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15 Things to Do in Solvang You Haven’t Thought of Yet
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15 Things to Do in Solvang You Haven’t Thought of Yet

Solvang is the ultimate destination if you long for international travel experiences within the Golden State.

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5 min read

March 03, 2021

The Santa Ynez Valley is home to a must-see gem for those who celebrate culture and authenticity—Solvang. The quaint Danish village is worth visiting, especially if you long for international travel experiences within the Golden State. Other than admiring the rustic windmills and the mesmerizing architecture, there are plenty of things to do in Solvang. Here are the best ones.

Must-See Solvang Attractions

No trip to Solvang is complete without fresh baked cookies, pastries, and aebleskivers.

Danish Bakeries and Restaurants

Make sure to get the most out of Solvang’s authentic cuisine. There are plenty of places to visit in Solvang on an empty stomach. A homely Scandinavian dish is a great start or  finish to your day. And don’t forget to try the notorious aebleskiver—these Danish donuts served with jam are the treat that’ll make you crave more.

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Hans Christian Andersen Museum

Step into this small fairy-tale house and peek into the infamous folktale writer’s life. The Hans Christian Andersen Museum (open under normal circumstances) houses exhibits and collections from the legendary author’s works and life. With classics such as The Ugly Duckling and The Little Mermaid, the Danish Shakespeare’s museum is worth paying a visit to whenever you’re in town. Don’t forget to stop by The Book Loft located below the museum and get your findings gift wrapped for free.

Built by the community in 1974, the Solvang Festival Theater has hosted around 200 theatrical productions and dozens of concerts.

Solvang Festival Theater 

Jazz concerts, plays, and many more events are enjoyed at this 700-seat outdoor amphitheater. If you’re looking for something exciting to do in Solvang, check out Solvang Festival Theater’s (open under normal circumstances) up-to-date event calendar to see what’s happening.

Things to Do In Solvang with A Family

Hans Christian Andersen Park 

This charming park is a great spot for people of all ages. You’ll find a skatepark, large slides, a music-making station with chimes, and even a rock-climbing wall. The large oak trees, picnic tables, and grassy alleys make a trip to this park one of the best things to do in Solvang with your family.

This wonder-filled place is a 33-acre breeding farm with big birds roaming around.

Ostrichland

An inexpensive and fun thing to do with kids in Solvang is feeding the ostriches and emus at Ostrichland. Who wouldn’t enjoy having an up-close experience with these wondrous birds? On your way out, buy fresh ostrich eggs and unique souvenirs to remind you of happy memories.  

Solvang Trolley Ice Cream Parlor

Whether or not you ride the Solvang Trolley, there’s no denying that their ice cream parlor is one the sweetest treats you’ll ever have. You’re destined to find a new favorite among their various seasonal and classic flavors (even sugar and dairy-free options). If ice cream isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry—Solvang fudge is the next best thing here. 

Escape Room

This small California town has a lot to offer, even an escape room so the whole family is entertained. Choose any of the three experiences at the Ultimate Escape Rooms in Solvang and enjoy 60 minutes of adventures with your family. Try solving all the puzzles as quickly as you can because there are so many more things to see in Solvang.

Solvang comes to life during the three-day festival with parades, concerts, and fun contests.

Solvang Danish Days

With folk dancers and musicians around town, this three-day annual festival allows you to get the full taste of Danish culture. The Solvang Danish Days festival (held under normal circumstances) has taken place for more than 80 years. It has entertained both visitors and townsfolk with parades, concerts, ceremonies, cooking, and eating contests. If you can’t make it in September, don’t sweat it—there are fun things to do in Solvang every month of the year. 

Solvang: Things to Do Next

Whatever you do, don't forget to buy souvenirs for your loved ones.

Gift Shopping

In the various specialty boutique stores in the town center, you'll find the perfect gift for a friend, family member, or yourself. Grab a straw hat from Hats Unlimited and a funky pair of socks from Sock Loft as a memory from your trip. 

Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum

There are things to do in Solvang, CA even for motorcycle aficionados. Take a peek at classic collections of rare motorcycles and European race bikes at the Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum. If you’re looking to buy a motorcycle, you just might be in luck—the museum regularly alters its collection and frequently has bikes for sale.

Elverhoj Museum of History and Art

This farmhouse replica built by Danish artist Viggo Brandt-Erichsen is home to Solvang’s heritage. Art exhibits tell the history of Danes in the United States and the Danish concept of "Janteloven", which means caring for and about each otherthe foundation of Solvang’s friendly spirit. The hand-crafted structure of the Elverhoj Museum (open under normal circumstances) captivates architecture enthusiasts due to its resemblance to 18th-century Danish farmhouses. 

Free Things to Do In Solvang

The Mission Santa Ines grounds are ideal for taking a break from your action-packed adventures.

Old Mission Santa Ines

Old Mission Santa Ines was established in the 19th century with an admirable exterior and a praiseworthy interior. Stroll through the gardens, explore the museum, and light a candle in the church. Whatever you do, don’t forget to check out the wonderful views of Santa Ynez River Valley and the nearby mountain ranges.

Things to Do Near Solvang

This seasonal waterfall drops nearly 100 feet over a sandstone wall.

Nojoqui Falls

Once you’ve had enough of Solvang’s attractions, feel free to explore the places nearby that have plenty of hidden gems worth discovering. Among the oak forest of Nojoqui Falls County Park, you'll find a waterfall cascading down the lush greenery.

The 10–minute hike to Nojoqui Falls is quite enjoyable. The soothing sounds of this 80–foot waterfall make the park a great spot to relax and unwind. Picnic tables, barbeque pits, and a playground are available in case you decide to spend more time at this spot.

Horseback Riding in Santa Ynez Valley

Add a little spice to your romantic getaway and take your special someone on a ride with Santa Ynez Valley Horseback Rides. Whether or not you know how to ride a horse, this experience is a must. Choose from a horse or a pony and enjoy the memorable ride along the flowing Santa Ynez River and the serene Santa Rita Hills canyon.

There's nothing quite as wonderful as experiencing Solvang from above.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

A hot air balloon ride above Santa Barbara is undoubtedly the most memorable thing to do near Solvang. Sky’s the Limit offers both morning and evening flights to soak in both sunrise and sunset views. Feast your eyes on the green meadows and vineyards of the spectacular Santa Ynez Valley.

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