Itineraries for a Solvang Walking Tour and two to four day itineraries for enjoying Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley.
Solvang Sample Tour Itineraries
A Solvang Walking Tour
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. Meander around the tidy, pedestrian-friendly village to enjoy flower-lined streets as well as 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 wooden storks perched on roofs—they are considered good luck in Denmark and in Solvang!
Savor a smorgaasbord to taste frikadeller (meatballs), medisterpolse (sausage), and other Danish favorites for lunch. A shopper’s paradise, Solvang’s streets are filled 150+ stores offering unique treasures, handmade lace, music boxes, clocks, jewelry, porcelain, and Danish arts & crafts. To learn more about Solvang’s heritage, visit the Elverhøj Museum of History & Art with its delightfully decorated period rooms; the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, or national historic landmark 1804 Old Mission Santa Inés and the latest exhibits at Wildling Museum of Art & Nature. Check out The Copenhagen House featuring The Solvang Amber Museum plus retailers featuring modern Danish décor, jewelry and furnishings.
Wine and dine your way through the village—there are a variety of cuisines to choose between—from Danish of course, to Italian, Asian and gourmet wine country fare. There are twenty-some wine tasting rooms and bars downtown (segments of the 2004 Oscar-winning movie Sideways were filmed in Solvang), so be sure to sample some of the local vintages. In the summer, take in a performance at the acclaimed PCPA Theaterfest at the 700-seat outdoor Solvang Festival Theater or a free concert in Solvang Park.
Four Days in Solvang & The Santa Ynez Valley
Stroll the European-style streets around the village of Solvang; hop aboard the historic horse-drawn Solvang Trolley for a tour or rent a “surrey cycle” to roll along and discover the city’s culture. Sample the Danish bakeries and foods and shop for art, antiques, gifts, clothing and shoes. Learn about history at the Elverhøj Museum of History & Art or the 1804 Old Mission Santa Inés and art & nature at The Wildling Museum. In the summer, enjoy professional theater productions under the stars from PCPA Theaterfest at Solvang Festival Theater. Year-round entertainment happens nearby at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez offering 24/7 gaming and weekly top-name concerts and entertainers.
Do some delicious wine touring and tasting throughout the Valley with more than 125 vineyards and tasting rooms to choose between. Go on your own or sign up for a limo, van, jeep or horseback tour with professional area guides. Have a picnic lunch in a vineyard or next to a waterfall at Nojoqui Falls County Park. Choose from dozens of dining options from farm-to-table or international cuisine.
Absorb local lore at the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum & Carriage House in Santa Ynez. Then, meander through wine tasting rooms, boutiques and art galleries of Los Olivos. Check out collectables and western history in Los Alamos (the vintage train depot is now an Antique Mall) and have lunch in a farm-to-table restaurant.
Bicycle country roads or take a short hike into the Los Padres National Forest. Tee off in style at The River Course at the Alisal or Rancho San Marcos Golf Course. Enjoy a guided nature cruise on Cachuma Lake or angle for fish from the dock. Relax and enjoy the sunset. Plan to return soon.