Thanks to social media, we’re always discovering places and things we would otherwise not know exists. One of my recent discoveries from Instagram was a little city by Santa Barbara called Solvang in the Santa Ynez Valley. This adorable little town gets its inspiration from an actual town in Denmark. My best friend was coming over from Vegas since she had a tattoo appointment and had a few days off so we decided to make the best of it and plan a little adventure to visit this quaint place. I saw yummy Danish pastries, windmills, and lots of places to take photos all over social media so we booked a night and planned out our short trip.
It was about a three hour drive from San Bernardino to Solvang and we arrived around 3pm just in time for check in. We had scoured through Booking.com and found a place called the Wine Valley Inn which had awesome reviews and was beautifully decorated with the perfect walking distance to the rest of the town. We spent $132.75 for the Chateau King room for the night and split the cost. As soon as we opened up our car doors and looked at our mini home for the night, we were in awe of how pretty the place was. The exterior was gorgeous with a clock tower in the lobby area. The room was spacious with high vaulted ceilings and a beautiful walk in shower. There was plenty of space for the two of us and had a cottage like charm.
Luckily we arrived while it was still light out so we checked in, dropped off our luggage and decided to explore a little bit before our dinner reservation. We were able to gauge where our hotel was to the rest of the shops and restaurants and everything was within walking distance. This was the first day when Governor Newsom had set curfew in certain counties and with everything closing earlier, we had to make haste.
We took notes of where we would visit the next morning since the sun was setting and our dinner time was near. We made a reservation set for Bit O’Denmark since we wanted to experience as much of Danish culture as possible while we were here and this place did not disappoint! They are known as the oldest establishment in the town. Since indoor dining had been closed for sometime in California, we were directed to the outdoor patio seating which was still somewhat indoor since it was enclosed by some walls. It was warm enough for me to take off my coat. The waiter (who was also the bartender) took our drink orders: the watermelon mojito and a gin & tonic. The drinks hit the spot and they were strong, we only needed one each! We devoured the free bread they gave us and definitely had seconds, maybe thirds. As for our entrees I ordered the Seafood Linguine Pasta and Ayesha had the Combination plate to sample the different Danish meats. Both were so good and we finished everything on our plates. Good meat, pasta, and drinks? What more could you want from dinner?
After finishing our meal we decided to roam around looking for dessert. We stumbled upon a place called Cafe Dolce that had everything from coffee to pastries to acai bowls and smoothies. I decided to get the caramel latte which was divine in the cold weather and Ayesha got a refreshing acai pitaya bowl. We headed back to the hotel since it was dark and everything was pretty much closed. Ayesha was loving her outfit for the night and felt like it was a waste to take off her makeup so we decided to take some pictures in our hotel room.
We planned where we would go the next morning since we had to get breakfast, check out, and try to squeeze in a wine tour before we had to leave for Long Beach. We spent the rest of the night in bed with our dessert watching movies until we fell asleep. We woke up around eight in the morning, got ready, shot some pictures for some of my brand collabs, and walked to Olsen’s Danish Bakery to get the quintessential pastry: the Danish of course! We got there just in time as a line started to form behind us. In front of us was a HUGE lineup of delicious pastries and treats to choose to your heart's content. Once we were inside, my short self tried my best to call out the items I wanted. I got danish pastries in almost every flavor, some cookies, and some pistachio bars YUM! I loved how they weren’t too sweet and got a bunch to share with my family back home. Olsen’s was next to a few restaurants that were packed with p eople having brunch outdoors that we swore we would try next time we came. We definitely got our fill of sweets and headed to drop off our goodies and finish packing to check out. We totally forgot about the continental breakfast the hotel provided and stopped by to get some. It was so delicious! We were not expecting the hot breakfast with so many options with coffee and tea. It was hands down one of the best hotel breakfasts we’d had in a long time.
Once we had an outfit change and loaded everything in our cars, we tracked down the famous windmill that everyone and their mothers were taking pictures in front of. The deeper we got into the town center, the more it felt like we were walking the streets of Denmark.
After what seemed like a bajillion photos, we found a wine tasting a few blocks away. The Sanger Family Winery was having a two for one deal so we only had to pay $20 for both of us to a complete flight of red and white wines! It was quite the deal. The wine was pretty tasty but nothing that we were completely obsessed with for us to buy a bottle to take home. We have this thing where every time to go to a winery we try to buy at least one bottle because one time in Temecula, we had this AMAZING port wine and didn’t buy so we super regret it to this day.
We were in Solvang for about 24 hours and absolutely loved every minute of it. We went in the last week of Novermber so seeing the remnants of the changing leaves was an absolute dream. If you want to enjoy fall colors I would recommend going a week or two earlier. Everything was kept clean and safely distanced from other people and we wore masks whenever we were out. I think since we stayed on a Monday night, the entire town was pretty empty and we were able to be away from crowds of people. If you are looking for a quick little getaway and want to feel like you’re in Europe, I highly recommend Solvang as your next destination. Next time we will be back for longer because 24 hours is just not enough for this cute little town.