A Day in Solvang
by Wendy VanHatten
On a recent trip to Santa Barbara, we made a day trip to the village of Solvang. Not our first time in this Danish village, we enjoyed wandering the streets and sampling delicious, authentic Danish treats.
Solvang was founded in 1911 by Danish-American educators. They purchased 9,000 acres of land surrounding Old Mission Santa Ines for $75,000. The Mission is the 19th of the 21 Missions in California, founded in 1804.
The city is known officially as California’s Denmark.
A half bronze replica of the famous Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen Harbor is the only one authorized by the heirs of sculptor Edvard Eriksen. He sculpted the original in 1913.
With four wooden windmills within four blocks of each other, Solvang also has five authentic bakeries within five blocks of each other.
These treats include aebleskivers, fluffy, donut-hole like goodies. There are plenty of other authentic flaky, flavorful pastries are treats to savor as well.
Since Solvang is close to several AVAs for wine tasting, there are tasting rooms throughout downtown. If you stay in the area, you can take short trips to the different areas of the Santa Ynez Valley AVA, Ballard Canyon AVA, Santa Rita Hills AVA, Happy Canyon AVA, and Santa Maria Valley AVA. These make up the Santa Barbara north county wine country. Delicious Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah can be found here in over 120 vineyards.
Eating, drinking, photographing windmills, and wandering seemed to fill the day we spent in Solvang. Since we also wanted to do more wine tasting we made day trips to some of the vineyards near Solvang and Santa Barbara.