Solvang is always a part of our Santa Barbara Wine Country Road Trip. We always drive through this Danish style town, located in the Santa Ynez Valley. It’s a very busy, fun and festive place to stop in for a meal and do some shopping.
Solvang means “sunny field” in the Danish language. The popular tourist town was founded in 1911 by a group of Danes looking to establish a Danish Colony in a warmer environment. However, It wasn’t until 1985, that Solvang became an incorporated city.
The quaint city has many bakeries, restaurants, shops and hotels, that represent a taste of Denmark. You’ll feel like you’re visiting the European country and not Central California, even though it’s always warm and not cold, like Denmark!
I remember coming here as a child, with my family. My parents always loved visiting Solvang. To them, it felt like a piece of Holland. My family is part dutch, and even though this town is Danish influenced, dutch flavors are found all over town, as well.
My parents always had to go into The Solvang Shoe Store. It was the only store on the west coast, where my parents could find clogs. There were times, when my parents planned a trip up to Solvang, just to shop for clogs. As a teen, I thought it was silly. Today, when my own family visits Solvang, I’ll walk by the store and smile. It brings back such fond memories.
Although, Solvang is known for their Danish bakeries, restaurants and candy shops, you’ll find great wine bars, chartucerie and cheese bistros, too. Gourmet restaurants and shops are popping up all over town. We had dinner at The Succulent Cafe and it was wonderful, and dog friendly, always a plus! Located at 1555 Mission Dr, Solvang 93463
Santa Ynez valley wineries have become very popular, partly due to the movie “Sideways”, but, mostly because of the great wine that’s made in the area. You will find great local wines and beer in all the local restaurants. So great!
Be sure to always taste the Danish cuisine during breakfast! It’s such a treat and tastes great with that special coffee drink. It’s the one time at breakfast, that if you choose to have bacon and eggs, you’ll always want to have dessert, afterwards! We enjoyed breakfast outside at The Greenhouse Cafe, another dog friendly cafe. So perfect! Located at 487 Atterdag Rd, Solvang 93463
We took a nice, leisurely stroll to the Old Mission Santa Ines, after enjoying our breakfast. It’s literally just minutes away from all the shops and cafes.
The Old Mission Santa Ines was founded on September 17, 1804. Today, the mission still holds an important role in the spiritual and social life of the Santa Ynez valley, as an active parish. Catholic Mass is held in both English and in Spanish. Baptisms, confirmations, weddings and funeral services are held here, for all the nearby communities.
The Old Mission Santa Inez overlooks the beautiful Santa Ynez River Valley, and the Santa Ynez and San Rafael mountain ranges. It’s such a spectacular view. Visitors from all over the world come visit this mission to learn about this popular California Mission and the amazing views.
I highly recommend stopping by this mission. In fact, I recommend stopping by all 21 missions in California. They are all so rich in California history, and all different, yet all equally beautiful. Located at 1760 Mission Drive, Solvang 93464