For decades, the summertime family road trip has been an enduring tradition for most Americans. Nearly all of us share memories of piling into the family station wagon, minivan or SUV (depending on your generation) to hit the road in search of the summer fun. But sometimes the journey can be just as memorable as the destination itself. Roadside attractions, from classic to kitsch, are a vital part of the American road trip tradition.
For travelers hitting the highways en route to Central California's national parks, one such roadside attraction is the ice cream and candy shop known as Reimer's Candies and Gifts.
For decades, the shop on the banks of the Kaweah River in the Tulare County community of Three Rivers has been a favorite stop for those on their way to Sequoia National Park. Located on Highway 198, the original store is known for its riverside deck, gingerbread house style decor, and of course, ice cream. In recent years the company has branched out, opening a store in Avila Beach and just this year, a store in Oakhurst on Highway 41, near the entrance to Yosemite National Park.
We visited the new Oakhurst location, which carries on the theme of the original Three Rivers store. The location doesn't overlook the water, but features an outdoor patio. If you're on the way to Yosemite from the Fresno area, the Reimer's store will be on the right hand side of the road, near the north end of Oakhurst, at 41969 Highway 41.
Ice Cream ProTip: Sierra Wild Blackberry
While Reimer's offers a number of delicious flavors, my go-to scoop of choice is Sierra Wild Blackberry. According to the staff of the Oakhurst store, the berries are harvested near Three Rivers and have been a signature flavor for the company for years. Be forewarned though: if you're moderating your ice cream consumption, a single scoop cone is quite large.
Much like the original store, the new Oakhurst location is already proving to be a popular stop for tourists on the way to Yosemite. It's a perfect summer respite on that long family road trip, or perhaps even a destination in its own right.