreciate your feedback and the time you take to be specific.

I enjoy traveling and writing hubs about it is fun.

Sharon Smith from Northeast Ohio USA on March 15, 2012:

Hi Gail ~ what an awesome treat you have given us here and calorie free too, ha. Your tours are so refreshing. I always learn so much and the photography is amazing. Every single travel hub I have ever read by you has always made me interested in visiting. This is truly a great niche for you.

Sharyn

Gail Sobotkin (author) from South Carolina on March 11, 2012:

Hi Danette,

So glad you liked this hub and photos.

I chuckled when I read your comment about the coconut head. They must have been around a long time because I remember one of my grade school friends bringing me one back almost 50 years ago!

Your end of summer neighborhood ice cream parties sound like they were awesome. I bet the whole block really looked forward to them. It's a great idea for today's parents to emulate.

Thanks for the vote up and your ongoing support. It's greatly appreciated.

Danette Watt from Illinois on March 11, 2012:

A very impressive hub, Gail, filled with wonderful pictures that you are so good at taking. I had to laugh at the life-size pirate hanging from the ceiling at the HHI Ice cream factory. My younger son has one of those coconut heads given to him by his best friend's mother when she was down at Key West a couple years ago.

I like the idea of the ice cream party. Many years ago, we used to host an end-of-summer ice cream party in our neighborhood with home made ice cream and sauces and of course all the different toppings.

Voted up, awesome and beautiful and if I ever get to Hilton Head, I'll try some of the shops and then come back and vote for my favorite.

Gail Sobotkin (author) from South Carolina on March 10, 2012:

Hi Eddy,

I so appreciate your feedback and ongoing support, my friend.

I apologize for taking so long to respond to your lovely comment but my internet access was down.

Hope you have a blessed day.

Eiddwen from Wales on March 08, 2012:

What a wonderful hub Gail and this has to be one of your best.

Full of interesting facts;so well presented and another for me to bookmark into my usual' Armchair Travelling' slot.

I wish you a wonderful day and keep on publishing these amazing hubs.

Eddy.

Gail Sobotkin (author) from South Carolina on March 07, 2012:

Hi Peggy,

Your comment made me LOL. This was a fun hub to research!

Most people associate golf and beaches with Hilton Head but there's so much more to do here and in addition to these yummy ice cream shops there's many great restaurants.

Thanks for the vote up. It's greatly appreciated.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 07, 2012: