Next up on our tour through California is a day trip to Solvang. After our stop in San Luis Obispo, we were looking for somewhere to spend the day that wouldn’t be too far to drive to and that would be on our way to our next stop, LA. We discovered the historic Danish town of Solvang and I’m so glad we did! Just an hour down the road from San Luis Obispo, this beautiful place in the Santa Ynez Valley offers all the charms and tastes and weather (it’s so hot!) of Santa Barbara wine country, while also offering authentic old European architecture, culture, and food. Founded by three Danish men in 1911, this town has kept its cultural roots while also managing to embrace all that’s best about being located in the California sun.
First, we chose a place to eat, since that seems to be the most important part of any travel itinerary! We chose Silk Road’s Kitchen, a lovely little Mediterranean restaurant. There are so many options for beautiful dining experiences while on a day trip to Solvang! We were very happy with our choice.
Then, we took a walk downtown and took in the architecture and visited some of the gift shops and boutiques. There are more than 150 shops, so you are sure to find whatever you are looking for! We also went to the Hans Christian Andersen Museum. Here we learned about the life of this brilliant author of fairy tales. It was an interesting and quiet way to get out of the sun for a little while, and I thoroughly recommend it.
We also came across this beautiful windmill, which just added to the feeling of being in Europe instead of the Santa Ynez Valley in California! The entire village is so picturesque and has such a friendly holiday feel.
Of course, when in a traditional Danish village you need to experience traditional Danish treats! We stopped for ice cream, and then had Danish cookies and tried lots of delicious pastries at a Danish bakery. It was the perfect reward for kids who had been on the move all day.
When visiting a new place, you just never know what treasures you are going to stumble upon. I came across a beautiful store called Forage Flowers while we were shopping and fell in love. Specializing in a surprising combination of gorgeous floral arrangements, French macarons, French antiques, and locally crafted gifts. This store’s vibe is so interesting!
When it was time to go, we jumped in the car and drove the two hours or so to LA. It’s a lovely drive, full of beautiful mountains and valleys. I love that it was also short enough that we had time to spend almost the entire day trip in Solvang and then feel relaxed about our journey to the next stop.
I love it when day trips are this easy and fit in perfectly with our travel plans! Do you have some Solvang photos to share? Tag me on Instagram @mintcandydesigns!
Other Stops on Our Family Trip to California
Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo
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Randel McGee says
What a nice article about one of my favorite places! Danish Days is the big celebration of the Danish heritage of the town during the 3rd weekend of September. It is a marvelous family-friendly event. I portray the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen in storytelling performances throughout the weekend. I invite you to visit my website at http://www.mcgeeproductions.com.