Solvang – a Hidden Gem in the U.S.
Memories are funny things; they hit you sometimes without any reason. This morning I was suddenly reminded of a road trip some years ago along Route 1 in the U.S. (naturally driving a Mustang!). We stayed in some unusual places and one of them was the Santa Ynez Valley near a small town called Solvang. Solvang is a most unusual town which replicates Danish architecture; having been founded by a group of Danish settlers back in 1911. If you are travelling anywhere near Santa Barbara this is certainly worth the detour. There is much to see and do in Solvang and a tour of the Mission Santa Ines museum is worth a stop as it has lots of local history. You will also be surprised by the number of windmills in the town as well as excellent bakeries!
We stayed in the Santa Ynez Inn which was an ‘olde worlde’ style clapperboard house with stunning decor and terrific food; this would be my suggestion for local accommodation. It is in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley wine country which boasts of a superb collection of boutique wineries; the antithesis of the big industrial Napa wine region. It definitely would remind you of France with smaller undulating fields and I can highly recommend the local wine. The local wine association gives a comprehensive listing of the local wineries that you can visit.
If you are thinking of a Route 1 American road trip this hidden gem would certainly rank as a highlight. For more exact information best to click on the local map.