Solvang, a Cute Danish Village in Wine Country

In my opinion, one of the greatest treasures you can find around the world is a small-town village. Especially when traveling throughout the United States, it’s always a complete joy to discover little European-type villages scattered across the countryside. One of the most famous and most enjoyable of these little towns in California is Solvang, a small Danish town located in wine country.

If you’re looking to take a nice visit into wine country and are located in Southern California, I encourage you to make the day trip to Solvang. Located just 40-minutes or so from Santa Barbara in the Santa Ynez Valley, Solvang is a little Danish village that looks as if it came directly from a storybook. This is fitting for a town that contains little nods and monuments to Hans Christian Andersen.

As you step out of the parking lot and begin walking through the small, family-owned shops, you’ll find windmills, small wooden fences, book stores filled with antique treasures, and hand-painted artistic signs.

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If this charming little architecture and small-village feel isn’t enough for you, the distinct shops will surely satisfy. There are little danish desert and chocolate shops, ice cream parlors, specialty wine and cheese shops, toy shops that contain vintage toys, and much much more. And, of course, who doesn’t love a little family-owned bakery. My personal favorite place is either the metaphysical shop or the old bookstore with the little museum dedicated to Hans Christian Andersen upstairs.

In fact, if you are on the lookout for old books, you must visit Solvang’s bookstore. They sell used books, and many are so old that they have their own exciting stories to share with you. While I was visiting with a friend this year, I found an old fairytale book that dates back to the early 1900s; unfortunately it was in Danish. So, I wasn’t able to read it. But still, what a cool, collectible treasure! But it’s a place where you can be on the hunt for books of this nature for hours if you have the time.

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All-in-all, the next time you have a day off and want to have a nice brunch, stroll through the park, and visit many independently-owned specialty stores, this is the place for you. I make an effort to head out to Solvang at least once a year.

If you want my advice, I’d start your day out in Solvang, go shopping, and have a nice brunch. Then, think about leaving Solvang in the afternoon and heading to Santa Barbara for dinner. It’s a great way to have a fulfilling day complete with both small town and large town feels all in one.

Malorie Mackey is an actress, published author, and adventurer. Malorie grew up in Richmond, Virginia where she loved sports, the outdoors, animals, and all forms of art. She took to acting at a young age, so it was no surprise when she decided to go to college for theatre. While in college, Malorie studied body movement with the DAH Theatre in Belgrade, Serbia, voice in Herefordshire, England with Frankie Armstrong, and the business of theatre in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Malorie moved from the East Coast to Los Angeles after receiving her BFA in Theatre Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University. Upon arriving in LA, Malorie participated in the Miss California USA 2011 Pageant where she won the “Friend’s Choice” Award (by popular vote) and received a beautiful award for it.

While living on the West Coast, Malorie accumulated over 40 acting credits working on a variety of television shows, web series, and indie films, such as the sci-fi movie “Dracano,” the Biography Channel show “My Haunted House,” the tv pilot “Model Citizen” with Angie Everhart, and the award-winning indie film “Amelia 2.0.”

Throughout her experiences, Malorie found a love for travel and adventure, having journeyed to over a dozen countries experiencing unique locations. From the lush jungles of the Sierra Madre mountain range to the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, Malorie began adventuring and writing about her unique travels. These travel excerpts can be found on VIVA GLAM Magazine, in Malorie’s Adventure Blog, in Malorie’s adventure show: “Weird World Adventures” and in the works for her full-length travel book.

In 2022, Malorie was thrilled to become a member of the Explorer’s Club through her work on scientific travel. Her experiences volunteering on archaeological and anthropological expeditions as well as with animal conservation allowed her entry into the exclusive club. Since then, Malorie has focused more on scientific travel.

Malorie’s show “Weird World Adventures” releases on Amazon Prime Video in the Spring of 2024! Stay tuned as Malorie brings the strangest wonders of the world to you!

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