14 votes

Little Denmark (Solvang)

1639 Copenhagen Drive, Solvang, California 93463 USA

  • Independent
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  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair
  • Public
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“Denmark comes to California”

Solvang, California - called "Little Denmark", with very Danish old world architecture, Solvang is one of five small towns in the Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Barbara Wine Country. You will find lots of things to do here, from wine tasting to museum hopping, to boutique shopping and trying international cuisine, to sampling real Danish pastries, playing outdoors - riding bikes, surreys, and segways. Solvang is Fun! Named by Sunset magazine as one of the "10 Most Beautiful Small Towns in the Western United States," Solvang's rich heritage dates back to 1911 when adventurous Danish-Americans traversed the plains from Iowa to establish a settlement in the golden state of California. They purchased 9,000 sun-drenched acres of the former Rancho San Carlos de Jonata and situated their new community adjacent to the historic Old Mission Santa Inés. To preserve and promote Danish culture, the founders constructed a Danish folk school and church (the building now houses Bit O'Denmark Restaurant, 473 Alisal Road); then built Atterdag College, which opened in 1914 and educated through 1970 (now the site of Solvang Lutheran Home, 636 Atterdag Road). Founded by Danish immigrants in 1911, Solvang boasts authentic architecture, thatched roofs, old-world craftsmanship and traditional windmills. Over 1 million visitors come each year to experience the northern European culture, cuisine and unique boutique shopping. The pedestrian-friendly village hosts three museums, 15 inns and hotels, a full-service guest ranch, meeting facilities, 30+ restaurants and bakeries, 150 retail shops and the Solvang Theaterfest, an alfresco 700-seat theatre. "Danish Capital of America". It was not until 1946, after the end of World War II, that promoters of the idea of a "Danish Village" were finally able to move ahead with plans to redesign the existing facade of the town, and to mandate this style for new construction. The feature film "Sideways" was filmed in Solvang and highlighted the regions' celebrated world-class wines.

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Reviewed by
Tatiana Danger

  • Road Warrior
  • 1,169 Reviews
  • 846 Helpful
September 02, 2014
Rated 4.0

This is an amazing town that was built back in 1911 by “adventurous Danish-Americans” who purchased 9,000 acres to create an authentic northern European village. The entire town is comprised of 15 inns, a guest ranch, over 30 restaurants, 150 boutique stores and and an outdoor 700-seat theater.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Kathleen Oanes

  • 103 Reviews
  • 78 Helpful
August 14, 2014

Well, as the name of the place states, this is surely a nice taste of Denmark. It is a great place that exhibits the northern European culture. A visit to this spot is just like going through a walk in a small Danish village; which is really unique in itself. This place is definitely a charmer. Visit the bakeries, the antique shops, and the unique museums. Visiting this village is truly delightful.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 4 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
August 01, 2014
Rated 3.0

Ableskivers! Must try

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 28 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
April 19, 2021
Rated 4.0

Visited in 2018. It's a true taste of Denmark right off the 101, and I would recommend a stop, even just for a couple hours as we did. We walked around and took photos (it's very walkable and you can find free parking), as well as sampling some delicious pastries at Olsen's Bakery and Café.

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Reviewed by

  • 7 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
July 07, 2020

I live an hr from here it a nice stop of your traveling and need a brake from the car. Nice photo oops but it’s a small tow. Ain’t much to it

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Reviewed by

  • 24 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
January 08, 2019
Rated 5.0

Glad we pulled off the highway to visit, lovely little town.

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Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
May 13, 2016

Great town have been here 10 years, ago and on my way there again. Fantasy at its best.

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Reviewed by

  • 98 Reviews
  • 41 Helpful
June 17, 2015
Rated 4.0

My girlfriend dragged me here after she saw it on an episode of "The Kardashians." However, I really enjoyed "Little Denmark."

I've passed Solvang a bunch of times on 101 and thought the whole concept was a giant gimmick, but I actually really bought into the concept after I saw the amount of detail that was put into the town. We went in the summer when it was very crowded and lively (in a good way!) "Little Denmark" also was bigger then I expected, it's a place that definitely deserves more then a couple hours!

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Little Denmark (Solvang)

1639 Copenhagen Drive
Solvang, California
93463 USA

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Outdoor Seating
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