If you have ever wanted to visit a Danish village, you don’t need to stray outside of the United States. The US has its very own Danish town located in Solvang, California, and it’s a mere 45 minutes away from Santa Barbara.
For decades people have flocked to Solvang to get a glimpse and taste of this beautiful Danish village in California. There is much to do in this town of windmills, traditional Danish buildings, gabled roofs, friendly faces, unique events, and delectable Danish cuisine.
When staying at the Pea Soup Andersen’s Inn, you can explore this area and all it offers. After an action-packed day, visitors can enjoy a dip in the heated pool to re-energize for the next day of adventuring! But first, let’s see why you should explore Solvang’s Danish village.
Solvang Danish Village: The History Of This Region
Before we look at why you need to add this Danish village to your list of must-visit places, we want to detail its history.
Solvang was founded in the year 1911 by three Danish educators: Reverend J.M. Gregeren, Reverend Benedict Nordentoft, and Professor P.P Hornsyld. The founders wanted to establish a Danish community far away from harsh midwestern winters.
Solvang began as a small town on only 9,000 acres of land in the Santa Ynez Valley that these founders bought for an estimated $75,000. This land was formerly the Rancho San Carlos do Jonata, which begins northwest of Santa Barbara. This is why this town is only 45 minutes away from it and close to the historic Old Mission of Santa Ynez.
Shortly after acquiring the land, people showed interest in settling in Solvang—but it wasn’t a Danish village yet. Those who settled were attracted to the Danish church, folk school, and college that were created to promote and preserve Danish culture.
Only in 1946, after the end of WWII, did the town’s inhabitants decide to transform Solvang into a Danish village. The plan was to draw more tourists and help the town prosper. Shortly afterward, the entire town had a design overhaul. The city’s facade was then made to resemble a regular Danish village with Scandinavian architecture, features, and charm.
Its new design was so charming that people began flocking to the area to experience a slice of European life, and they haven’t stopped. Now more than a million people visit Solvang every year and book stays at Danish-inspired hotels like the Pea Soup Andersen’s Inn.
Why Should You Explore Solvang? – A Californian Danish Village
Now that you know a bit more about Solvang, we’ll share why you need to explore this Danish town in the US. Let’s dive in.
1. Danish Inspired Festivities
Each year in Solvang, there are many Danish-inspired festivities. This is unsurprising, considering the town is in a constant state of Christmas shenanigans.
For example, if you plan to book a stay during September, you’ll get to take part in the town’s signature events. These include the Solvang Danish Days. This festivity starts with a parade of horse-drawn wagons and spectacular Danish costumes.
There is also the Old World artisans marketplace that you can explore. This marketplace hosts Viking age re-enactments, and you can enjoy a beverage at the beer and wine garden. In addition, if you’re feeling peckish, you can compete in the Æbleskiver (pancake balls) eating contest. Nice!
2. Unique Danish Village Solvang Activities
Besides yearly festivities, there are also yearly activities in this Danish Village you can look forward to when you visit.
If you can’t decide, you can ask us at the Pea Soup Andersen’s Inn for advice, and we’ll point you in the right direction for your interests.
3. Food Tasting At The Taste of Solvang Annual Event
Traveling foodies will love the Taste of Solvang annual event. This event takes place every year in this California Danish Village. It’s usually the third weekend of March (so book with us in advance to ensure you don’t miss out).
You can look forward to a full weekend of Danish food tasting during this event. So wear your comfiest clothes and prepare yourself for the delicious delicacies you’ll enjoy as you go from stall to stall.
Some of the best bakers sell their wares at this event. So you’ll enjoy a taste of the sweet and savory and wonder why you have never tried Danish cuisine before!
4. Family Fun During Julefest
If you’re traveling as a family, December is the perfect time to book a stay in Solvang to enjoy the Julefest. During this season, everyone will experience the picturesque Danish-style Christmas. You can expect carolers, holiday-themed bites to eat, and many Christmess-oriented activities.
So be sure to have your camera ready to snap pictures of the town as you explore the Julefest activities. Some of the best include the Julefest Parade, Christmas Market Light Show, and Tree Lighting Ceremony.
5. Historic Insights At The Local Museums
History buffs will love that Solvang’s Danish Village has eight beautiful historical museums. If you choose to tour these museums, you will gain a much deeper understanding of the town’s history and Denmark’s culture. This will enrich your experience and make it more special.
If you’re staying for a few days, we recommend visiting The Hans Christian Andersen Museum. This museum celebrates the famous writer and his best works. We also think the Elverhoj Museum of History and art is worth visiting. It displays Solving’s history through photos, video displays, and artifacts.
Book A Stay At Pea Soup Andersen’s Today To Explore This Danish Village In Solvang
If you’re eager to explore a Danish village in Solvang, you must add Solvang to your list. This Danish town has much to do and is one of the best for solo travelers or family adventures.
All you need to do is book a stay in advance at the Pea Soup Andersen’s Inn to ensure you don’t miss out on any of the town’s much-anticipated events. Our inn is centrally located in the Santa Ynez Valley. We’re close to beaches, wineries, bakeries, the golf course, and hiking trails, so you’ll have convenient access to the best that Solvang has to offer.