Located in the scenic Santa Ynez Valley in California, Solvang is a beautiful wine country getaway featuring unique architecture, historic attractions, restaurants, antique shops and museums. Visit Old Mission Santa Ines, tour the Wildling Art Museum, see a performance at the Solvang Festival Theater, and admire vintage motorcycles at the Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum on your day trip or weekend getaway. Best things to do in Solvang with kids include Hans Christian Anderson Park, the Solvang Trolley and the Elverhoj Museum of History and Art.

1. Old Mission Santa Ines

Old Mission Santa Ines
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Old Mission Santa Inés is a beautifully restored Catholic Mission established in 1804 and one of the top Solvang attractions. Through its 210-year long history, the mission suffered natural disasters, financial hardships, political turmoil, social upheaval, a rebellion, decay and neglect before undergoing several bouts of restoration and repair and becoming one of the real gems of California Missions.

The mission was originally established to integrate the Chumash People of the Santa Ynez valley into the way of life of Spain. Today, Old Mission Santa Inés is the guardian of a rare collection of art - paintings, vestments, statuary, artifacts, and manuscripts.

The mission has an active parish, and you can come for a mass in English or Spanish or you can join a docent-led tour of the mission treasures. Dine at great Solvang restaurants.

1760 Mission Dr, Solvang, California, Phone: 805-688-4815

2. Solvang Festival Theater

Solvang Festival Theater
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The Solvang Festival Theater is a community-based theater dedicated to promoting and supporting quality live performing arts and entertainment. Built in 1974, the theater’s first performance was ‘Once Upon a Mattress’ and has been providing the community with outstanding theater shows, concerts and performances ever since.

The theater has also been used for a variety of fundraising concerts, including jazz and comedy festivals, featuring famous artists like Crosby and Nash, Bonnie Raitt, Jim Messina and Tommy Castro. If you are looking for unique things to do in Solvang with kids, family-friendly events at the theater include ‘Family Night at the Theater’ and the famous ‘Sunday Jazz in the Garden’ series. The beautiful theater has a range of modern facilities, including an outdoor 700-seat amphitheater, backstage dressing rooms, restrooms, and staging area and can be rented for private events.

420 2nd Street, Solvang, California, Phone: 805-686-1789

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3. Elverhoj Museum of History and Art

Elverhoj Museum of History and Art
© Elverhoj Museum of History and Art

The Elverhøj Museum of History and Art is dedicated to collecting, preserving and exhibiting Solvang’s rich history and Danish culture of arts and crafts, and is one of the best things to do in Solvang, California.

Housed in the former residence of one of Solvang’s most artistic families, the historic hand-crafted structure was built by Viggo Brandt-Erichsen. The Elverhøj Museum is a community-based museum that presents the colorful heritage of Denmark, the Danish-American pioneer spirit and the Danish devotion to the arts.

The building is a work of art in itself with elements of Scandinavian architecture, ornamental wrought ironwork and hand-painted panels and wood carvings.

The museum hosts a variety of exhibitions throughout the year, as well as education-based classes, arts and crafts workshops and Danish-influenced events for children of all ages. More day trips from San Francisco

1624 Elverhoy Way, Solvang, California, Phone: 805-686-1211

4. Wildling Museum of Art & Nature

Wildling Museum of Art & Nature
© Wildling Museum of Art & Nature

The Wildling Museum of Art & Nature was founded in 1997 by Artist and conservation advocate Patti Jacquemain with the aim of inspiring the community and visitors to value, conserve and enjoy wildlife and nature through art.

Using art as a tool to educate and inspire people to better understand and care for nature’s dwindling natural and wilderness areas, the Museum has hosted more than 40 highly successful art exhibitions, education programs, trips and tours and continues to do so today.

The Wildling Museum’s collection is small and diverse and features works by nature photographers such as Jeff Jones, Ines Roberts, Richard Salas and Roger Craton, as well as oil paintings by celebrated painter John Fery.

Other artists featured in the museum include Lockwood de Forest, Russell Chatham, Everett Ruess and Ray Strong.

