Solvang, California is a small town founded by Danish immigrants and built to preserve their Danish culture. My folks “discovered” this little town in the 60′s and would take us here for day trips. None of us have ever been to Denmark but we like to believe it looks like this.
The architecture is a definite attraction. All of the buildings are built in the Danish style with blue-green copper roofs and lots of windmills. There are also many storks on tops of roofs – a symbol of good luck.
Another attraction: walking from shop to shop purchasing all kinds of fun things. My favorite purchases have been unusual kitchen gadgets, linens, yarn and, of course, books. The most popular purchase by all family members are those made at the Danish Bakeries. Although this is a small town, there are five bakeries here. We usually buy pastries and an onion-cheese bread. Solvang is where we first learned to eat Abelskivers – pancakes in the form of a ball. My dad became very good at making these.
We were here the first week of January and noticed that Solvang has changed some. Although still true to it’s Danish architecture, it’s now definitely a town built around tourism. I noticed more high-end gift shops and several new wine tasting rooms. The movie “Sideways” was filmed here which is probably bringing in more visitors. But in spite of the changes it’s still one of my favorite places.
If you’re interested in visiting, Solvang is located about 30 miles north of Santa Barbara. Take highway 101 and exit at Buellton (home of Andersen Pea Soup) and go east about 3 miles.