Surfin' Spoon Frozen Yogurt Bar
- Where: 2408 S. Virginia Dare Trail, milepost 10.5, Nags Head
- Info: (252) 441-7873, surfinspoon.com
The place is usually jammed, but you won't mind the wait.
It's a mini-museum devoted to surfing, with boards and vintage photos on the ceiling and walls, and surf videos playing on a TV monitor.
And the music on the sound system, at just the right volume, ranges from surf to oldies to indie rock and standards.
The Spoon, which opened in 2012, is owned by former professional surfer Jesse Hines and his wife Whitney, whose vibrant art also adorns the walls.
They offer self-serve frozen yogurt — you pull the levers yourself — and once you've loaded your cup, it's time to go wild and pile on candy, fruits, cookies, nuts, and whipped cream. The price is based on weight.
There's also vegan sorbet, gelato, homemade waffle cones, and organic treats, the latter of which are made on the Outer Banks.
Sunset Ice Cream and Coffee
- Where: 1240 Duck Road (the Waterfront Shops), Duck
- Info: (252) 261-3553
Want your ice cream with a view?
The shop sits right on Currituck Sound and on most nights the sunsets are spectacular.
There are tables and chairs near the old-fashioned ordering window.
But you can also get your ice cream to go and stroll the magnificent boardwalk that winds through the Town of Duck.
About two-dozen flavors — peanut butter cup, butter pecan and cookies and cream are popular choices — are available, along with sorbets and sherbets.
There are a variety of cones and cups.
The specialty milkshakes are branded with such names as Bonfire, Hippie Hippie and Charlie Brown.
Scammel's Corner Ice Cream Parlor
- Where: 6406 S. Virginia Dare Trail, milepost 15.5, Nags Head
- Info: (252) -715-1727, scammelscornernc.com
The family-owned shop in a beautiful, two-story wooden building on the beach road sneaks up on you, so look for the bright yellow sign.
There's an attached surf shop.
The first thing you notice entering the parlor are the framed vintage comic books and posters – Green Lantern, Superman, Batman and X-Men are some of the star attractions — that line the walls and low ceiling.
Dozens of flavors of Hersey's Ice Cream – Graham Central Station, Strawberry Fields and Bubblegum, among them – are offered in a variety of cones and cups.
If you're looking for a more substantial treat, try a sundae or banana split.
Big Buck's Homemade Ice Cream
- Where: Corolla, Kitty Hawk and two locations in downtown Manteo
- Info: (252) 715-0779, bigbucksicecream.com
Notice that word “homemade.”
Every day, the shop, which has four locations on the Outer Banks, whips up ice cream using fresh cream, milk and sugar.
And the list of flavors may make you feel a little dizzy.
There are dozens, including sea salt and pretzel, banana peanut better swirl, chocolate chip and vanilla caramel.
You can also order up milkshakes, sundaes and other combinations.
At the downtown Manteo locations, the waterfront boardwalk is nearby.
It features plenty of chairs, benches and tables, where you eat your ice cream and watch the boats (the Elizabeth II is anchored across the bay) and birds.
John's Drive In
- Where: 3716 N. Virginia Dare Trail, milepost, milepost 4.5, Kitty Hawk
- Info: (252) 261-6227, johnsdrivein.com
Here's the scoop on John's.
The family-owned shop, with its old-fashioned order window, has been in business for 43 years.
It's a small white building on the beach road with an ice-cream-cone sign on the roof.
John's, which also has food, is considered shake and malt central on the Outer Banks.
And it has a well-earned reputation for the custom-blended soft-serve ice cream, which translates into thick, creamy mixtures.
The folks behind the counter are like mad scientists in the lab (minus the white coats), coming up with combinations of, among others, fruits, peanut butter, hot fudge, waffle cone bits and, even, root beer.
Scoops are also available — and if you want to go wild, try the banana split, whether in a bowl or upside down in a cup.