Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting one of California’s historic and picturesque locations. My fiance John and I went to the Santa Ynez Valley for the wedding of one of his friends. After flying into Los Angeles, the beautiful drive up the Pacific Coast Highway was relaxing.



Once we arrived for our stay in Solvang, I felt as if we had stepped into an adorable Lifetime movie. Everything was decorated in Fall decor, the pumpkin patch looked like it was straight off of a movie set. Solvang is located in southern California’s Santa Ynez Valley. The city is known for its Danish heritage which is evident in the architectural style and bakeries. Oh, and windmills . . . did I mention windmills? There are charming windmills all throughout the area.

Here are some of the local eateries we enjoyed:


    • Olsen’s Danish Village Bakery
      We were told that this was the home of the best Danishes and sweet breads in Solvang. We were certainly pleased with our choice in treats from Olsen’s.
    • Gathering Table
      Located in Ballard, which is a city 7 minutes away from Solvang, “Chef Budi Kazali artistically melds Asian and French cuisine” at Gathering Table. We tried as many different plates as we could get our hands on. All while sitting on a white picket-fenced porch, drinking local wine.
    • The Bear and Star
      We had a delicious brunch here! I had the tasty pulled pork sandwich. The Bear and Star in the name represent the symbols from the California and Texas state flags, respectively. The owners hail from these home states, and the flavors are as big and bold as both of them. This restaurant is in Los Olivos, CA . . . another nearby city in Santa Ynez Valley.

The wedding took place at a local Solvang winery. The couple said their vows at sunset. It was beautiful ceremony in a gorgeous town. Sometimes, its nice to get off the beaten path and try something new in someplace you’ve never been.


© Courtesy Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau

Thankfully, the Solvang area is not currently being impacted by the California wildfires. Besides from possibly having to take a different route, the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau assures me that Solvang is open for business – ready to accommodate your getaway. Being mindful of the unfortunate loss occurring in other areas of the beautiful state of California, please consider donating to the California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund.