Are you looking for a unique getaway? The historic Danish village of Solvang offers the best of the Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Barbara wine country in a relaxed and peaceful setting. Take a stroll in the village to spot Danish icons including the Little Mermaid Fountain, five windmills, the giant red clog & Round Tower.
Danish Heritage Festival - September 15 - 17, 2017. Little Denmark! Admission to Solvang Danish Days is free! Solvang Danish Days includes three parades, Danish folk dancers and musicians performing around town, plus other feature events like the Aebleskiver Breakfasts, Viking Encampment, free Saturday evening rock concert line-up, and much more! Click here for more information.
The Solvang Walking Tour
In the morning start your day with breakfast at an authentic Danish restaurant or bakery. Don't miss the popular aebleskiver-deliciously light and airy Danish pancake balls dusted with powdered sugar and served with raspberry jam. Take a stroll around the pedestrian-friendly village enjoy picturesque architecture including several windmills, a clock tower that plays seasonal tunes plus statues of Hans Christian Andersen and the Little Mermaid. Be sure to look for ornamental storks perched on roofs-they are considered good luck in Denmark and Solvang!
In the afternoon try a smorgaasbord to taste frikadeller (meatballs), medisterpolse (sausage), and other Danish favorites for lunch. A shopper's paradise, Solvang's streets are filled with more than 150 stores offering unique treasures, handmade lace, music boxes, clocks, jewelry, porcelain, Danish arts and crafts. To learn more about Solvang's history, visit the Elverhøj Museum of History & Art with its delightfully decorated period rooms, the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, the Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum, or the national historic landmark 1804 Old Mission Santa Inés.
In the evening wine and dine your way through the village with a variety of cuisines to choose - from Danish of course, to Italian, Chinese and gourmet California wine country fare. There are more than a dozen wine tasting rooms downtown (segments of the Oscar-winning movie Sideways were filmed in Solvang), so be sure to sample some of the local wines. In the summer, take in a performance at the acclaimed PCPA Pacific Conservatory Theater outdoor theatre. Relax and enjoy yourself in the California's "Little Denmark."
One of the top 10 most "Christmassy" towns in America! Enjoy a variety of delightful lights and spirited events during its annual Julefest (Yule-Fest) every December.
DECEMBER 1ST 2017 – JANUARY 5TH, 2018
Families will be able to explore Solvang while trying to find those mischievous elf-like Danish figures, the Jule Nisse. This scavenger hunt will take people around town and will have them search for Nisse hidden in different locations with a map providing clues to their next location. Once they have found all of the Nisse, they can come back to the Visitor's Center for a prize. This is a free activity that families may do on their own schedule.
There are no special provision required for this event.
DECEMBER 1 - 3, 8 - 10, AND 15 - 17, 2017
Solvang welcomes holiday shoppers with special events and entertainment. Discounts and deals at Solvang merchants of all sorts, such as art shops and galleries; book-sellers; wine tasting rooms; wine and beer bars; clothing, shoes and accessories boutiques; home furniture, décor and hardware; jewelers and antique stops; and restaurants, bakeries and specialty food stores, plus FREE parking.
DECEMBER 1, 2017
Solvang Julefest Tree Lighting
Julefest sparkles with the annual Tree-Lighting Ceremony - Held in Solvang Park (Mission Drive & First Street) starting at 5pm, enjoy free live entertainment with dancing ballerinas, bands, caroling and the arrival of Santa Claus to Solvang.
Photos with Santa, 4 - 6PM.
DECEMBER 2, 2017
Solvang Julefest Parade
Solvang Julefest Parade, 11 AM - Along the route of the annual Solvang Julefest Parade. More than 400 participants and 50 + entries march, trot, cruise and stroll along festively decorated Mission Drive, Copenhagen Drive and adjacent streets. Thousands of spectators from near and far enjoy the parade as well as free, post-parade visits with Santa in Solvang Park. Contact: email@example.com 805-688-6144
Photos with Santa, 12:30 - 4PM.
DECEMBER 2ND, 9TH, 16TH, 23RD & 30TH
Solvang was named one of the “Top 10 Most Christmassy Towns in America.” Now guests will be able to take part in a tour guided by a costumed tour guide with everyone holding a battery powered LED candle. Learning about Solvang, listening to traditional Christmas carols, and experiencing the sights of all the Christmas lights will make this a magical addition to Julefest.
This is a free activity that will leave the Visitor's Center at 5:00pm.
There is a max limit of 20 guests per tour.
There are no special provision required for this event. Tours will be guided on city sidewalks.
Live Music in the Park (Wandering)
December 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd 26th & 28th-30th
Come and enjoy some fun holiday music at Solvang Park or maybe even experience strolling musicians and singers walking up and down the street as you shop.
This is a free activity that provides added atmosphere to the city.
