If you ever needed to get away from the hustle and bustle of a major city, or were in search of a small town offering a number of amenities, then a visit to Solvang is a must. In the heart of Santa Ynez Valley, California stands the small but beautiful Danish village of Solvang.
The charming European style village of Solvang is located between San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. Its name stands for “sunny fields” in Danish, and will hold your heart from the time you set foot in the village up until you grudgingly leave it behind.
The village came to be in 1911 when a group of Danes who were traveling west established a Danish colony that was far from the Midwestern winters. Today it is what is known as California’s Copenhagen with its traditional Danish-style architecture, shopkeepers that are dressed in traditional attire as well as the authentic restaurants in the area. In short if you are in California and looking for a place thrive with Danish heritage that will let you forget that you are in California, then Solvang is the place to visit. You will find a number of restaurants, bakeries, as well as merchants all of whom are eager to give you a taste of Denmark in California.
It does not matter what age you are, the city holds a special spot for each age group. Places of major interest while in the city include a visit to the Danish windmills which are spread along the main streets, the statues of the Little Mermaid and Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish Rural church, the half-timbered houses in addition to the Danish music and folk dancing. For a bit of sightseeing, you can go aboard the Hønen or the “hen” which is a replica of the 19th century Danish street car that is drawn by a horse.
Other places to visit while in the city include;
• Mission Santa Ines, which is one of the 21 missions that was founded along the California coast by Spanish priests in the late 18th century.
• Sunny Fields Park which is a wonderful place for the children.
• Solvang vintage motorcycle museum where you will be amazed by the collection of vintage motorcycles
• Elverhoj Museum of History and Art which will present you with knowledge of the Danish culture and history.
• Hans Christian Andersen Museum which lets its visitors live out their own fairy tale.
Of particular special interest to specific categories of visitors are the vineyards and cycling opportunities. Solvang is blessed with over 100 wineries in the surrounding Santa Ynez Valley, which offer wine tasting. At the wineries you will get to learn more of the wine country as well as acquire knowledge in the wineries. Cycling enthusiasts will not want to leave this city because it offers its visitors an ideal cycling area, from the rolling country lanes to the vineyards, as well as the strenuous mountain climbs, every level of cycling is covered in the beautiful city!
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