1511-B Mission Drive, Solvang, California, Phone: 805-688-1082, (website link)

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5. Things to Do in Solvang: Hans Christian Andersen Museum

Things to Do in Solvang: Hans Christian Andersen Museum
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The Hans Christian Andersen Museum is dedicated to the understanding and enjoyment of the famous author Hans Christian Andersen and his world-renowned works.

Located on the upper level of the Book Loft Building, the Museum features an array of exhibits that document Andersen's life and work.

Exhibits explore the unrequited love he had for "the Swedish Nightingale" known as Jenny Lind, showcase models of his childhood home and characters from his books like "The Princess and the Pea" and display first and early editions of his stories.

Visitors to the museum can enjoy a variety of activities, including guided tours, mini-lectures and Hans Anderson parties and festivals.

1680 Mission Dr, Solvang, California, Phone: 805-688-2052

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6. Rusack Vineyards

Rusack Vineyards
© Rusack Vineyards

Nestled among the oak-dotted rolling hills of Ballard Canyon, Rusack Vineyards is a boutique winery and vineyard that produces world-class wines.

Owned by Geoff and Alison Rusack and managed by winemaker Steven Gerbac, Rusack Vineyards, whose label is a Catalina tile symbolizing ‘the beauty of what arises from blending craft, earth, art and family’ boasts a beautiful setting in which to enjoy picnics and wine tastings.

A contemporary tasting room features an extensive redwood deck constructed around four beautiful ancient oaks where visitors can taste some of the estate’s finest vintages against a backdrop of stunning vineyard views.

Relax on the oak-shaded deck while sipping Rusack’s award-winning handcrafted wines and enjoy a homemade picnic which can be ordered on site.

1819 Ballard Canyon Road, Solvang, California, Phone: 805-688-1278

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7. Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum

Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum
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Located in the former Solvang Designer Outlet Center, the Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum is home to a private collection of rare and vintage motorcycles and European race bikes.

Owned by Virgil Elings, the motorcycles in the museum are from his private collection, which took twenty years to put together and features a variety of rare and vintage models.

The museum features rotating exhibits every month to maintain constant change and is home to a selection of British, Japanese, European and American racing bikes from the 1900's until present day, with names like Ducati, BMW, Triumph, Gilera, and Velocette.

320 Alisal Road, Solvang, California, Phone: 805-686-9522, (website link)

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8. Things to Do in Solvang: Hans Christian Anderson Park

Things to Do in Solvang: Hans Christian Anderson Park
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Hans Christian Andersen was a great Danish writer of fairytales many of us grew up with. So, it is natural that you enter the park with his name through a fairytale castle gate.

The park is an enchanting world of fun for kids of all ages under the shade of huge live oak trees. If you are wondering what to do in Solvang with kids, this is a great place to visit.

There is a skate park for winter fun and just behind it a small playground for the little ones.

A few more playgrounds are scattered around, one of which features three levels that allow kids to climb all the way up and then slide into the soft grass.

There is a climbing wall for more adventurous children and a music-making machine that produces old-fashioned chimes just like in fairytales.

Parents can rest at one of many picnic tables scattered around the area. Make sure to stock up on wonderful Danish pastries before coming to the park; Solvang has several great options.

633 Chalk Hill Rd, Solvang, California, Phone: 805-688-7529

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9. Solvang Trolley & Carriage

Solvang Trolley & Carriage
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Take a step back in time and experience Solvang on a historic horse-drawn trolley ride through the streets of the town.

Owned and managed by the Orona family, the Solvang Trolley & Carriage offers visitors rides in a unique Danish conveyance known as a ‘Honen’ or trolley, which is pulled by two teams of healthy Belgian horses named Rita, Claire, Stella, and Coco.

Dressed up in traditional Danish attire, the Orona family takes guests past some of Solvang’s most famous landmarks, sharing their extensive knowledge and passion about the history of Solvang and the Santa Ynez Valley.

The horse-drawn trolley rides the same route daily, depending on traffic, can seat up to 20 riders and boasts fabulous wrap-around view of the sights.