Music will be from 1:00pm to 4:00pm
There are no special provisions for this event. Some musicians and singers will wander up and down Copenhagen Drive and Alisal Road on the sidewalks. No equipment will be needed.
Visit Santa Claus
Photos with Santa, 10 AM - 4PM.
DECEMBER 9 - 10, 2017, 11 AM - 4 PM
2-day passport Julefest Wine & Beer Walk
2-day wine and beer tasting passport at more than 13 wine tasting rooms in Solvang.
Save your email confirmation, it is your ticket to enter the event.
Casa Cassara, Dascomb Cellars, Lions Peak Vineyards, Lucas & Lewellen, Lucky Dogg Winery, Olive House, Pace Wine Tasting, Presidio Winery, Royal Oaks, Sevtap Winery, Sort This Out Cellars, The Good Life, Toccata, Wanding Dog Wine Bar
DECEMBER 9, 2017 - SATURDAY
The Community Nativity Pageant
Admission is FREE! Bring the whole family! Click here for more information about the Solvang Nativity Pageant Musical Performances .
Click here for other details Solvang Julefest Live Nativity Pageant .
5 PM & 7 PM at Solvang Festival Theater, 420 Second Street
Admission is FREE! Enjoy an elaborate stage presentation of the nativity story featuring live animals, musical accompaniment, and narration.
DECEMBER 11 OR 12, 6 - 7:15 PM OR 7:30 - 8:45PM
“Holiday Lights Tour”
Join us for a Christmas light tour throught the Santa Ynez Valley. Enjoy the holiday spirit exhibited by the many exciting home displays. Catch the “Holiday Lights Tour” at the Vet's Hall parking lot, presented by Solvang Parks & Recreation Department.
$13 per person. Call 805-688-PLAY.
DECEMBER 16 - VISIT WITH SANTA
Photos with Santa, 10 AM - 4PM.
DECEMBER 20, 2017
Third Wednesday and Farmer's Market
Enjoy Solvang Third Wednesday deals at local merchants including boutiques of all sorts, restaurants and gourmet food purveyors; the weekly Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market from 2:00-6:00 p.m.; the popular Solvang Third Wednesday Wine & Beer Walk from 3:00-7:00 p.m.; and Solvang Third Wednesday discounts at local hotels.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 5, 2018
Solvang Christmas Tree Burn
Attend the FREE annual Solvang Christmas Tree Burn in the fields at Old Mission Santa Ines, 1760 Mission Drive in downtown Solvang from
5:00-7:00 p.m. Friday, January 5, 2018. Event is supervised by the Santa Barbara County Fire Department as one of the largest fire safety demonstrations and community gatherings on California's Central Coast; and coordinated by the Solvang Parks & Recreation Department. There will be free, live entertainment as well as refreshments for purchase. Join together to see this powerful spectacle ignite the New Year and herald the end of Solvang's annual Julefest Celebration.
Solvang Live Theater & Nightlife
Experience influential forms of American popular culture with theatrical performances, jazz concerts, Julefest Nativity Pageant and other events at Solvang Festival Theater.
Music, you'll love it! From soft rock to smooth jazz to pop and country music played in the 18+ wine & beer tasting rooms in Solvang.
Numerous wineries and wine tasting rooms in Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley brighten evenings with top-notch music, comedy, theater, dancing, and live entertainment.
Family Friendly Activities
A photographers paradise every where you turn there are delightful photo opportunities. Solvang's quaint old-world European fairytale feel and friendly Danish hospitality offers a relaxing peaceful atmosphere for those away from home.
Share with family and friends near and far, as you explore playgrounds, skateboard parks, and tennis courts in the three kid-friendly parks in Solvang.
One of the most energetic ways for the family to explore Solvang is via bicycles and four-wheeled surrey cycles. Bring wheels of your own or easy-to-ride rentals offer a pedal-powered way to see the sights (Wheel Fun, 805-688-0091).
The Solvang Trolley (also known as the Honen) is a historic wooden streetcar pulled by a pair of magnificent draft horses providing 25-minute guided tours around the village (805-794-8958).
Year-round outdoor family fun and picnics are popular in Solvang Park at the corner of Mission Drive and First Street (center of action for September's Danish Days, Julefest in December and Free Friday Night Movies in summer).
Hans Christian Andersen Park on Atterdag Road is a pleasant retreat with picnic areas, public tennis, a playground and the skate park for "boarders."
At Knitfit families find a self-contained vacation spot for all age ranges to enjoy creativity for hours. You can Stay and Play at Knitfit,
an interactive arts and crafts store for kids and adultsright in the village of Solvang.
Kids love the whimsical playground and ball field at Sunny Fields Park on Alamo Pintado Road. For a schedule of area recreational events, call 688-PLAY. And let's not forget the plethora of candy shops and toy stores all within a two-block radius downtown!
