Looking for the perfect weekend getaway day trip? Visit Solvang. Founded in 1911 by three Danish immigrants, Solvang, meaning “sunny field,” has much to offer. The beautiful countryside, gorgeous weather, rich traditional Danish architecture, wooden windmills, clock towers, bakeries, restaurants, and numerous merchants all offer a taste of Denmark to the millions of tourists who visit annually.
Plan your trip around Solvang’s many events like the Solvang 4th of July Parade and Firework show. And if folk dancing, parades, concerts, art, beer & wine are of interest, you may want to consider timing your day trip with the Solvang Danish Days (September 15-17). One of Solvang’s attractions is her 700-seat open-air Festival Theater offering outdoor concerts and events complete with concession stand. (420 2nd Street).
Consider making The Solvang Bakery of 438 Alisal Road your first stop. Here you will find delightful confections and praise-worthy pastries like their traditional Danish iced kransekage cookies, almond butter rings, and German chocolate cakes.
Ingeborg’s of 1679 Copenhagen Drive offers their patrons chocolate-covered, fruit-filled marzipan; orange sticks; dark chocolate mocha truffle bars; chocolate peanut butter bars; and sea salt caramels.
The Solvang Restaurant of 1672 Copenhagen Drive draws quite a crowd with their Danish tradition aebleskivers, a light donut-hole shaped pancake drizzled with raspberry sauce and powdered sugar.
Mission Santa Ines, one of California missions (National Historic Landmark), is located near the center of Solvang, at the junction of State Route 246 and Alisal Road.
Are there kids in your clan? Be sure to head over to the Hans Christian Andersen Park for a picnic with the family. The park features its own skate ramps too. Walking downtown? Your kids might also enjoy seeing the bronze mermaid fountain statue (1693 Mission Drive) modeled after Edvard Eriksen’s beloved Little Mermaid monument in Copenhagen, Denmark.
While you’re at it, stop in at CHOMP Burgers, Fries, & Shakes of 1693 Mission Drive, for an open family-oriented, kid-friendly, diner-style (Burgers, Fries, Shakes) restaurant. The kids will be entertained with the wall-sized lobby chalkboard just in case you find yourself waiting a few minutes to be seated.
The Vintage Motorcycle Museum of 320 Alisal Road is another local favorite showcasing more than 200 rare and limited-edition motorcycles. The Elverhoj Museum of History and Art (1624 Elverhoy Way) might be worth a stop if black and white photos, newspaper clippings, letters, and information on Solvang’s past pique your interest.
Solvang is also home to a number of merchants if you’re the mood for shopping. There are plenty of shops with modern home goods. For example, you could stop off at the Copenhagen House (1660 Copenhagen Drive) to shop vintage jewelry.
In the heart of Solvang is H & P Vinhus of 404 Alisal Road, a gourmet food shop filled with fine local and international wines, imported cheeses from Spain and Belgium, jams, and European coffees. Make a pit stop here before returning home. It is quite literally a favorite place to stop and shop among many who dwell and pass through the Santa Ynez Valley.