I loved this trip so much that it needed two parts to do it justice. As I mentioned on my previous post Solvang is a small Danish community nestled in the wine county of Santa Barbara, California. The surrounding areas themselves are mostly vineyards, agriculture tourism farms (ostrich farm, alpacas, apple groves, and some organic vegetable stands.
The center of the town is as picturesque as .50 cent postcard. It begins with a welcome sign and a big windmill. Antique collectors better have lots of money, or lots of self control because antique stores abound here. It is also home to many pastry stores and coffee shops, but the kind one finds in other parts, no Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf here, not Borders and Starbuks would be a crime! No, they are all private and very cute, some inside gardens, other inside tasting rooms and some inside book stores. There are some used book stores that sell everything from Microwave cooking to collections of the Little Mermaid.
And while we are on that subject Hans Christen Anderson author of the Little Mermaid and Thumbelina was Danish. So it’s only logical that there be a statue of his face in the park and a small museum dedicated to his art, his novels and his loves. Did you know he had 3 girl friends? The first a sister of a friend utterly loved him, he gave her the no. The second a rich society girl gave him the no, and finally after he became famous another beautiful singer fell in love with him, but the age difference made her put and end to it. Sad and tragic tale!! LOL
Another big attraction in Solvang is the Santa Inez Mission, is one of the many mission dotted along the map of California. This is on the small side, compared to the Santa Barbara and San Juan Capistrano, yet it is not less beautiful the entrance is through the gift shop, there I bough a pencil and a card, and admission is only $ 4 per person. You get a brochure and a blessing. It showcases various religious artifacts, and you can visit the gardens and the cemetery.
Other random things are the motorcycle museum, and the rooster that walk around the street.
A hop and ride (on the Santa Inez Transit Bus) you can get to los Olivos another vineyard city. It is even more rural than Solvang and to me more charming!! Its downtown is only 2 streets long!! Enjoy the walk, there you can see the library, the arts museum (that exhibits local artist and painter and the many noveau art galleries, don’t forget to taste that wine!!
I left my heart in Solvang!! I wish I could say it in Danish!!
City of Solvang
Mission Santa Inez
Hans Christen Anderson Museum