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A Danish stronghold makes a charming outpost surrounded by ranchlands and vineyards

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Imagine a village where fresh-cut flowers and warm-from-the-oven pastries scent the air. Add gingerbread architecture, twirling windmills, and exceptionally friendly people, and you’ve got the Danish hamlet of Solvang. A wine rush inspired by the 2004-bromance Sideways only added to the appeal of this quaint little tourist town in the Santa Ynez Valley. Tasting rooms, hip boutiques, and farm-to-fork restaurants like Root 246 now liven a mix of bakeries, chocolatiers, and souvenir shops. For a bit of old Central Coast charm, plan a lunch stop at Pea Soup Andersen’s, a local landmark since 1924, and be sure to try the namesake family recipe.

Founded in 1911 by Danish Americans from the Midwest, Solvang (Danish for “sunny fields”) also boasts an outstanding theater program, with performances in a 700-seat outdoor theater.

Featured Solvang

Pea Soup Andersen’s
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