This weekend I went to Solvang with my friend Kate. Out of all the mini road trips I’ve taken, this ranks among the top! It is simply the most amazing, cozy little town I’ve ever seen. Solvang is in the Santa Ynez Valley, about 2.5 hours from Los Angeles. It was established in 1911 by a group of Danes who wanted to build a Danish colony on the West Coast. The first thing you’ll notice when walking around this beautiful town is the traditional Danish architecture. It made me feel like I had been transported to Denmark!
There are dozens of bakeries, restaurants, wineries and antique stores. The atmosphere is so bright and cheerful. While we were there, Southern Cali saw its first bit of Fall weather and it added so much to the atmosphere and coziness of Solvang. Of course I didn’t check the weather before leaving and wore a dress and sandals… I was so thankful for the herbal tea that warmed up!
I was so happy just walking around and taking it all in. We heard a local jazz band playing in Solvang’s town square, as well as an old bell tower that chimed on the hour with a little tune.
Of course windmills were everywhere. It wouldn’t be a Danish town without windmills…
About 10 minutes down the road from downtown Solvang is an ostrich and emu farm. If you’re brave enough you can feed them! Kate and I didn’t realize how big these guys are. At least 9 feet tall! We timidly fed them from behind a large fence and then laughed at our own frightfulness when the farm owner, a petite little lady, was walking in the pin amongst them. We talked with her for a while and she said the trick is you have to be quiet and much shorter than the ostriches and emus, otherwise, they see you as a threat. Good to know!
It was such an amazing day and I would HIGHLY recommend checking out this charming little town. I know I’ll be back soon.