Solvang – California’s Danish Town

Solvang is the biggest Danish settlement in the United States. This little slice of heaven can be found 45 minutes north of Santa Barbara. If you are looking for quaint and unique, Solvang is the town you want to see.

As a kid, Solvang was one of my favorite cities to visit because I’ve never seen another town like it. The whole town, including resident’s houses are designed and decorated in traditional Scandinavian style. This gives the town a certain charm, as you feel swept away by your surroundings. Some of my favorite things to do were walk by and try a pastry from the bakeries, which use authentic, traditional Danish recipes. I also enjoyed walking through all the eccentric shops, which sell everything from key chains to wooden shoes.

While you’re in Solvang don’t miss out on visiting the Flag Is Up Farm, home of the “Man who Talks to Horses”, Monty Roberts. The ranch dedicated itself to rehabilitating “difficult” horses, training, and racing thoroughbreds. Monty Roberts also trained Queen Elizabeth’s horses using his method, and she was the one who told him to write a book about his life.

You can also visit Ostrich Land, a breeding farm for Ostrich and Emus. There is also a Ranch with Miniature Horses and Donkeys.

One thing that may stick out while visiting Solvang is the Spanish Mission, Santa Ines. It was built in 1813 and restored in 1904 and is one of the smallest Missions – which is what makes it so charming.