Sunday, July 19 marks what is sure to be one of the hottest days of the summer. Here in Lehigh Valley, there are plenty of ways for you to cool off when the mercury rises. Whether you're taking advantage of some AC at the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley, splashing around at Dutch Springs, or heading below ground at Lost River Caverns or Crystal Cave, there are plenty of ways to beat the heat.

But sometimes, all you need is a delicious ice cream cone to help cool you off. And it just so happens that today is National Ice Cream Day! We've highlighted a few of our favorite spots to grab a scoop- and there's a slight chance that we'll be visiting all five today....

5. McCarthy's Red Stay Pub & Whiskey Bar. Okay, so an Irish restaurant might not be the first place you think of when you're craving ice cream, but trust us here. McCarthy's, located just behind Donegal Square on Main Street in Bethlehem, offers a variety of ice creams made locally by the Bank Street. Creamery. The flavors pair well with the theme of the restaurant- don't miss the Guinness Chocolate Brownie and the Irish Creme.

[caption id="attachment_22748" align="alignright" width="220"]The Shoppes at Premise Maid The Shoppes at Premise Maid[/caption]

4.  The Shoppes at Premise Maid. For some hand-dipped ice cream, make your way out Rt. 222 to Premise Maid. This shop offers a variety of homemade ice creams in addition to the chocolate shop that they have on site. Over 40 premium flavors are made here daily using the special recipes of the chocolatiers. The Blueberry Crumb Pie ice cream always hits the spot on a warm summer day.

3. The Creamery at the Shoppe at Hotel Bethlehem. Any Penn State alum will tell you that there's nothing better than a scoop from the Penn State Creamery. Well lucky for you, you don't have to travel all the way to State College to enjoy some! You'll find ice cream by the Penn State Creamery right here in Lehigh Valley at the Shoppe at Hotel Bethlehem. Grab a cone while you stroll down Main Street on a sunny afternoon.

2. Bank Street Creamery. Formerly known as the Purple Cow, the Bank Street Creamery is located just off of Centre Square in Easton. On any given visit, you might find a different selection of flavors than the time before. They rotate what flavors are available from over 100 recipes, exclusive to this shop. And if you're indecisive like me, you can get a little bit of everything you want to try. Opt for a 'mini scoop' sampler of two, three, four, or five different flavors. My mouth is watering just thinking about it...

[caption id="attachment_22751" align="alignright" width="220"]The Bethlehem Dairy Store The Bethlehem Dairy Store[/caption]

1. The Bethlehem Dairy Store. Known as 'The Cup' from the days when the shop was shaped like a giant milkshake cup, this Bethlehem staple has been delighting ice cream lovers for over 85 years. With two year-round locations available, any time of year is a good time for a scoop. You'll find them at 1430 Linden Street, and also over near Lehigh University at the intersection of New & Morton Streets. With tons of flavors to choose from, plus Italian Ice, novelty treats, and a rotating list of soft serve flavors, sometimes the toughest thing is deciding what you want to order! Enjoy your cone inside at one of the tables, or outside on the benches available.

So on this National Ice Cream day, make a visit to one (or two... or three...) of these fantastic shops in Lehigh Valley.

Did I miss your favorite? Let me know in the comments below! I'd love to try them all. 

[gallery ids="22746,22747,22749,22753,22751,22752,22748,22754,22750"]