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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

The top Gainesville summer cool down spots

<p>Cupcakes from Karma Cream</p>

Cupcakes from Karma Cream

Over the summer, Gainesville is a desert wasteland. Or at least it feels that way with the unrelenting heat and most of the student body gone until fall. If you’re one of the brave souls who are sticking it out, here’s my list of the best places to chill out, and take a cold bite out of summer.

Karma Cream

Karma Cream is an ice cream café that specializes in organic dairy and vegan ice cream. My favorite item on the menu is their customizable ice cream cookie sandwiches. You can choose any of their ice creams, as well as your choice of a chocolate chip or cowboy cookie. I decided to go with the cowboy, which comes loaded with rich espresso, coconut, chocolate and oatmeal, and paired it with coffee ice cream. 

I also had a satisfying sundae, complete with lemon ginger cookie ice cream, pecans, whipped cream and chocolate syrup. The lemon ice cream was a nice twist on the usual sundae, and was more refreshing than I expected. 

Sweet Dreams Homemade Ice Cream

The ice cream at Sweet Dreams is great, and their floats are even better. Most of the time when you think ice cream float, you think of root beer. I’ll take a refreshing ginger ale float any day of the week. Sweet Dreams has a wide variety of sodas to choose from, and have the all-important soda-to-ice cream ratio down perfectly.

Every few weeks, Sweet Dreams has a chocolate night, where they roll out 42 flavors of chocolate that usually aren’t available. On their everyday menu, my personal favorite is the caramel cashew ice cream, which is subtle-yet-delicious, especially when you get a bite of whole cashew.

SweetBerries Eatery & Frozen Custard

This spot is pretty new to Gainesville, having just opened up over the spring. They have a large café with lots of tables and booths available, and the outside seating area is fantastic.

As you sit on their large picnic tables, with umbrellas overhead and a cold smoothie in your hand, the worries and stresses of the summer will start to fade.

They’re a lot of smoothie chains in Gainesville. None of them hold a candle to SweetBerries. I like to order the chocolate and peanut butter shake, mixed with banana and protein. You can get the exact same shake at Smoothie King, or any other number of chains here, but it will taste like straight up water in comparison. SweetBerries uses real, high quality ingredients and fresh fruit to make their shakes, so a 20 oz. drink can fill you up for hours, and serve as a somewhat nutritious meal, not just a snack.

If you’re looking for a place to cool down and chow down this summer, you can’t go wrong on any of the places on this list.

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Cupcakes from Karma Cream

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