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Where to Stay, Eat and Drink in This Charming Danish Village—Just a 2-Hour Drive From Los Angeles

Written By: Taylor Gorski
Photography Provided By: Stiletto Marketing Solvang Itinerary

Tucked in the Santa Ynez Valley and surrounded by wineries is the unique, peaceful and one-of-a-kind storybook Danish Village of California—Solvang. Just over a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, transport yourself to this picturesque European town in the middle of the Golden State. With fantastic food choices, countless wine-tasting opportunities and the authentic Danish-style architecture surrounding you, Solvang is an ideal destination for your next weekend escape—especially since a flight to Europe isn’t in the books as of now. Plan a trip from Friday to Sunday afternoon and you’ll spend the perfect amount of time relaxing and resetting in Solvang. Welcome to your next getaway, “a little slice of Denmark in Southern California.”  

 

Stay & Dine Solvang Itinerary

For a modern stay, book a room at The Landsby, an innovative boutique hotel with the most stylish accommodations. The clean design, contemporary elements and Scandinavian aesthetic will have you wanting to move in! The rooms have been sealed with a sticker on each hotel door to ensure new guests it has been cleaned and sanitized. Each room is spacious—the Junior Suite is ideal for two people; it features a king bed, soaking tub, lower living room area and a courtyard patio. After you’re all checked in, head to on-site restaurant Mad + Vin (make sure you make a reservation!) for dinner and drinks. Sip on a Withered Passion or Blood Orange Bourbon Sour cocktail in the idyllic atmosphere. Chef Beto Huizar recommends the ceviche, flat-iron steak and roasted vegetable dish (vegan friendly!). Upon arriving back to your room with a full stomach, slip into one of the luxurious striped robes and enjoy a restful night’s sleep. 

For a more traditional stay, check out the Mirabelle Inn—another boutique hotel but with similarities to a cozy bed and breakfast. With only 12 guest suites, visitors are given exceptional service. Most rooms include a romantic fireplace and whirlpool tub, while every suite is accompanied with a bottle of complimentary Coquelicot wine. Whether you’re staying at the inn or elsewhere in Solvang, don’t miss out on dining at the impeccable First & Oak restaurant. The wine pairing with a selection from each menu section is an unmatched experience, providing fresh flavors from local ingredients. In 2019, First & Oak even received The Michelin Plate, making it the first-ever Michelin-named restaurant in Santa Ynez Valley.  

 

Breakfast Bites  Solvang Itinerary

 

For breakfast, or to satisfy a sweet tooth, walk on over to Birkholm’s Bakery. Birkholm’s Bakery is a Solvang staple—serving the town for 69 years, to be exact. Thomas Birkholm, the third-generation co-owner of Birkholm’s Bakery, currently runs the nook with his father and is set to take over the shop. He points out the photo on the wall next to the cookie tubs, “That photo is me as a little boy, my father and my grandfather all baking together.” 27 layers of deliciousness (aka butter and sugar) make up these sweet Danish pastries. Their cookie tubs make for a tasty souvenir to bring home to friends, neighbors or family! 

Stop by Good Seed Coffee Boutique on your next morning in Solvang for a local coffee—the coffee beans are roasted right in the Santa Ynez Valley! Order your favorite drink and a monkey bar packed with oats, nuts and chocolate chips for a boost of energy to get your day started. 

 

Around Town

Solvang is a quaint, quiet and walkable city. Whether you’re exploring by foot or cruising around in a rented Moke—an all-electric vehicle great for sightseeing—peruse through town, popping into local shops like the Jule Hus Christmas Shop, where it’s literally Christmas all year long. Play a round of golf on the beautiful River Course at the Alisal, explore Hans Christian Andersen Park or visit the neighboring towns of Los Alamos, Los Olivos and Santa Ynez as you drive through rolling green vineyards. Tasting rooms are plentiful throughout Solvang, and reservations can be made at different vineyards around the valley. 

Solvang Itinerary

Wine & Dine Solvang Itinerary

For a perfect mid-day pairing, visit Cailloux Cheese Shop and Crawford Family Wines; the two are next door to one another and share an outdoor patio. Both owners offer expertise and insight into the worlds of cheese and wine. Janelle Norman, cheese connoisseur and owner of Cailloux Cheese Shop, serves a variety of remarkable cheeses (from all over the world!) through gorgeous charcuterie boards, unbelievable grilled cheese sandwiches and, of course, mac and cheese. Wendy and Mark Horvath, owners of Crawford Family Wines, focus on cool-climate varietals, micro-producing pinot noir, chardonnay, syrah and Rhone. Cailloux Cheese Shop and Crawford Family Wines both exemplify extraordinary service and genuine kindness, which makes supporting these small businesses worth every penny.

 

Lastly, on your way out of town, stop by peasants FEAST for a filling, flavorful meal before hitting the road home. This new restaurant opened mid-pandemic—nobody has even enjoyed a meal inside yet—but owners Sarah and Michael Cherney have some very special things planned once it’s safe to do so. For now, sit out on the open-air patio; start with the heirloom tomato soup and an ice-cold beer. The mushroom tacos are some of the best vegetarian tacos, and the Solvang Hot Chicken Sandwich packs a punch of flavor. Chef Michael Cherney sources all of the ingredients from local farms in the area, and it’s apparent with the fresh flavors. End your trip in Solvang on a sweet note and order Nannie’s Frozen Lime Pie for dessert. 

Indoor dining is still not an option, but Solvang is a quintessential town for a memorable al fresco adventure (masks and social distancing still required). Enjoy your weekend out of the city and in this laid-back Danish town for a charming escape on the central coast of California.