Solvang is set in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley, one of California's top winemaking regions. It was founded in 1911 as a Danish village and showcases its European heritage at a Little Mermaid statue, Hans Christian Andersen Museum and cluster of Dutch bakeries.
Things to do in Solvang
Sip your way through the Santa Ynez Valley Wine Trail, which features more than 120 boutique vineyards. Sunstone Winery is a local favourite, known for its lush Rhone varietals and elegant Provence inspired setting. You'll also find over 20 tastings rooms in downtown Solvang.
Kids and adults alike will enjoy visiting the Hans Christian Andersen Museum. It celebrates the legacy of Denmark's beloved fairy tale author, who wrote “The Little Mermaid”, “Thumbelina” and “The Snow Queen”. Inside you can view 1st-edition illustrated books, original letters and a model of his childhood home.
Self-guided tours are the best way to explore Old Mission Santa Ines, a historic Catholic outpost founded in 1804. It remains an active parish, though visitors are welcome to peer into the restored church, stroll around the flower-filled gardens and visit the small museum.
Creative cuisine and stylish decor can be found at First & Oak. Expect a seasonal menu featuring local ingredients like whipped goat's cheese, bee pollen and soft-shell crab. Wash it down with a glass of top-notch Californian wine. Alternatively, stock up on gingerbread, pastries and other Dutch treats at the Solvang Bakery.
Getting around Solvang
Downtown Solvang is easy to get around on foot, while a rental car is best for exploring the Santa Ynez Valley. Local buses also run throughout the valley. Santa Barbara is a 45-minute drive from Solvang.