Forage for Solvang’s unusual eats, drinks, and more 
By Kathy Chin Leong

 Never been to Solvang or heard that the town is only worth its weight in signature butter cookies? Oh contraire, Little One! Here are ten Solvang action items doable for everyone in the clan. Most of these will surprise you.

While the Central Coast’s Scandinavian town of Solvang (yes, there’s a giant windmill) is billed as one of the most “Christmassy towns in America,” the upcoming winter months and spring offers sublime, sunny weather that makes it a worthwhile multi-generational destination.

1. Go restaurant hopping.  The Landsby Hotel offers home-made shrubs for mocktails and uses local ingredients its dining rooms. Other restaurants in the area have unique offerings that make for wonderful food memories.  Root 246 offers a gluten-free and vegetarian menus in an elegant setting that is also kid-friendly. Try an Impossible Burger or Brussel sprouts with tamari sauce.

2. Tour the weekly Farmer’s Market held every Wednesday throughout the year.  It is on First Street next to Solvang Park. Buy a new vegetable or fruit you never tried before.

 3. Chug down vinegar and love it.  At Wandering Dog Wine Bar, one of its vendors, Broken Clock Vinegar Works, sells vinegars and shrubs by the bottle. The prickly pear, persimmon, and blueberry flavors are tempting to try, am I right?   

 4. Bicycle through quiet roads or rent a bike with a local company. You can pass by quiet farms and feel comfortable with the kids on your journey.  You will find less traffic here, for sure.

 5. Swim in an indoor pool when you stay at the Hadsten House Inn.  It has the town’s only indoor pool and an expanded continental breakfast. For many parents, these two bonuses are enough to book a weekend for the family.

 6. Horseback ride and earn your cowboy stripes at the historic Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort. Specials occur all the time.  In fact, until March 10, you can book a deal for $399 that includes breakfast and dinner for two and horseback riding, hiking, golf, on-site spa treatments and more.

 7. Rediscover the art of letter writing. Buy some nice paper at The Giving Ink.  You’ll find hand-made paper goods, accessories, and other cool stuff. The store is offering a free card for those who ask through March.

 8. Get the blues by drinking it.  The Good Seed Coffee Boutique sells a Blue Moon Milk made with butterfly pea flower and maple syrup.   They call it a “superfood latte,” what can I say? The place also sells coffee, teas, and gluten-free and vegan goods too.

9. Paint the town red, or blue, or whatever color you choose. At the Gypsy Studios’ Art Spot, come for a drop-in art session, book ahead of time for a private family workshop, or go online to the calendar to sign up for a Painting in the Vineyard opportunity.

 10. Yes, by all means, buy some of Solvang’s famous Danish butter cookies.  They are often sold by the bucket, so go ahead and indulge!  Olsen’s Danish Village Butter Cookies, Solvang Bakery, and Mortensen’s Danish Bakery are pretty popular bakeries, but there are more for you to explore. 

 Taste and tell everyone about Solvang, my friends.  A trip that is refreshing and different wakes up the soul!

When You Go: – for info about the town, restaurants, hotels, and more.



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