Solvang (pop 4,700) is located 45 miles northwest of Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Valley.
Traditional style Danish architecture is very abundant here and turns Solvang into a Little Denmark. Enjoy windmills, gaslamps, cobblestone walks. There are over 300 shops that sell Danish goods, arts, crafts, home furnishings and genuine Dutch bakeries. Over
Danes founded Solvang in 1911 on an earlier Spanish land claim. The founding fathers of the town were first generation Danish immigrant farmers from mid-western states who moved on to milder climate. They intended to create in Solvang a community in which they could preserve their Danish culture and language as well as pass it on to coming generations. Hence, they established their everyday life around institutions, which they understood as being affiliated with something Danish: a Lutheran congregation, a village hall, and a folk-high-school. Solvang, although appearing externally as any other contemporary small community in that part of the US, was thus Danish because of the town dwellers convictions and daily practices.
This Danish heritage is also richly reflected in the local architecture – an abundance of windmills, blue-green copper roofs, wood beams sitting on inlaid brick walls.
In Solvang you can find:
- Ride a replica of a horsedrawn 1915 Danish streetcar
- Sample Danish fare at many restaurants and bakeries
- Stay overnight at rustic Danish innhouses
- Savor many Old World arts and crafts
- Solvang Scandinavian Village
Elverhoj Danish Museum of History and Art – 686-1211
1624 Elverhoy Way, Solvang, CA; (805) 686-1211;
Open: Wed-Sun 1-4PM; Free Admission
Dedicated to Solvang’s history and Dutch heritage.
Solvang Festival Theater
Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts
Allan Bancock College, Solvang; (800) PCPA-123; Theater Website;
Summer Theater Under the Stars.
Chumash Casino Resort
3400 E Highway SR-246; Santa Ynez, CA 93460; 1-877-CHUMASH; Casino Website;
Open: 10AM-2AM Mon-Thur / 24 hours Fri-Sat.
Located on SR-246 about 3 miles east of Solvang in Santa Ynez.
- High-stakes Indian gaming and Las Vegas-style video gaming.
- 1300 seat bingo entertainment center. Nojoqui Falls County Park
Located 6.5 miles southwest of Solvang on Alisal Rd. Includes a 164 foot waterfall, playgrounds and hiking trails. Free Admission. Hans Christian Andersen Park
Picnic area and playgrounds. River Course at the Alisal
150 Alisal Rd, Solvang, CA; (805) 688-6042; Course Website;
18 holes, 6,800 yards with grest vistas of the Santa Ynez Valley.
River Grill – Fine dining. Bethania Lutheran Church
An active parish, look for the scale model of a Danish sailing ship suspended from the ceiling.
Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts
420 2nd St, Solvang / 800 S. College Dr, Santa Maria; (805) 922-8313;
Regional theater affiliated with the Allan Hancock College performing popular Broadway Musical Comedies.
Located 15 miles southeast of Solvang on SR-154. This refuge is home to fish, deer, bobcats and over 275 species of birds including migratory bald eagles.
Flag Is Up Farms
901 East Highway 246, Solvang, CA; Farm Website;
Open Daily : 9AM-5PM; Free Admission;
Headquarters of the original “Horse Whisperer”, Monty Roberts. Ranch is open to the public daily and has gift shop for horse lovers. Flag Is Up Farms is a stunning training and breeding farm specializing in thoroughbred preconditioning for the racetrack. The 110-acre farm includes lush, green manicured lawns and pastures, beautiful stables and barns, and a 24,000 sq.ft. covered arena. The ranch house has been featured in Town and Country Magazine twice as one of the most beautiful homes on the West Coast.
Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum
320 Alisal Rd, Solvang, CA; (805) 686-9522; Museum Website;
The private motorcycle collection of Virgil Elings has a strong emphasis on racing cycles.
Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum
3596 Sagunto St, Santa Ynez, CA; (805) 688-7889;
The museum displays local native American artifacts including tools and baskets.
Wilding Art Museum
2329 Jonata St, Los Olivos, CA; (805) 688-1082; Museum Website;
This national museum is dedicated to collecting, preserving, and exhibiting American wilderness artworks.
Other Solvang, CA services:
- – Area Golf Courses
Foley Estates Vineyards
- – (805) 688-8554 – Vineyard tours
Windhaven Glider Rides
- – (805) 688-2517
Quicksilver Miniature Horse Farm
- – (805) 686-4002
Westin Flying V Llama Ranch
- – (805) 735-3577
Central Coast Area Transit (CCAT)
- – (805) 541-2228
Santa Ynez Valley Transit
- (805) 688-5422