An Authentically Danish-American Town, Solvang, California

Solvang was established in 1911 and is a charming destination that retains Danish-American charm. Los Angeles is only two hours away. Solvang continues to preserve the Danish tradition of folk dancing, architecture, music, and cuisine. You will find windmills that catch the first and final light in the village. There are many things to do in Solvang.

Events in Solvang

In 1936, the Solvang Danish Days annual festival was established. It continues to honor Solvang’s history every September. Celebrations and festivals are a part of Solvang’s charm, including Julefest (Yulefest) every December.

Things to Do in Solvang

Santa Ines Old Mission

Old Mission Santa Ines is a landmark in California’s history that spans over two centuries. It has been a tourist attraction in Solvang, and all of California, for more than 20 years.

It overlooks the Santa Ynez River valley and the stunning mountain ranges of San Rafael & Santa Ynez. This mission was founded in 1804 to integrate Santa Ynez Valley’s Chuman people into Spanish culture.

It is one among 21 Franciscan missionaries that were established in the state. Father Estevan Tapis founded it. In its long history, Old Mission Santa Ines has seen many changes.

The mission was not conceived as a Solvang gem. It occurred in the face of various disasters, including political and social unrest, financial difficulties, and even rebellion. The building was almost destroyed by years of neglect and decay before it was restored to its former glory. Old Mission Santa Ines, a church still active today, holds masses in Spanish and English.

It is also home to an extensive collection of rare art, including manuscripts, statuary and artifacts, paintings, vestments, and paintings. If you are looking for additional activities, there is a gift shop and a beautiful garden. Docent-led tours give you new insight into the museum, church, or park.

Make sure to visit the museum’s four bells – one dates back as far as 1904.

Hans Christian Andersen Museum

For literature lovers in Solvang and California, the Hans Christian Andersen Museum makes a great place to visit.

It’s located on the second floor at The Book Loft, a well-known bookshop in the area. This is a great place to visit if you’re a bibliophile. Although it is small, the Hans Christian Andersen Museum remains a treasure.

It is dedicated to its author, who was responsible for many fairy tales based on the folklore we now know. This is a testament to the Danish legend’s excellent work.

Andersen in Denmark is just as well-known and respected as Shakespeare! The Hans Christian Andersen Museum doesn’t just focus on the stories of the prolific author. They are deep, nuanced, and elegant in prose compared to modern retellings.

It’s also dedicated to Jenny Lind, the famous singer for whom he wrote The Nightingale. Even though she didn’t reciprocate his love, she was his greatest inspiration, and they remained close.

The Hans Christian Andersen Museum’s paper cuttings exhibit is an exciting part. It is a collection of hand-cut, folded papers that Andersen made as he related his story. He was known for cutting as he began to tell a story. Then, after the story was over, he would open the paper and reveal something extraordinary!

You can also find models of the author’s house, his most famous stories, early editions, and character models.

Wildling Museum of Art & Nature

The Wildling Museum for Art & Nature is one of the most beautiful places in America! Patti Jacquemain (a conservation advocate, artist, and entrepreneur) created the Wildling Museum of Art & Nature of Solvang in California in 1997.

It was created to encourage the conservation and enjoyment of wildlife and nature through art. The Wildling Museum of Art & Nature hosted over 40 events. These included highly successful education programs and art exhibitions.

Its mission is to inspire others to care for nature and natural habitats. Most would agree that it succeeded. Although the museum has a limited art collection, its diversity makes up for it.

You can expect stunning photographs by Richard Salas and Jeff Jones, Roger Craton, Ines Roberts, oil paintings by John Fery, and beautiful works by Ray Strong and Lockwood de Forest. It is one of the most popular things to do in Solvang.

Solvang Trolley & Carriage

Do you want to go back in time? The Solvang Trolley & Carriage offers a great way to do both and see the main Solvang attractions.

This tour company uses horse-drawn trolleys for sightseeing in this small California town. The type of “carriage” used in this instance is a Honen. This is a Danish form of conveyance.

Two teams of Belgian horses pull the unique trolley, each affectionately named. A local family, the Oronas, own Trolley & Carriage, and they all wear traditional Danish attire to transport their guests around the streets.

These maps provide detailed and extensive information about the town’s history and offer a unique, exciting experience. Each Honen can hold approximately 20 people.

Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum

One of the many attractions in Solvang is the Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum. It was built in the former Solvang Designer Outlet Center. Virgil Elings owns the museum, and each motorcycle on display is part of his private collection.


The Vintage Motorcycle Museum displays a variety of vintage motorcycles and race bikes from Europe and other rare automobiles. Rotating exhibits ensure that there is always something to see, from antique vehicles to more modern bikes. All brands, such as Velocette, Ducati, and Gilera, are displayed.

Are you interested in visiting other parts of California? You should check out the top places to visit in Malibu and Fresno for fun activities!

Elverhoj Museum of History and Art

The Elverhoj Museum of History and Art has a simple mission: to preserve, collect and display key features of Solvang’s rich history, California, and the Danish culture of Solvang – and the arts and craft that resulted from it.

It is a community-based center that aims to show the Danish-American pioneers’ true heritage, the Danish heritage, and the Danish’s deep, solid artistic devotion.

The Elverhoj museum of history and art is located in an old house of one of the most famously artistic families in the town. Viggo Brandt Erichsen built the beautiful structure by hand with ornamental ironwork and hand-painted carvings.

Despite its modest size and appearance, Elverhoj’s Museum of History and Art is a top-ranking institution of its type. You can find many interesting things inside, including workshops, classes, exhibitions, and classes.