Solvang is a small town about 35 miles northwest of Santa Barbara, California. It is best known as “that Danish town” and indeed tourism is its chief industry. The village has modeled itself on similar towns in Denmark. The traveler is expected to get that “Old Country” feeling about the place. And people love it. The come to see the windmills, the shops, and to partake of the food and drink. Solvang is also right in the middle of the Santa Barbara wine area.
I was up early to shoot this image of the street without pedestrians. I confess I was attracted to those quaint shop fronts and half-timbered shops. I’m not immune to the Danish charm. It has a fairytale feeling. It may not look authentic to some but most tourists really like it.
Walking in the town is easy. There are only a few blocks to navigate and it isn’t hilly. There’s also the horse-drawn street car, The Hen, which is a fun way to see the town. (A special thanks to Halley Sanchez for the use of her image of The Hen in my header image!) No matter which method you choose, there’s lots to look at and one can’t resist wandering down the small lanes and alleyways.
Flowers were plentiful on the spring day of my visit although the larger water sculptures and fountains were dry. Most cities in California have closed down the water decorations owing to the severe drought conditions.
One of the things Solvang is best known for is its bakeries, and there are several. So between shopping, eating Danish pastry, wine-tasting, and visiting some of the fine restaurants there’s plenty for a visitor to do in Solvang.