Ever since I was a young child, visiting the charming town of Solvang has always filled me with the excitement and anticipation of bringing me closer to my Danish heritage.
Located off of Highway 101 in California’s picturesque Santa Ynez Valley, Solvang warmly welcomes you with its charm, storybook architecture, and brick-lined streets. Solvang is the kind of place where you want to linger and stroll leisurely, taking in all of its ambience and, of course, the mouth-watering aromas being carried through the air from the nearest pastry shop or cafe.
Since my Grandmother was born in Denmark and immigrated to the U.S. as a young child, visiting Solvang has always been a way for our family to re-connect with our Danish roots and experience something close to what Danish life was like for my Grandmother. Because my Grandmother enjoyed cooking for her family and friends immensely, no visit to Solvang could ever be complete without sampling some of the traditional Danish foods my Grandmother knew and loved. Topping this list would have to be Aebleskiver. These melt-in-your-mouth Danish pancake balls are incredibly delicious and bring back the many wonderful memories of my family getting out their special Aebleskiver pans for family breakfasts. The Solvang Restaurant, located at 1672 Copenhagen, is a favorite of ours for ordering up this traditional Danish food. Served light and fluffy with a warm raspberry sauce, you are sure to be pleased, as well as impressed. Pair your Aebleskiver with a side of Danish sausage and you will experience an extraordinary culinary combination.
What better way to walk off a hearty Danish meal than by perusing the many charming boutiques and gift shops found throughout Solvang. My personal favorites have always been those that carry traditional Danish items for decorating your home; these beautifully crafted items take me back to my Grandmother’s warm kitchen, painted in a soft blue and accented with delightful Danish decor. Located at 467 Alisal Road, a family favorite has always been Hanson’s Clock Shop with its exceptional variety of beautiful clocks that are crafted with exquisite detail and charm.
There are so many wonderful shops, restaurants, and bakeries to explore while in Solvang, not to mention the wonderful variety of events, festivals, and activities held throughout the year. Plan to stay at least a full day; a weekend or longer is even better to take in all this delightful village has to offer.
You certainly don’t have to be Danish to enjoy Solvang; you will find there is something enjoyable for everyone and is certain to become a favorite destination. The following websites are beneficial for learning more about this wonderful town.