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Salvang is Europe in America

Solvang is California’s
“Little Denmark”

Contributed by Laura Kath.
Photo credit

Solvang’s idyllic setting

Solvang feels like northern Europe, yet in the heart of California.  In 1911, three Danish-American educators founded Solvang (sunny field in Danish) as a 9,000+ acre enclave in the verdant Santa Ynez Valley only 125 miles north of Los Angeles.  Discover Solvang’s Danish roots at the charming Elverhoj Museum of History & Art or the Hans Christian Andersen Museum as well as California heritage at the 1804 Old Mission Santa Inés (now a National Historic Landmark District).

Magical at night

Be drawn into Scandinavian culture strolling Solvang’s flower-lined streets or stepping into five authentic bakeries and more than 30 restaurants and cafes. More than a dozen wine-tasting rooms, wine bars and gourmet food shops tempt palates with the bounty of nearby vineyards and wineries. For the area’s freshest fruits, veggies, flowers and local items, check out the downtown Farmers’ Market every Wednesday afternoon year-round near Solvang Park.

 Shopping in Solvang is like a kaleidoscope—turn in any direction within this pedestrian-friendly village and delight in an array of colorful items such as clogs, hand-made lace, clothing, ironwork, porcelain, elegant collectibles, beautifully crafted imports, vibrant arts and crafts, vibrant furnishings and classic toys in more than 150 one-of-a-kind stores, art galleries and antique centers.  Sixteen resorts, hotels, inn and bed & breakfasts offer lodging to suit every taste and budget.

Danish dancers

The Danish Days annual festival emerged in 1936 and continues to commemorate Solvang’s heritage during the third weekend of every September. Festivals and celebrations are traditional parts of Solvang’s charm—from the Taste of Solvang every March to the Old Mission Santa Inés Fiesta each August and Julefest during December.

Learn more at its website.


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