Copenhagen Drive, Solvang, California, Phone: 805-794-8958

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10. Things to Do in Solvang: Lincourt Vineyards

Things to Do in Solvang: Lincourt Vineyards
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Tucked away in the hills between the towns of Buellton and Lompoc in Santa Barbara County, Lincourt Vineyards, is a family-owned and operated wine estate that produces, markets and distributes highly-acclaimed handmade wines.

Owned by the Foley Family, the winery overlooks the Alamo Pintado Vineyard in the Santa Ynez Valley and is surrounded by rolling lawns and vineyards, beautiful gardens and picnic grounds, making it the ideal base for a day of wine tasting and relaxing.

One of the old farmhouses from the estate’s dairy farm days has been converted into a rustic and charming tasting room where visitors can sample the liquid delights of the winery.

Lincourt uses sustainable methods for farming, winemaking, and business practices and produces some of the country’s finest wines.

1711 Alamo Pintado Road, Solvang, California, Phone: 805-688-8554

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11. Ostrichland USA

Ostrichland USA
© Ostrichland USA

Ostrich Land USA is a unique family attraction where visitors of all ages will enjoy getting to know some pretty unusual birds. The farm is home to around 100 ostriches and emus which hail from Africa and Australia respectively.

They are huge flightless birds – ostriches are the largest birds on the planet.

At Ostrichland, these captivating birds are raised to be friendly to the public and have been taught to eat from a bowl – visitors are invited to feed them and spend some time observing their interactions and antics.

If you would like to see baby birds you need to visit during the spring/summer months. The Ostrichland store stocks a wide range of ostrich related products and souvenirs.

Ostrichland USA, 610 E. Hwy 246, Solvang, CA 93463, 805 686 9696

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12. Alisal Ranch

Alisal Ranch
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Conveniently located just 30 minutes from Santa Barbara, the Alisal Ranch is an ideal base for exploring the wonderful Santa Inez Valley and more than 120 vineyards.

However, there are so many wonderful recreational activities available at the ranch that you will find it hard to tear yourself away.

Imagine having to choose between 2 championship golf courses, rugged riding and hiking trails, tennis courts, archery, cycling and a spring-fed lake.

The ranch covers over 10,500 acres of pristine landscape which beckons adventure seekers to get out and active.

Should you prefer a more relaxing visit you can laze around the pool, have a relaxing massage or enjoy a quiet day of fishing on the lake.

Alisal Ranch, 1052 Alisal Road, Solvang, CA 93463, 805 693 4208

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13. Solvang Antiques

Solvang Antiques
© Solvang Antiques

Located in the heart of the shopping village on Copenhagen Drive, Solvang Antiques is the Santa Ynez Valley’s largest and most prestigious antique shop and features a variety of hand-curated antique and vintage decorative and specialty items.

Owned by Dwight and Arlene Steffensen, the world-renowned store has something for serious collectors and casual browsers alike from porcelain, cut glass and silver to estate jewelry, fine art, and sculpture.

Solvang Antiques offers a computerized inventory control system with dealers around the world sourcing the best pieces, knowledgeable and service-oriented staff and a worldwide delivery service.

The store is also home to the Solvang Antiques Fine Art Gallery, which boasts over a thousand square feet of fine antique art and revolving exhibits of contemporary artworks from the Judith Hale Gallery.

1683 Copenhagen Dr Suite B, Solvang, CA 93463, Phone: 805-686-2322

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14. Blackjack Ranch Vineyards and Winery

Blackjack Ranch Vineyards and Winery
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Located on Alamo Pintado Road in the Santa Ynez Valley, Blackjack Ranch Vineyards and Winery is an award-winning wine estate that produces varietals of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Chardonnay.

Owned by Roger Wisted, the Ranch is named after he won a game of Blackjack which enabled him to pursue his lifelong dream of planting a vineyard and building a winery.

The winery produced its first vintage in 1997 and the Tasting Room opened two years later, allowing visitors to taste and experience the excellent wines produced by the farm.

