While on a road trip to San Luis Obispo, we made a stop in California’s little Dutch town of Solvang for a quick breakfast at Paula’s Pancake House and a walk to stretch our legs.
One of the first things you will notice about Solvang is the iconic windmills and architectural designs of the buildings. It really does give a glimpse of Denmark for a mini international vacay.
Our next observation is there are a lot of bakeries and restaurants to choose from. This, of course, was fabulous, but also made it difficult to decide where to go.
There are over 150 boutique shops to browse through. Many have locally crafted items ranging from woodwork to gourmet foods. The options for souvenirs seem endless. One of our favorite shops is the Scandinavian Christmas shop that is open year-round.
With 125 vineyards in the area, you will not come up short with a list of wineries to visit. There are 20 downtown tasting rooms to sample wine and beer if you desire.
There are plenty of other things to do in Solvang if you don’t like shopping. Tour the historic Old Mission Santa Ines or visit several local museums. Trolly and segway tours will help you catch some sun, and a llama farm is nearby. Four nearby golf courses will help you practice your swing and even a casino is a short 5-minute drive from downtown.
While there are endless Danish and German tchotchke and ice cream shops, there is still enough charm and good food to make Solvang a great stop on your next road trip. Or if a more laid back and casual getaway is desired, Solvang has plenty to offer for an extended stay.
- Check the Solvangusa.com calendar for local annual events; such as Taste of Solvang in March, Danish Days in September, Solvang Grape Stomp in October, and Julefest in December.
- Bring water and lots of sunblock.
- Decide what you want to do there in advance.