In 1984 President Reagan declared July to be National Ice Cream Month. He even went a step further and designated the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day. Sounds like a "sweet" idea to me! If you're a huge ice cream fan, you probably already have this holiday on your radar. If you're an ice cream fan visiting Alaska's Mat-Su Valley in July, you're in for an especially tasty treat.

With winters as splendid as ours, Valley residents are experts at dog mushing, cross-country and downhill skiing, aurora chasing, and ice fishing. It should be no surprise that we know a thing or two about America's favorite frozen treat, as well. The community of Palmer is the birthplace of Big Dipper Homemade Ice Cream. This local favorite boasts some creative flavors that are unique to our region. Their fireweed and honey ice cream utilizes the region's iconic fireweed blossom for an unforgettable nectar-packed taste. Birch brittle is another amazing flavor that gives a nod to our fascinating cottage industry of birch tree tapping. Alaska Wild Harvest taps Alaska's birch trees in the spring to concentrate the sap into delicious birch syrup! Big Dipper offers many other popular Alaska themed flavors; let's not forget their tongue-in-cheek Malt Moose Nugget ice cream. With a second location in Wasilla and other Alaska ice cream shops carrying their products, you can enjoy as many scoops of Big Dipper ice cream as you like during your Alaska visit.

Other ice cream highlights to enjoy in the Mat-Su include Shirley's Gourmet Ice Cream in Talkeetna and Turner's Corner near the base of Hatcher Pass. Shirley's offers another time-tested fireweed ice cream that is all the rage among Talkeetna residents. Turner's Corner boast's the world's best soft serve ice cream. After a fun day visiting Independence Mine or hiking the Gold Mint Trail, it's hard to beat a refreshing ice cream cone at Turner's.

Come celebrate National Ice Cream Month in Alaska's Mat-Su Valley. We've got flavors you can only find in Alaska, plus a plethora of incredible sights and adventures to really put you in the mood for a scoop!