Designed with a California-rustic feel, the tasting room features a temperature-controlled wine cellar which houses wines from California and France that date back 60 years and a bar that was built from a salvaged bowling alley lane from the old Solvang Bowling Alley.

2205 Alamo Pintado Road, Solvang, CA, Phone: 805-686-9922

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15. Eat This Shoot That Food and Photo Tours

Eat This Shoot That Food and Photo Tours
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Perfect for couples on a romantic getaway, Eat This Shoot That is a very unique food and photo travel tour operator offering unique experiences in some of the most beautiful areas of California.

This company got its start back in 2012 and has swiftly established as one of the most exciting and original tour operators in the Golden State, providing guests with the opportunity to meet local people and tour some of the best dining locations in the area while also getting some top food and travel photo tips along the way, making magical memories in the mind and through your camera or smartphone.

All you need to bring along on an Eat This Shoot That tour is a smartphone or camera to snap some photos and a good appetite to enjoy the snacks along the way.

Eat This Shoot That offers several different tour options for every guest to enjoy. eatthisshootthat.com

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16. Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard

Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard
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Set amidst the beauty of Santa Barbara County's Santa Ynez Valley, Buttonwood Farm Winery and Vineyard is a spectacular 39-acre vineyard that is home to over 33,000 vines.

Founded by Betty Williams as a working farm based on good farming practices for people, animals, and the earth, Buttonwood Farm began planting vines in 1983 and now produces an array of whites and reds, from the small special release of Grenache Blanc to the distributed bottles of Cabernet Franc.

The farm is surrounded by homegrown bounty from the earth, including summer vegetables, olives, peaches, pomegranates and herbs, and visitors can enjoy sampling the fine wines to be produced from this little slice of heaven with a classic wine tasting in the tasting room or in the gardens with a picnic.

1500 Alamo Pintado Road, Solvang, CA, Phone: 805-688-3032

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17. Solvang Taxi and Wine Tours

Solvang Taxi and Wine Tours
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Explore the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley without the stress of having to drive yourself with a Solvang Taxi and Wine Tour. Locally owned and operated, Solvang Taxi and Wine Tours offers first class taxi services, customized private wine tours, exclusive wedding transportation and delivery service throughout the region.

Boasting expert knowledge on local wineries, restaurants, hotels, and attractions in the greater Santa Ynez Valley, this ‘transport concierge’ company will take you to your destination safely and securely.

Venture to a few of the valley’s excellent wine estates for a day of wine tasting, enjoy a game of golf at the Alisal Guest Ranch Resort golf course, or spend the day fishing on Lake Cachuma.

Solvang Taxi and Wine Tours also offers airport transfers in luxury, air-conditioned vehicles.

Phone: 805-686-8294

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18. Things to Do in Solvang: Rideau Vineyard

Things to Do in Solvang: Rideau Vineyard
© Rideau Vineyard

Founded in 1997 by Iris Rideau, a native from New Orleans, Rideau Vineyard is an award-winning wine estate dedicated entirely to Rhône grape varietals.

Located on Alamo Pintado Road, the winery is surrounded by majestic oak trees, manicured gardens and lush landscapes, all of which contribute to the old world French Victorian feel of the estate.

Visitors to the wine estate can enjoy tastings of the wines produced on the farm, as well as highly popular Creole-inspired dinners hosted by Iris, with each dish paired with a Rhône varietal from the estate.

Growing in prestige and acclaim over the past fifteen years, Rideau Vineyard remains dedicated to a small production and no distribution.

1562 Alamo Pintado Road, Solvang, CA, Phone: 805-688-0717

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19. Bethania Lutheran Church

Bethania Lutheran Church
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Bethania Lutheran Church was completed in 1928 for the Danish-American Lutheran congregation that settled in Solvang.

The building was designed to resemble a typical rural Danish church with a model of a ship hanging from the ceiling in the sanctuary.

The ship serves as a symbol of a safe haven that church offers on the turbulent sea of life.

