When I think California, I think of surfers and beaches. However, California’s vibrant immigrant community has formed some areas with distinctly European flair – one of them being Solvang, a quaint town that look as if it came straight out of a Disney movie.
An incredibly well-maintained and safe city in the Santa Ynez Valley, Solvang is just two hours outside of Los Angeles – though you would feel as if you’ve been transported across the world. Known for their baked goods and pastries, it’s a favorite pitstop for many travelers. Olsen’s Danish Village bakery is one of the town’s most popular bakery shops and with four generations of family recipes people come from near and far to indulge in these award winning treats. Be sure to take home a bucket of butter cookies on your visit!
The city is also home to the Hans Christian Andersen Musuem, the author of “The Little Mermaid”, “The Ugly Duckling”, “Thumbelina”, and countless other fairytales. The musuem itself is modest and the displays are old fashioned; however, this FREE attraction is a nice place to reminisce your childhood, The musuem is located at the second floor of The Book Loft and next to the Solvang Coffee Shop. So after browsing through the classics you may be inspired to enjoy a cup of coffee with your nose in a book.
There are countless speciality shops and local restaurants in the area, but one of the best things to do eat are the fresh Aebleskivers at the Solvang Restaurant. These crispy pancake battered balls are doused with a gloop of raspberry jam and lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar. You can enjoy them at the restaurant, or order them at the outside take-out counter. There’s almost always a line, so you can be sure to grab a fresh trio of this treat. Yum!
What’s your favorite childhood fairytale?