DescriptionDanish in heritage, customs and atmosphere, Solvang is about 45 miles northwest of Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Valley. The town was established in 1911 by a group of Danish educators; solvang is Danish for “sunny fields.” Visitors delight in the traditional Danish architecture, windmills, museums, shops and bakeries.
For an orientation to the town, the Solvang Trolley streetcar drawn by draft horses offers 25-minute tours on Sat.-Sun. and holidays year-round; and Thurs.-Mon. in summer. Tours leave from in front of the visitors center at 1639 Copenhagen Dr. Reservations are recommended. Phone (805) 794-8958.
For bicyclists, there are several easy routes through town and the nearby wine country, past horse ranches and vineyards; rentals are available. When you need a break, Hans Christian Andersen Park, on the fringe of Solvang on Atterdag Road, offers picnic areas, tennis courts and a children's playground.
June through September, the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts (PCPA) of nearby Allan Hancock College presents professional productions Wednesday through Sunday at the 700-seat outdoor Solvang Festival Theater, 420 2nd St. Ticket prices are $35-$51.50; discounts are available for senior citizens, students and children ages 5-12. Children under the age of five are admitted to the 1:30 matinee only. Phone the box office Wed.-Sun. at (805) 922-8313.
The Santa Ynez Valley region has more than 100 wineries, most with tours and tasting rooms. There are more than a dozen tasting rooms in downtown Solvang itself, all within easy walking distance of hotels, shops and dining. “The Santa Barbara County Wine Map” is available in winery tasting rooms, visitor centers, restaurants and hotels and motels. For more information contact the Santa Barbara County Vintners' Association at (805) 688-0881.
Visitor InfoSolvang Conference and Visitors Bureau 1639 Copenhagen Dr. SOLVANG, CA 93464. Phone:(805)688-6144 or (800)468-6765
ShoppingA Danish flavor pervades roughly 150 shops, which sell everything from hand-crafted furniture and jewelry to antiques and freshly baked Danish pastries.
During apple harvest August through October, roadside stands offer several varieties of this sinfully delicious temptation. Every Wednesday afternoon the Solvang Farmer's Market, on First Street between Mission and Copenhagen, offers fresh produce and flowers as well as entertainment; phone (805) 962-5354.
On SR 246 heading west to Buellton, OstrichLand USA offers the opportunity to glimpse and feed ostriches and emus while contemplating purchasing such exotica as ostrich or emu eggs, ostrich jerky, frozen ostrich meat and emu oil; phone (805) 686-9696.
Things to SeeElverhøj Museum of History and Art
GEM DescriptionThis Danish town has everything you would expect, except the Northern Lights.