Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Solvang: A SoCal Weekend Getaway

One of many windmills in Solvang, Calif.
If you're ever looking for a getaway that's not too far from Los Angeles but still feels like you're far away from the city, take the 2-1/2 hour (128 mile) drive to Solvang, the small Danish-themed town in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Believe me, it's worth it.

We took a weekend trip up to the adorably quaint town a few weeks ago, and I can't believe we hadn't visited sooner. Danish for "sunny field," Solvang was founded in 1911 by a group of Danish teachers, and it has a population now of just over 5,000. Solvang has gone all out to maintain a Danish charm, complete with lots of little shops offering everything from pastries to Christmas ornaments and books.

We stayed at the Royal Copenhagen Inn, a hotel whose architecture is meant to evoke a little village in Denmark. Because there were four of us, we booked one of their bigger spaces, complete with an upstairs bedroom loft. You can imagine how much the kiddos loved that! I can't tell you how many times CC and Will went up and down the stairs just because they could.

Our little cottage at the Royal Copenhagen Inn
It was so easy to walk around the town and lazily take in all of the cute shops and restaurants. One place we kept going back to was The Book Loft, which also had a coffee shop and a small Hans Christian Andersen museum. Forget Amazon, it was so nice to browse through bookshelves at a unique independent bookstore.

We also took a drive around the countryside, which is covered in rolling green hills and vineyards. We wound our way over to Los Olivos, a tiny town that seemed to have a wine-tasting shop everywhere you turned.

It was such a relaxing trip, and I already can't wait to go back!

The Royal Copenhagen Inn in Solvang

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