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Solvang, a small Danish town nestled in the Santa Ynez Valley of southern California.
A Danish-American settlement founded at the turn of the 20th century, Solvang stands as a bright reminder of the impact immigration has had on the American landscape. The Danish-Americans responsible for its establishment sought to embody the American lifestyle while preserving and promoting Danish culture. Seemingly a world away, the town is a significant getaway in its celebration of the beauty that emerges from the diverse intersections of global culture.
When to go?
If you’re after sunshine and fewer crowds, spring and autumn are the best times to visit the town and its surrounding valleys.
Who to take with you
Your foodie friends. Alongside the town’s offerings of traditional Danish food, Solvang lies in the middle of Santa Ynez Valley wine country; head to a nearby vineyard for a unique grape-to-glass wine tasting experience.
Most likely to bump into?
The windmills, thatched roofs and timber architecture are impossible to miss as you walk down the streets that look as though they were plucked out of Denmark and plopped into the hills half a world away.
Two words: Danish. Pancakes. We suggest heading to Ellen’s Danish Pancake House, a diner-style restaurant that will make you feel right at home among the locals (go for the Danish sausage pancakes for the perfect balance of sweet and savoury).
An essential to bring with you
A hefty appetite; you’ll want to arrive ready to take advantage of the countless bakeries, restaurants and local food market offering a wide range of traditional Danish treats.
How to get there
Drive along the San Marcos Pass from Santa Barbara. Make sure to have working air conditioning in the car – the temperature rises significantly as you head into the mountain pass and away from the coast.
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