2 hours to Los Angeles International Airport
Solvang is a city located in the Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara County, California. In 2010, the estimated population was 5,245. The city was founded in 1911 by a group of Danish citizens who headed west to begin a Danish colony far away from the harsh, midwestern winters. Solvang has sunshine most of the year with warm days and chilly nights.
Numerous bakeries, restaurants, and merchants line the streets of Solvang, offering a glimpse of Denmark in California. The architecture of many of the buildings is reminiscent to that of traditional Danish style. Solvang has become a major California tourist attraction due to its unique architecture, buildings in the style of Danish rural houses, which entice more than 1 million visitors each year.
Visitors delight in the Danish windmills, the Hans Christian Andersen and the Little Mermaid statues, the half-timbered houses, the Danish church, the Round Tower as well as the sounds of Danish music and folk dancing. Also popular are the numerous eateries and pastry shops serving Danish delicacies. A replica of a 19th-century Danish streetcar will take visitors around the downtown area.
There are two museums devoted to Danish culture and to one vintage bikes: The Elverhoj Museum, The Hans Christian Andersen Museum and The Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum, which displays bikes from the private collection of motor cross and road racing veteran Virgil Elings.
The 2004 Oscar-winning film Sideways was shot in the adjacent Santa Ynez Valley and filmed in Solvang. As a result, there has been an increase in wine tasting rooms in Solvang.