Feel as though you've been transported to Denmark when you visit the city of Solvang, California. There are a handful of places in the United States that look like you've traveled across the globe and Solvang is certainly one of those places. It has its charm and quaintness that makes you feel like you're either in a romance film or about to be in one. Make the trip! Whether you venture to a couple wine tasting rooms or want to learn about Danish culture, there are plenty of things to do in Solvang, California.

Solvang is a small Danish city in Santa Barbara County, California. It's nestled in the Santa Ynez Valley and often referred to as "The Danish Capital of America" or Little Denmark. Drive or stroll down Copenhagen Drive to get a feel of the Danish village. Solvang has bakeries, wineries, and just about anything you need to feel like you've teleported out of the United States for a few hours. 

Things to Do in Solvang, CA Carmen Varner food beverage travel writer from San Diego

When you visit Solvang, CA you might see notable Danish icons such as Little Mermaid Statue Fountain, five windmills, the big red clog, as well as the Round Tower.

Did you know that the word "solvang" in Danish translates to "sunny field" in English?


Food lovers will thoroughly enjoy tasting their way through Solvang, California. Find foods and Danish bakeries in abundance. It feels like you're getting a taste of Denmark with options like Danish pancakes and pastries.

There's a lot of food and Danish delights to munch on. Make sure to try Æbleskiver (Aebleskiver) which are round sphere-shaped pancake balls. The name literally translates into "apple slices." 

Cafe Dolce Belgian Café Big Bopper Drive-In if you're in the mood for a 50s-style drive-in with both indoor and patio seating. Birkholm’s Bakery & Cafe, Cecco Ristorante for rustic Italian cuisine, Copenhagen Sausage Garden, Mortensen’s Danish Bakery, Pho 805 for Vietnamese food, and much more. Learn more about food, restaurants, and eateries on the Solvang website

Things to Do in Solvang, CA Carmen Varner food beverage travel writer from San Diego

Full List of Restaurants and Eateries in Solvang, CA

Cafe Dolce, Belgian Café, Big Bopper Drive-In, Birkholm’s Bakery & Cafe, Bit O’ Denmark Restaurant, Brekkies, Cailloux, the Solvang Cheese Shop, Cecco Ristorante, Chomp Burgers, Fries and Shakes, Copenhagen Sausage Garden, Danish Mill Bakery, Domino’s Pizza, First & Oak Restaurant at the Mirabelle Inn, Fitzpatrick’s Tavern, Good Seed Coffee Boutique, Mad and Vin at the Landsby, Mortensen’s Bakery, Old Danish Food Farm/Fudge Kitchen, Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery, Osteria Grappolo, Panino for sandwiches, Paula’s Pancake House, peasants FEAST, Pho 805, Ramen Kotori, Red Viking Restaurant, Silk Roads Kitchen - Mediterranean Flavors, The Solvang Bakery, Solvang Brewing Company, Solvang Restaurant, Subway, Succulent Cafe, The Coffee House by Chomp, Toscana Pizzeria, Tower Pizza, Viking Garden Restaurant, California Tacos, Leonardo’s Ristorante & Pizzeria, New Frontier’s Natural Foods & Deli, River Grill Restaurant & Bar, Taco Roco, A J Spurs, Ballard Inn Restaurant, Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Hitching Post II, Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Cafe.

Wine Tasting

Downtown Solvang, California hosts around 20 wine tasting rooms for you to choose from. Santa Ynez Valley offers delicious wines, wine tastings, wine bars, as well as craft beer from Solvang, Buellton, Ballard, Los Alamos, Los Olivos and Santa Ynez. There are more than 120 wineries in the vicinity. Check the events for wine tasting events in the Santa Ynez wine country. You can do a wine tasting tour by walking to a couple places! 

The Oscar-winning film "Sideways," starring Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, and Sandra Oh, was filmed almost entirely on-location throughout Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley. Get a sample of the local Santa Ynez Valley wineries while you're in the area and head to a wine tasting room.

Solvang CA California Danish Village Novelty Souvenir T-Shirt. Shop it on Amazon.

Boutique Shopping

Exit through the gift shop! Whether you're on the hunt for a good antique at A Piece of the Past Antique and Vintage Mall or want to check out t-shirts at Copenhagen T’s & Gifts, there are plenty of shops and boutiques in Solvang Village. 

Solvang has a bustling range of businesses ready for you to patronize. Shops include Book Loft, Edelweiss (collectible dolls, jewelry, and other gifts), Mole Hole, Old Danish Food Farm/Fudge Kitchen, Pavlov Art Gallery, Solvang Shoe Store, Inc. and much more. You can find a gift for everyone. Learn more on the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau website.

Things to Do in Solvang, CA Carmen Varner food beverage travel writer from San Diego


As you explore Solvang, CA take some time to dive into a museum or two. Whether you're into rare and vintage motorcycles or want to visit exhibits to understand more about the Danish-American spirit, you'll want to check out these museums and historical spots. You'll find that the Solvang attractions keep you interested with every turn. 

Museums and things to see in Solvang:

  • Bethania Lutheran Church
  • Elverhoj Museum of History & Art (Elverhøj Museum of History Art)
  • Hans Christian Andersen Museum
  • Old Mission Santa Ines
  • Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum
  • Wildling Museum of Art and Nature
  • Mendenhall Museum
  • Solvang Amber Museum - The Copenhagen House (Temporarily closed)
  • Santa Ynez Valley Historical Society Museum & Parks Janeway Carriage House


Depending on when you visit, there might be some fun events and things to do in Solvang, CA. There are events like Solvang Julefest, Solvang Grape Stomp, and Solvang Danish Days depending on the time of year you visit. 

Dowdle Jigsaw Puzzle - Solvang Danish Village - 1000 Piece. Find it on Amazon.

Solvang Festival Theater

Support local arts at the Solvang Festival Theater, where you can see all kinds of shows, plays, musicals, and more. From June to September, Solvang Festival Theater is home to the professional theater company, PCPA. The rest of the year, it's a venue for a range of events and concerts such as the haunted house in October and the Julefest Nativity Pageant in December. 

Things to Do in Solvang, CA Carmen Varner food beverage travel writer from San Diego

Outdoor Activities

As you traipse your way through Solvang, CA, soak in the wonderful California temperature with some outdoor activities. 

Hans Christian Andersen Park

Drive through the castle arch as you enter Hans Christian Andersen Park. It feels a bit majestic filled with oak trees. Find a rock climbing wall, a little skate park, slides, a playground, and more.

When you come to Solvang, California, the immediate thought is that it's a cute little Danish town, and that it is. But it also has so much history and intrigue to discover, whether it's at the Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum, Solvang Festival Theater, or as you sip your way through delicious wine or pastries.

Stop by for a Danish from one of the local bakeries and walk about the town. You'll feel like you took a journey into Europe. Learn about Danish art and history at the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, or as you visit Old Mission Santa Ines. There are so many things to do in Solvang to stay full and entertained as you take in the Danish architecture. What's your favorite thing to do in Solvang?