Fascinating Fauna is Fun for Kids of All Ages!
Ostrich Land is a 33-acre breeding farm to see/feed more than 100 ostriches and emus up close (610 E. Highway 246).
Flag Is Up Farms is the home of Monty Roberts, the "Man Who Listens to Horses" where visitors are freely welcome to see the equine facilities and trainers in action.
Quicksilver Miniature Horse Ranch is a fascinating breeding facility for 34-inch and under horses that welcomes visitors daily for free viewing from 10:00 am-3:00 pm.
Twenty minutes away from downtown Solvang, Cachuma Lake Recreation Area offers year-round guided wildlife cruises on a pontoon boat (ages 5 and over),a Junior Ranger program, Nature Center, hiking, picnicking, boating, fishing, snack bar, plus RV hook-ups, tent and yurt camping, too.
Entertainment & Attractions
Those looking for musical entertainment, will find choices from live bands and solo artists in wine & beer tasting rooms to top performers at the Chumash Casino, Nashville Nights and Tales from the Tavern. Wine connoisseurs enjoy Winemaker Dinners, horse and sports enthusiasts love the Polo Classics. Theater goers welcome the summer season live theater at Solvang Festival Theater where world-class musicals are performed.
The aptly named city of Solvang - meaning "sunny fields" in Danish-has so much to offer that it's wise to plan for an extra day or two in the "Danish Capital of America." To appreciate Solvang's Danish heritage, visit Elverhøj Museum of History & Art, which occupies an original Danish-style home of one of the city's founders a few blocks from downtown. The rooms are filled with historic Solvang photographs, artifacts, Danish arts, crafts and period pieces. Friendly docents dressed in authentic Danish costumes create living history. Hans Christian Andersen Museum, honoring the multi-talented Danish father of the modern fairy tale, is filled with copies of Andersen's books, sketches, paper cutouts, silhouettes and collages. His April 2 birthday is celebrated with a party each year.
Solvang Heritage: Arts & Culture
Solvang feels like northern Europe, yet "Little Denmark" lives in the center of the Central Coast of California. From the Danish traditions of Solvang to the Western roots of the entire region, arts and culture have played an important role over the last century in the Santa Ynez Valley.
The past is still celebrated today in the museums, art galleries and historical buildings found throughout the region. Solvang's rich heritage dates back to 1911 when adventurous Danish-Americans from the Midwest traversed the plains to establish a settlement in the golden state of California. Celebrating its Centennial in 2011, Solvang means "sunny field" in Danish.
Solvang was named by Orbitz Worldwide Travel as one of the "Top 5 US Domestic Destinations with International Flair." To appreciate Solvang's Danish heritage, visit the Elverhøj Museum of History & Art and the Hans Christian Andersen Museum . For more cultural diversity, visit the National Historic Landmark 1804 Old Mission Santa Inés and the Wildling Museum of Art & Nature .
Historical churches such as Bethania Lutheran embrace Danish architecture and public art such as the Little Mermaid fountain, numerous murals and Hans Christian Andersen bust. A replica of Copenhagen's famous 17th century Rundetaarn (Round Tower) is nestled behind one of the village's four large windmills that all enhance California's "Little Denmark." Be drawn into Scandinavian culture strolling the flower-lined streets or stepping into authentic bakeries, more than 150 unique shops and art galleries, restaurants and over a dozen wine tasting rooms. In 2009, Solvang was designated a national "Preserve America Community" award by First Lady Obama. As Danish tradition holds that the presence of a stork on a rooftop wards off lightning and brings good luck, you will see good fortune continues to smile on Solvang and all its visitors today.
Museums & California Missions
You will appreciate both the architectural and folk ambience of the cultural icons scattered throughout Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley. With the historical diversity of the Central Coast of California, from Danish history and heritage to motorcycles, California missions to natural history and nature art museums, to native American and western heritage to oil memorabilia, you are sure to find attention-grabbing places to visit.
603 Atterdag Road
Solvang, CA 93463
Bethania Evangelical Lutheran Church, dedicated in 1928, was built in the architectural style of country-region of Denmark's Bishop Grundtvig churches and features a wooden ship hanging from the nave. The public is welcome inside for tours and worship still today. To preserve and promote Danish culture, the founders constructed a Danish folk school and church (the building now houses Bit O'Denmark Restaurant, 473 Alisal Road; then built Atterdag College, which opened in 1914 and educated through 1970 (now the site of Solvang Lutheran Home, 636 Atterdag Road).
1624 Elverhoy Way Solvang , CA 93463 Phone: (805) 686-1211
Elverhøj Museum of History & Art is located in the village of Solvang in a historic hand-crafted structure built in a style derived from the large farmhouses of 18th century Denmark.
