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Grays Harbor great destination for an ice cream cone

<p>Carrie Carriker of the Peppermint Parlor, part of Playtime Family Fun at Ocean Shores, serves up one of 44 flavors of ice cream cones available there in the summertime. Though there are fewer choices in the off-season, a cone anytime is sure to hit the spot.</p>Buy Photo

Carrie Carriker of the Peppermint Parlor, part of Playtime Family Fun at Ocean Shores, serves up one of 44 flavors of ice cream cones available there in the summertime. Though there are fewer choices in the off-season, a cone anytime is sure to hit the spot.

<p>Ice cream shops at Grays Harbor beaches, such as the Pic-A-Roon Pelican at &#8220;the Docks&#8221; in Westport, offer all kind of cool adventures for the young &#8212; and the young at heart.</p>Buy Photo

Ice cream shops at Grays Harbor beaches, such as the Pic-A-Roon Pelican at “the Docks” in Westport, offer all kind of cool adventures for the young — and the young at heart.

<p>&#8220;Eat more ice cream,&#8221; this colorful banner outside the Pic-A-Roon Pelican ice cream shop in Westport urges. Who can resist?</p>Buy Photo

“Eat more ice cream,” this colorful banner outside the Pic-A-Roon Pelican ice cream shop in Westport urges. Who can resist?

<p>Lillian Cooper, owner of Whale of a Cone at &#8220;the Docks&#8221; in Westport serves one up.</p>Buy Photo

Lillian Cooper, owner of Whale of a Cone at “the Docks” in Westport serves one up.

The edible ice cream cone may be an example the old saw that “necessity is the mother of invention” — at least in America.

Some say it happened at the 1904 Saint Louis World’s Fair when an ice cream vendor ran out of the paper dishes to serve it in, and a pastry vendor began rolling his waffle-like zalabia in cone shapes for a substitute dish.

Others dispute that, saying there are cone recipes dating to the 1700s.

Who cares?

What really matters is that many kinds of ice cream cones are abundant in Grays Harbor. Here are some locations that The Vidette has discovered that serve cold treats. But in the spirit of adventure, folks who make Grays Harbor their vacation destination are invited to either enjoy one at a location listed — or seek out others that may prove to be the best yet.

McCleary

In the little town of McCleary, in the far eastern reaches of the county, ice cream cone fans can find soft-serve chocolate, vanilla and swirl cones at the Bears Den, obviously named for the mascot of the town that’s known for its annual Bear Festival.

The Bears Den drive-in at 301 W. Simpson Ave. is owned by Jerry and Gina Banks. It has “kid cones,” as well as medium and large.

Elma

About nine miles west of McCleary, Smitty’s In & Out at 1424 W. Main St. in Elma also serves “swirl” cones, a mix of soft-serve chocolate and vanilla ice cream, as well as chocolate and vanilla, in cones, around the bottom of which are wrapped little papers that keep others’ hands from touching the cones and to help prevent dripping.

The cones at Smitty’s, owned by Debbie Scott, are available in sizes from “baby” to small and large.

Also in Elma, the Eagle’s Nest at 802 W. Main St., near the high school whose mascot is the Eagle, serves “Flavor Burst” ice cream cones. They include soft-serve vanilla ice cream with “high-intensity” flavor and color stripes in about 35 various flavors, owner Lori Gay said.

But because of space limitations, the drive-in stocks only eight flavors at a time, though they can be combined. For example, they might include cheesecake, strawberry, blueberry, green apple and caramel, which means a customer could get strawberry or blueberry cheesecake, or both. Or caramel apple or caramel cheesecake …

At the time this was written, Eagles Nest offered kid size, regular and large cones in root beer, strawberry, blueberry blue goo, cheesecake, peach, purple grape and chocolate swirl. Some flavors, such as pumpkin pie, are seasonal.

Montesano

A little further west, the Crow’s Nest at 441 S. Main St. in Montesano offers cones with soft-serve vanilla ice cream and hard ice cream in various flavors that are different at various times, said Danya Papac, who owns the drive-in with her husband, Phil. The size depends on the number of scoops a person orders.

At 414 W. Pioneer Ave., Gene’s Stop & Go, owned by James and Candy Miller, also serves ice cream cones, in soft-serve vanilla.

Oakville

Jag’s Highway 12 Diner at 314 W. Pine (Highway 12) in Oakville, owned by Connie Haapanen, serves hard chocolate, strawberry and vanilla cones. The sizes vary depending on how many scoops a person desires (without sliding off).

Aberdeen — Hoquiam

A good ice cream cone can be found in a number of places in the population center of Grays Harbor, the cities of Aberdeen and Hoquiam, including Baskin Robbins, several Dairy Queens and Burger King in Aberdeen, McDonald’s in Aberdeen and Hoquiam, as well as Al’s Hum-Dinger at 104 Lincoln St. and the Grizzly Den at 300 W. Emerson Ave., both in Hoquiam.

North & South Beaches

Waffle cones seem especially plentiful at the beaches, especially in Westport and Ocean Shores and nearby areas, though regular “sugar” cones are also available.

For example, there’s the Pic-A-Roon Pelican, which is at “the Docks,” across from the marina, in Westport and touts “24 and more flavors of soft serve. The shop, owned by Karen McLellan, does, indeed, offer waffle and regular cones.

Just down Westhaven Ave. toward the Westport revetment, is Whale of a Cone, where owner Lillian Cooper serves up just that.

At Ocean Shores, there’s Murphy’s Homemade Ice Cream & Candy in the mall near the Ocean Shores Convention Center on Chance a la Mer. Murphy’s, owned by Jane and Bob Harnegey, has homemade cake, sugar and waffle cones, with about 48 different flavors of ice cream in the summer. In the winter, there are still about 32 options.

Mike Dolittle’s Peppermint Parlor, part of Playtime Family Fun, at 748 Point Brown Ave. N.E., also offers many choices of ice cream, including several kinds of chocolate flavors. The shop is known for its Cascade Glacier Ice Cream.

The beaches, as well as the other areas of Grays Harbor County, also have other establishments where the ice cream treats are available. Vacationers can think of a search for others as part of the excitement of having some time to scout out others.

Outlying area

Clarks Restaurant, owned by Rich and Kathy Pacana and located at 731 Highway 101 (near Artic on the highway to Raymond), serves home-made soft-serve ice cream cones in various sizes, including child-size, regular and giant, in addition to crater cones. A crater cone is a large cone with a smaller cone inside containing the flavor of your choice.

The ice cream flavors vary, though vanilla is always available.