The Danish Capital of America –
We share information about the entire Santa Ynez Valley restaurants, best Santa Ynez wineries, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley to give visitors the chance to learn more about our own little pieces of heaven.
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Solvang is an authentically Danish-American town in the heart of California. Founded in 1911, when the first Danish settlers arrived, the community holds tight onto its Danish-American charm and tradition. Only two hours up the coast from Los Angeles, Solvang carries on the Danish traditions of language, folk dancing, music and cuisine.
TOP FIVE Things to Do in Solvang
1 – Solvang Danish Days!
The Solvang Danish Days annual festival emerged in 1936 and continues to commemorate Solvang’s Danish heritage every year with 3 parades, kids corner, vendor showcase, live music, viking reenactments, beer garden and so much more…
The Great Outdoors
Revel in the pure joy of being outdoors in this wonderful area. Ride a horse, take a tour by drawn trolley or small electric jeep (Moke), cycle along peaceful country roads, hike to your heart’s content, or play a round of golf on four nearby courses.
Be drawn into the culture strolling Solvang’s flower-lined streets, which are flanked with charming Danish farm-style architecture. Look for Danish icons including the Little Mermaid Fountain, windmills, the giant red clog and Round Tower. Visit local museums such as Elverhoj Museum of History & Art, The Wildling, Hans Christian Andersen Museum, Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum, Old Mission Santa Inés, or the Amber Museum & Hall of the Danes located at The Copenhagen House.
4 – Taste
Try yummy Danish pastries and æbleskiver at The Solvang Restaurant, one of the best places to eat in Solvang, or visit the five authentic bakeries: The Solvang Bakery, Mortensen’s Bakery, Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery, The Danish Mill, and Birkholm’s Bakery.
5 – Indulge
Wine and Beer Tasting
Solvang is home to dozens of wine and beer tasting rooms, wine bars and gourmet food shops that will tempt your palate with the bounty of nearby vineyards and farms.
A Day in Solvang
I love walking the city of Solvang in the morning. In the 2 ½ months I’ve been in the Santa Ynez Valley, I’ve always pleasantly surprised by this Danish City and its inhabitants. It’s not the Disneyland I visited with my family as a child, and it has not been taken over by the wine industry. The people are genuine, friendly, and welcoming. Not only are there bakeries (5), wine tasting rooms (21) and the Solvang Brewing Company, but great restaurants, shopping, parks and museums.
This morning, I find myself at Solvang Restaurant, enjoying a delicious corned beef hash with poached eggs and topped with freshly made salsa. If you come before 9am (Monday – Friday) you can get this or 4 other specials for 6 bucks (includes coffee and tax)! The owner, Jeff Paaske joins me and shares the rich history of the restaurant as well as Solvang.
After an engaging breakfast I take a 3 minute walk to the Wildling Museum. I am greeted by the friendly Executive Director Stacey Otte. I step in and am at once a world away from Solvang and now in a modern gallery/museum. Wow, it’s spacious, clean, modular, and new, with cool lighting throughout.
Stacey proceeds to explain the Wildling’s mission, which is for visitors to enjoy, value and conserve wildlife and natural areas through art. We tour the different exhibits which are national, the store, and workshop/classroom/craftwork/meeting spaces. Next time you are in the Santa Ynez Valley this is a must experience. They always have crafts at the ready for the kids and should be considered for your next retreat or board meeting. You can learn more at www.wildlingmuseum.org.
After my work day is complete, I walk to a Solvang Chamber mixer being held at the Solvang Festival Theater. I am once again reminded of the genuine warmth of this community. The theater grounds are whimsical and park-like with the theater being outdoors and the seats surrounding the stage. It is a great place to hold an event. A very fun and intimate theater experience.
This was just one of many great days I have spent and walked in the beautiful Danish village known as Solvang.
About VisitSYV.com: Visit Santa Ynez Valley provides listings of the best Santa Ynez wineries, best places to eat in Solvang, Santa Ynez hotels and inns, and things to do in Santa Ynez Valley. Visit the website at www.VisitSYV.com for complete travel and visitor services. “Like” the Facebook page for ideas on planning Santa Ynez vacations. Email info@VisitSYV.com for help planning your next vacation in the Santa Ynez Valley.