Visitors to Elverhøj Museum (pronounced el-ver-hoy) can view Solvang's history through photos, artifacts and video displays; enjoy exhibits celebrating the Danish-American pioneer spirit and the colorful heritage of Denmark; and stroll the attractive and spacious gallery which shows changing exhibitions of regional, national and international art and is a popular site for activities, events, and classes. There is no charge for admission; suggested donation is $5. Hours: Wednesday - Sunday: 11 am - 4 pm
1680 Mission Dr. Solvang , CA 93463 Phone: (805) 688-2052
The Hans Christian Andersen Museum is operated by the Ugly Duckling Foundation, a non profit organization established to foster public understanding and enjoyment of Hans Christian Andersen and his work. The Museum is located upstairs in The Book Loft Building. Open Daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 PM.
1760 Mission Drive Solvang , CA 93463 Phone: (805) 688-4815
Old Mission Santa Ines was the nineteenth of the 21 missions built in California from 1769 to 1836 by Spanish Franciscan priests led by Father Junipero Serra. The Mission was founded on September 17, 1804 by Father Estevan Tapis, it was the first European settlement in the Santa Ynez Valley. The Mission, which commands a superb view of the Santa Ynez River Valley and the Santa Ynez and San Rafael mountain ranges, continues its central role in the spiritual and social life of the Santa Ynez Valley as an active parish church of approximately 1,000 families, and is administered by the Capuchin Franciscan order. We hold regular religious services as well as special services for baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and funerals. The Mission staff conducts religious education classes, youth groups, and various programs for adults. Mission tours are available seven days a week 9 AM - 5 PM, enter through the Gift Shop to see the museum, church and gardens. Hours: 9am - 4:15 pm Daily (self guided tour)
320 Alisal Road Solvang , CA 93463 Phone: (805) 686-9722
The Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum is comprised of 95 of the most rare vintage and classic motorcycles that most will ever have the opportunity of viewing. We do not cordon the bikes behind rope, so you can get up close. Admission is $10 (cash only), children 10 and under are free with Parent or Guardian. We are open Saturday and Sunday 11-5 but if you want to visit during the week, just call the management office (805) 686-9522 and we will arrange to open the Museum. Hours: Call for Appt Only.
1511-B Mission Drive Solvang , CA 93463 Phone: (805) 688-1082
The Wildling Museum, where art and nature meet, offers visitors a unique perspective on the importance of preserving our natural heritage. Besides artful temporary exhibitions that celebrate nature both near and far, the Wildling permanently offers a look at local nature through a large wall mural of our magnificent Valley oak trees, surrounded by the wildlife found near them. Enjoy hands-on art and craft activities for the whole family, all part of your admission. Children 17 and under are always free! For more information, to volunteer and/or join as a member to support this important local arts and nature institution please visit www.wildlingmuseum.org , call 805-688-1082, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours: M,W-F, 11am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-5pm Tues-Closed
24 Zaca Street Buellton , CA 93427 Phone: (805) 689-2402
The Mendenhall Museum is a private collection located in California's beautiful Santa Ynez Valley. The museum has one of the west coasts largest petroliana collections including gasoline pumps, globes, and porcelain gas, oil, and road signs. There are also race cars, racing memorabilia, license plates, gas and oil items, and other miscellaneous antiques. This collection was started over fifty years ago by the late Jack Mendenhall and is carried on today by his son and daughter in law, Mark and Vickie. Because this is our residence, we are not open to the public. However, we will schedule private tours for individuals and clubs. We host special events, such as weddings, birthday parties, class reunions, family reunions, anniversary's, etc. We also have car and motorcycle club gatherings.
3596 Sagunto St. Santa Ynez , CA 93460 Phone: (805) 688-7889
Open Wednesday - Sunday from 12:00 - 4:00 p.m. The Santa Ynez Valley Historical Society Museum and Parks-Janeway Carriage House feature excellent exhibits and artifacts of historical significance to the Valley. The renown Carriage House is filled with over 35 horse drawn carriages, stagecoaches and buggies. Special changing exhibits, an early ranch life room, western tack, unique saddles, brands and artifacts of the California Vaquero tradition and more! Hours: Wed-Sun 12-4
Join us Wednesday-Sunday, March 14-18, 2018 for a unique experiential culinary weekend featuring Solvang farmers, chefs, bakers, winemakers, brewers, distillers and artisans showcasing the bounty of Santa Barbara wine country set amidst our quaint Danish town.
Taste your way through dozens of restaurants, cafes, bakeries, and wine and beer tasting rooms while you explore our authentic architecture, thatched roof cottages, old-world craftsmanship, traditional windmills and rich Danish heritage. From farm-to-table, rustic wine country cuisine to New American and modern Danish fare, to iconic sweets and award-winning beers, spirits and world-class wines, Taste of Solvang offers something for everyone! Sponsored by City of Solvang and Visit the Santa Ynez Valley.