You'd think that with Montana's rich agricultural history, it would be obvious the state is home to some fantastic ice cream, but I think the other "dairy" states might get more attention. Your Tillamook Ice Cream from Oregon, your Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream from Maine, or your Blue Bell Ice Cream from Texas, for example.

While those other brands can be found in just about any grocery store, there's something special about seeing a pint of Big Dipper Ice Cream at the Good Food Store or eating a cone of Wilcoxson's in Yellowstone National Park. For those of us who treat ice cream as a kitchen staple, it's pretty awesome to have these tasty brands to keep to choose from.

Big Dipper Ice Cream, Missoula Montana

Big Dipper Ice Cream might be the most famous Montana ice cream as it has made an appearance on Good Morning America and was praised by Food and Wine Magazine. Part of the joy of Big Dipper ice cream is standing in a line on a summer evening, your Birkenstocks or Chacos sticking to the asphalt where someone's ice cream dripped, surrounded by people in swimsuits, their hair still wet from a float down the Clark Fork, as you watch the skateboarders roll by. Big Dipper also has locations in Helena and Billings.

Sweet Peaks Ice Cream, Whitefish, Montana

The ice cream brand with a bit of "Montana" in it. Along with the classic flavors they have specialty flavors like Cabin Fever, Pond Skim, and Black Bear. They got their start in Whitefish, but over time Sweet Peaks has expanded to Big Fork, Kalispell, Missoula, Couer d'Alene, Bozeman, and Spokane.

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Genuine Ice Cream, Bozeman, Montana

Genuine Ice Cream is a 2% for Conservation certified business. That means they give both money and time to conservation organizations, and the support places like Gallatin Valley Land Trust, Montana Conservation Corps, American Rivers, and Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.

Wilcoxson's Ice Cream, Livingston, Montana

Wilcoxson's got its start in 1912 in Livingston and tastes like times gone by. They keep their operation small but you can find their ice cream in Montana grocery stores and in northwestern Wyoming as well as Yellowstone National Park.

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