Jes Smidt from Luck, Wisconsin crafted the beautiful woodwork you can see today at the altar, baptismal font, pulpit, altar railings, and pastor’s chair.

The church is rich in beautiful statuary and religious art and is considered the most authentic replica of Danish architecture in Solvang.

603 Atterdag Rd, Solvang, CA, Phone: 805-688-4637

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20. Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards

Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards
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Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards is a world class winery based in Solvang, a quaint Danish village near Santa Barbara. The winery relies on grapes from their 400-acres estate in Santa Barbara. They produce three major labels of wine, and have two charming, popular tasting rooms in Solvang.

Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards sell their wines in twenty five states and fourteen countries.

Visit their tasting room in downtown Solvang to fully experience Lucas & Lewellen wines, which include full-bodied reds, refreshing whites, popular port, and, of course, sparkling wine.

It is very likely that you will be served by the owners Royce Lewellen and Louis Lucas who love to talk about their wine and entertain visitors with stories about wine making life and the secrets of making great wines.

1645 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang, CA, Phone: 805-686-9336

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21. Dascomb Cellars Tasting Room

Dascomb Cellars Tasting Room
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Winemaker Dave Dascomb will tell you that exceptional wines are made by using established farming practices, having a lot of patience during harvest, and having a lot of passion for making wine. He is evidently doing something right, since Dascomb Cellars boutique winery is thriving.

The winery’s estate vineyard East Valley Vineyard was established in 1974 and is among the oldest in Santa Barbara County.

You can taste Dascomb label at their charming, old-fashioned tasting room in downtown Solvang.

The warm interior creates a cozy club atmosphere, and people tend to linger over their wines especially when they are paired with just the right cheeses.

Dascomb tasting room participates in Solvang’s famous Third Wednesday festival’s Wine and Beer Walk.

1623 Mission Dr Suite E, Solvang, CA 93463, Phone: 805-691-9175

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22. Things to Do in Solvang: Seein' Spots Farm

Things to Do in Solvang: Seein' Spots Farm
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Located in the scenic Santa Inez Valley, just 30 miles north of Santa Barbara, the Seein’ Spots family farm is devoted to breeding miniature donkeys and mules and to providing a sanctuary for other rescued animals.

Visitors are always welcome to stop by the farm (by appointment please!) to learn about these intelligent and affectionate animals.

Younger children can ride the little donkeys while the rest of the family can have fun watching their antics and getting to know them.

The farm also provides a home for many other rescued animals including goats, sheep, pigs, ducks and many other interesting animals and birds.

Seein’ Spots Farm, 2599 Baseline Ave, Solvang, CA 93463, 805 688 2275, (website link)

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23. Paula's Pancake House

Paula's Pancake House
© Paula's Pancake House

Located in the Danish-themed village of Solvang, in the heart of the Santa Inez Valley, Paula’s Pancake House has been a popular eatery specializing in Danish pancakes and waffles, since 1986.

The restaurant has been so successful over the decades that it has become something of a local legend; visitors return time and again to enjoy what is widely considered to be the best breakfast in the valley.

Although the pancakes and waffles are clearly the most popular items on the menu, you can also enjoy more traditional American breakfast and lunch dishes like Eggs Benedict, French toast, eggs your way and a large selection of omelets as well as salads, soups and burgers for lunch.

Paula’s Pancake House, 1531 Mission Drive, Solvang, CA 93463, 805 688 2867

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24. The Ultimate Escape Rooms

The Ultimate Escape Rooms
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These days, just about every little town in America has an escape room. You can find out what all the excitement is about when you book your own escape room experience at the Ultimate Escape Rooms in Solvang.

Essentially, you and your friends or family (usually 2-8 people) will be locked into a themed room for one hour. There will be multiple clues and riddles to solve in order to make your escape before your time runs out.

Come and find out if you have what it takes to beat the rooms. You can choose from 3 different themes including Gold Fever, the Phantom of the Big Top or the Mischievous Nisse.

The Ultimate Escape Rooms, 4485 Allsal Rd, Solvang, CA 93463, 805 857 0777

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