Welcome to Solvang
Statues of the Little Mermaid and Hans Christian Andersen in the middle of Wine Country can only mean one thing: Solvang. A Danish village founded in 1911 on what was once a 19th-century Spanish-colonial mission, this Santa Ynez Valley town holds tight to its Danish heritage. With its knickknack stores and cutesy motels, the town is almost as sickly sweet as the Scandinavian pastries sold to the crowds of day-trippers. But a few new businesses are toning down the kitsch and upping the modern-Scandi cool, plus the town has the best sleeping and eating options in the valley, making it a great base for exploration.