"SOLVANG, AMERICA'S LITTLE DENMARK" Top 5 Page for this destination Solvang by travelgourmet
Solvang Travel Guide: 270 reviews and 682 photos
Most towns in the USA are made up from the people of the world. It is well known that everyone came to America, even the first person to step foot, maybe some thousands of years ago. Everyone came for different reasons, both good and bad, but they came and one of the main attractions for most, is the reminder of the home they left behind. It could be the lay of the land, from high mountain peaks, to rolling hills, to flat valleys, to the dry desert sands. Perhaps the sky overhead, or the crashing waves of an ocean in sight or within a short distance drew them to this new found land. To their descendants, it is the nest they call home. A reminder of their past and a fulfillment of a dream.
So too, is Solvang. Located in the rolling hills of the Santa Ynez Valley, only thirty-five miles from Santa Barbara, Solvang became home to the relocating Danes of Denmark. The replica windmills, the structure of the stores and homes, the food and the fun were all memories of the land of their forefathers. Founded in 1911 by Danish educators as a home for the center of a Danish academy, word spread and those of Danish ancestry came to this town of ideal weather and soil conditions for farming to reclaim their memories of Denmark. Here, the sights, sounds, and tastes were all Scandinavian.
But, today, the times are a changing. Oh, you can still see the quaint buildings, hear the Danish language, and taste the delightful foods of Denmark, but the movie "Sideways" made the area a wine destination and the Native American Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians added gambling, both new visitor destinations for the area. Tourists still flock to the town, but for different reasons. Oh, some families still enjoy the Danish flavor, but the spark is gone. Too many empty storefronts and lower revenue due to the influx of wine tasting rooms and the casino being the new kids in town that are drawing the crowds. Perhaps, and I trust the towns leaders of today will be able to fulfill the dreams of the founders, Solvang will merge the past with today and still be a great getaway with the spirit of Denmark sparkling in the eye of the beholder. The annual "Taste of Solvang Food and Wine Festival" helps keep that fire burning as the old blends with the new and the new realizes they need the old to keep the smile on the tourist. After all, this is a special town with a special need to keep the tourist happy.
- Pros:The feel of Denmark is still in the air.
- Cons:A tourist area that closes up too soon at night.
- In a nutshell:Charming, touristy, but looking for help.
Solvang nightlife. Well, not much. This is a day time tourist location. At night, they more or less roll up the carpet,... more travel advice
Walking is the way to see Solvang. So many little boutiques and quaint shops to browse through while making your way... more travel advice
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- 29 Reviews
- 148 Photos
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- 12 Comments
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