LEFT MY SOUL IN SOLVANG
Fulfill all your Danish needs in the most historical Danish Town in the US: Solvang, CA. You'll feel like you walked right into a themed land at Disney World as the architecture, the culture, and the delicious food draws you into an almost fairytale like dream. Now if only I found my Prince Charming while I was there... although wine comes as a very, very close second.
@bylisalinh and I got to graciously stay at the gorgeous, modern hotel, The Landsby. They recently renovated their rooms and I couldn't have been more amazed at the attention to spatial detail and Scandinavian roots of their design. I was in literal heaven for the next three days, you might as well call it Soul-vang.
They also have an adorable little restaurant called Mad & Vin just below the rooms. I definitely recommend getting some brunch there in the morning because the lighting and interior is on FLEEEK.
First and Oak: Can I just say... WOW. I am definitely shocked at how good the fine dining experience is in Solvang. I've been to Solvang many times before, but I never assumed there would be an amazing tasting menu in town. I would 10/10 recommend this place to anyone who wants a special evening with their loved one or even with your gals for a GNO. Highlights of my meal? Oysters with pomegranate seeds, truffle roasted cauliflower, soft shelled crab, and the milk chocolate and honey dessert. I would pair with their Coquelicot 2014 Riesling (probably the best Riesling I've ever had).
Solvang Restaurant: One word. Aebleskiver. It's the pancake puff that you never knew you needed. Topped with powdered sugar and raspberry jam, these delicious Danish treats will fill your mouth with a soft, subtly sweet sensation.
Quicksilver Ranch: If you are a pony lover and I'm not talking about Ginuwine's interpretation of that, hop on over to Quicksilver Ranch to check out their adorable miniature ponies! You aren't allowed to enter the pens with them, but you can check them out, explore the ranch freely, and enjoy some sunshine and fresh air.
A non-profit founded in 1983 to provide California farmers with direct access at landmark locations to market their agricultural products directly to the local community.
Located on First Street, the Farmer's Market is hosted every Wednesday from 2:30-6pm! There you can find fresh product, beautiful flowers (such as anthurium!), cheese, bread, etc. I love Farmer's Markets because the fruits are always delicious, the ambience is so easygoing, and there is a ton of great food to purchase. Don't forget to bring cash though!
The Book Loft: A great book is a great find, and great finds lead to a great mind. The book loft was a treasure to discover as Lisa and I were ambling along the adorable shops adorning the small streets of this quaint little town. The best place to be in this bookstore is the 2nd floor where they have vintage copies and first edition books on display. We saw many old variations of "The Little Mermaid" and discovered relics from our childhood.
Coquelicot Wine Tasting: You can't Solvang without Wine. It is simply not done. We got to sample some delicious wines straight from the barrel and visit their tasting room. I loved how unique their flavors were and how the flavors don't attack the palette, but rather slowly invite themselves in. Each one had very unique, subtle notes to them and impressively, they are all certified organic! If you're not a huge fan of full bodied wines, I would give coquelicot a try and escape to a velvety, aromatic experience.
Ingeborg's Danish Chocolates: Another great thing to do in Solvang is to try the chocolate. You're immediately greeted by the alluring smell of chocolate even before you enter. If I could just have that smell waft throughout my house everyday, I would never leave (not that it's easy to even get out of bed sometimes). We graciously got a mini tour behind the store to see how the chocolate is made, sample some of their crowd favorites, and even got an adorable chocolate box to take home and savor for later! Now the only thing that would've made the tour better was if Oompa Loompas rowed me down a chocolate river and sang a song about me. But that's about the only thing that could've made it better.
Drive outside the town: There are so many cute locations to discover outside the mini city. The green rolling hills, orchards, and beautiful trees in bloom makes you wonder if you're still in California!
Who knew all these treasures lied within such a small town? It was a wonderful mini vacation away from the city and I can't wait to come back soon <3
You can check out more of my photos from my trip here.
Special thanks to @bylisalinh for choosing me as her travel photographer once again, it is a delight to work with her as alway.
Special thanks to Solvang's Visitor Bureau for creating such a fun itinerary for us!
Special thanks to Volvo USA for making our trip smooth and seamless.