So let me start off by saying that originally, because I couldn’t find a hotel that wasn’t already booked up, one of my girlfriends and I decided that we were just going to drive up for the day and explore. This amazzzinnngggg woman- her name’s Stephanie and if you’ve kept up with my blog you’ve already met her- she had already booked us a hotel to surprise me with for my birthday! Literally the greatest surprise ever.
I’ve been dying to go to Solvang for a couple months now but Joey and I always have conflicting schedules and can’t seem to make it happen. So with him traveling this weekend, I thought it’d be a great time to do a little road trip with one of the besties.
Solvang is about a 3 hour drive from where I live in Orange County/ a 2 hour drive from my girlfriend’s house in Pasadena. So we got up relatively early, packed a bag, and headed out!
The entire drive up consisted of jamming out to music, taking in the coastal scenery, and talking about our lives, etc. 2 hours went by pretty quickly. Our first stop was OstrichLand U.S.A.- which you can read all about here.
Afterwards, it was straight to our hotel! We stayed at the Wine Valley Inn- literally the cutest hotel in Solvang; checked in and headed out to wine taste! So if you ever travel to Solvang, a good thing to note is that all the stores, museums, and most restaurants will close around 5 pm. So once you’re past that, options become pretty limited. BUT, I will admit that we were out till 2 am and had no trouble finding places to explore 🙂
We started wine tasting right away and the coolest thing about our hotel was that they actually had deals with multiple wine tasting rooms and once we checked in we were given post cards to about 6 different places with “buy one tasting, get one free” offers. So literally each place we went we paid $10-$15 for the two of us (score!). Another little trick we learned is at some wineries they actual do a deal where if you buy a bottle you get a free tasting, so depending on how many people you go with, that might actually end up being a better deal too! And then you have some bottles to take back to the hotel with you!
OUR FAVORITE WINERIES
- The Wandering Dog: The cutest little place. They have a dog friendly wine tasting room where everything is dog themed, the coasters, art, it’s so cute. This was the first place we went, as it was highly recommended by the people at our hotel. They offered two different tastings, both consisted of a mixture of whites/reds.
- Presidio Winery: A small tasting room with a stand-up bar. The plus for this place was that they offered crackers for free to compliment the wines. They had a list of wines; 2 whites and 7 reds, and you could choose any 6 to try for the tasting.
- Sort This Out Cellars: This one gets the cake for most fun, for sure. They have a ’50s theme and the entire place is decked out like a casino- playing cards cover the walls, dice are everywhere- it was really cool. AND they have live music Friday & Saturday nights. There tasting was also a mix of whites/reds.
- The Good Life: This one had the best variety of tastings- even beer, which Steph decided to try out. You could choose to do a tasting of all whites, all reds, a combination, or a tasting flight of beers. Plus for this place, they also gave crackers and trail mix for free!
WHERE WE ATE
Because we really hit the ground running with the wine tasting, we didn’t stop to eat at too many places; but we did stop at the famous Mortensen’s Danish Bakery which is a must try! They close at 5 pm though so you’ll have to take note of that! We had the best custard filled chocolate danish. After we left the last wine tasting, we went straight to the Copenhagen Sausage Garden, basically the only place opened past 11 pm-which was about the time we got there. They have the greatest variety of sausage/potatoes/soft pretzels but only served different beers/cider which was not really complimenting my whole day of wine tasting thing, lol. BUT the food was delicious!
Unfortunately, with all the running around, we didn’t make it to the Hans Christian Andersen Museum so you better believe that I’ll be back for that! If you don’t know who that is, he’s a famous Danish author that wrote “The Little Mermaid” aka the story of my absolute favorite Disney princess, although his original version is much darker than that of it’s Disney telling. So that’ll remain on my list for the next time we visit! Read below for some fun facts about Solvang!
- Between 1850 & 1930 Danes began leaving Denmark due to poor economic prospects, most of which came to the United States. The most popular areas were Utah, Illinois, Minnesota, and Nebraska.These immigrants began setting up churches and schools that fit their Danish culture.
- In 1910, a group of Danes, traveling to escape midwestern winters, found themselves on the West Coast and decided to build a Danish community. Founding Solvang in 1911.
- It’s roots remain today, giving California a taste of Denmark.
- They have a replica-the only one authorized by heirs of the sculptor Edvard Eriksen, who created the original statue-of the famous Little Mermaid statue that lives in Copenhagen, Denmark as an ode to Hans Christian Andersen.
- The city of Solvang surrounds the Old Mission Santa Ines. The Spanish-style mission was built in 1804 and the Danes then built around it.
- Solvang has actually hosted Danish royalty. Included the Prince Consort of Denmark, who visited on his 77th birthday.
It was such a great weekend away with my girlfriend, Solvang is a truly beautiful and calm city. It’s the perfect getaway for anyone wanting to slow down, relax, and sip some wine.
Till next time-