Solvang: California’s Little Denmark At the end of our summer holidays, in the first weekend of September 2014, we discover that we can’t stay at our apartment for three days. The bathroom was being repaired and some of the chemicals used would be harmful for our lungs for a day or two. With no place to go, our landlady suggested that we take a trip somewhere. We decided to go to a little city just outside of Santa Barbara, California. We spent three days relaxing in Solvang with a good book, a good night’s sleep, great company, and plenty of sweet food. It took three hours from Santa Monica to Solvang, but the scenery changed a lot. Gone were the beaches and the cars…hello hills and vineyards. The buildings were very different and very colorful. It was as though we were in Denmark (when I showed the pictures to my mother, she guessed that we were in the Netherlands. Close enough?) There were windmills and little gardens and the kind of houses that I would see in my childhood fairytale books. There were clock towers and Danish flags and carriages , drawn by the biggest horses I have seen in my life.

Some things you ought to know:

Weather: Solvang in Danish means “sunny fields.” You can probably tell how the weather is like. Bring sunglasses and sunscreen!

Culture: There are lots of museums and attractions that emphasize on Danish culture. Our favorite is the Hans Christian Andersen Museum.

Food: There are more bakeries than there are grocery stores (got into a little bit of a problem trying to find club soda when my sister spilled tea on her white dress. A very nice man gave us directions to a grocery store, which was only 5 minutes drive away from the tourist spots). The desserts are very good. Suffice to say that our eating experience has been very sweet and delightful. See here for recommendations.

Things you might like: some stores sell wonderful wooden clocks. You might want to check them out. Many places offer great souvenirs for a reasonable price. Go to The Mole Hole at Mission Drive. We spent an hour just wandering inside this one store.

Some tips: go explore the city from early morning. Most of the stores close at five o’clock (but restaurants are open until late at night). There are many courtyards and shops that are hidden from the main streets. Bring a map (you can find this in every hotel) to make sure that you see everything…but if you are like us, and are simply terrible with maps, don’t be afraid to ask!


17 thoughts on “Solvang: California’s Little Denmark

  1. I wish I took more time to explore this area more. Last time I was there, we only spent a day there on a CPH road trip. It was still cool to see, but I’ll have to check it out again, especially only being 2+ hours away!


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