As with everything else in 2020, Solvang’s 84th Annual Danish Days Celebration has been cancelled. BUT you refuse to let that stop you from your “Dane for a day” experience in the quaint little village that is Solvang. Well hope is not lost; The Good Life is here to help with some suggestions for a BYODD. So, get your bags packed and get ready to celebrate like a Viking!
There are over 700 hotel rooms in the village of Solvang so getting a room shouldn’t be a problem, it just depends on what experience you are looking for.
Danish Modern Luxury – The Landsby
Danish Modern Simplicity – The Hamlet Inn or their sister property, The Atterdag Inn
Wine Country experience – Wine Valley Inn
Historic Vacation Rental (group experience) – Delfin Huset
A true Dane knows that starting each day with breakfast is the most important thing. The Danes take breakfast pretty seriously, leaving plenty of time to make sure that it's a slow, mindful experience. Here in Solvang there are so many options that you can change it up each day of your visit and then some. Solvang has 5 authentic Danish bakeries alone!
You can start with a coffee and fresh baked Danish at Birkholm’s Bakery and Café. Thomas Birkholm is a third generation baker and has been in operation for over 69 years or
Olsen’s bakery is 2nd generation and just celebrated their 50th Anniversary. Owner and head Baker Bent Olsen took over from his father who actually got his start at Birkholms!
Stop in at Solvang Restaurant and enjoy a hearty breakfast fit for a Viking with Danish Pancakes, Rye bread and Medisterpølse (Danish sausage).
An afternoon break and snack is a must to keep your energy up so head over to Arnie’s Famous walk up window at Solvang Restaurant and place your order for traditional Ableskiver which is a around "pancake like" pastry topped with berry jam and powdered sugar normaly served during the holiday's but in Solvang you can get it year round and no Solvang trip is complete without it.
Ingeborgs World Famous handmade Danish Chocolates have been in business for 50 years and the selection is almost endless. Don’t forget to pick up a few boxes to take home to friends.
Over at Danish Mill bakery you can grab a tub (or two) of fresh baked Danish Butter Cookies to take home to remember your trip.
Copenhagen Sausage Garden is the stop for a great selection of house made sausages and you can cool off with a beer or two. Order it in a stein and host your own competition to see who can hold their full stein up the longest. Loser pays the bill!
If you are looking for true, authentic Danish fare, we suggest the historic, Bit O’ Denmark. The inside has been recently remodeled but the building was the original Danish Folk school in Solvang and one of our oldest buildings built in the early 1900’s.
Now, eating “like” the Danes is different than eating traditional Danish fare. Danish dining culture is seasonal, farm to table fare, sourcing the finest local ingredients at their peak of freshness. So, to eat in true Danish style with a local flare, look no further than Mad & Vin at The Landsby hotel. Their menu is fresh, local, and seasonal. The hotel was built in 1984 and was formerly the Peterson Village Inn and has been remodeled with a fresh Danish Modern look.
Wine AND Beer Tasting
While wine isn’t really a Danish thing (except for sweet cherry wine), it is a Santa Ynez Valley thing. Some of the best wines in California are grown and produced right here in the Santa Ynez Valley and there are over 14 unique tasting rooms in Solvang!
I did say beer tasting right?! Head on over to The Good Life (shameless plug but it is our newsletter after all!) where you can sit and relax on the patio with a Craft Beer and local, Wine. We are the ONLY location in Solvang that has a selection of outstanding Danish Craft beer and Danish wine as well as having the largest selection of local, small production wines and California Craft Beer in the Santa Ynez Valley. You’ll want to leave room in your luggage as we’re sure you will want to stock up on some of these great selections to take home with you.
So many things to do! You could rent a Surrey and bike your way through the village, you could hop on the historic Solvang Trolley for an authentic guided tour or you could rent a MOKE (these new fancy electric vehicles that look like jeeps) and drive around the valley taking in the sites on your own.
Now that you know the layout, it’s time to hit the streets and check out all the amazing shops in Solvang. First stop should be the HAT shop to grab your Viking helmet or head across the street and pick up your very own traditional Danish attire. Some of our shop owners have been here in business for over 50 years, like Max over at Solvang Shoe Store (2nd generation!), here you can pick up your very own pair of authentic Danish Clogs. Don’t forget to take your picture in front of the giant Clog that sits outside the shop.
Tour the Elverhoj Museum. If you want to know the true history of Solvang, you need to visit Esther at the Elverhoj. Give yourself a couple of hours to walk through this historic home and don’t forget to visit the gift shop and art gallery.
Copenhagen House. This amazing shop isn’t just a store filled with some of the finest imported Danish designs it’s also the home of our Amber Museum and of course LEGO’S! You did know they were Danish didn’t you?!
Now, I know this isn’t everything and you probably didn’t even get through half of our adventure because you probably hit The Good Life and decided that was enough. We completely understand, it's your Danish Days so you do you! There is plenty of fun to be had in Solvang so stay another night or come back to visit us again. The Official Danish Days Celebration will return in 2021 so make your plans now and keep that weekend clear. Let’s see if they can do as good a job as you did with your own BYODD adventure. Until then, visit us any time, we are right here and have a seat ready for you. Skol!