Bubbly Time!

sparkling wine

Surrounded by some of finest vineyards in the world—especially known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah varietals—19 tasting rooms in downtown Solvang offer some delicious local sparkling wine options, too! Just in time to ring in the 2015 New Year—stroll around and take some tastes. Here are just a few ideas: at the Wandering Dog Wine Bar, you can try out the “Bubbles Flight” of 3 ounces each of three sparklers or perhaps glass of the very festive local Flying Goat Cellars “Goat Bubbles” from the Santa Maria Valley.

At Lucas & Lewellen Tasting Room, experience their just released 2012 Sparkling Wine, made in the Méthode Traditionelle, (fermented in the bottle with hand riddling and disgorging)—it contains 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir grapes from the L&L Los Alamos Vineyards. Be sure to check out all the local vintages to bring some cheer to your new year! http://www.solvangusa.com/explore-solvang/what-to-do/wine-country/wineries-and-tasting-rooms/

“One of the 10 Best Small Towns for the Holidays!”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHope you and yours are enjoying this festive holiday season—with twinkling lights, decorated trees and delightful decorations throughout town, the only thing missing in Solvang is snow—and I certainly don’t miss it (as native of Michigan, I’m sure you understand!)  I’m not the only one who thinks Solvang is a pretty special place for the holidays—check out the following links and articles from around the globe:

Smarter Travel: “10 Best Small Towns for the Holidays” http://www.smartertravel.com/photo-galleries/editorial/10-best-small-towns-for-the-holidays.html?id=919&all=1

 USA Today: “Celebrate Christmas Year-round in These Towns” http://experience.usatoday.com/america/story/best-of-lists/2014/12/18/towns-that-celebrate-christmas-year-round/20545777

NPR (National Public Radio) “Discover Solvang California–Time Magazine’s Most Christmas-y Town” http://www.thomascwilmer.com/solvang-ca-time-magazines-most-christmassy-town/

Trivago UK: “Solvang is Top Hidden European Town in America” http://imgec.trivago.com/contentimages/press/images/little_europe_release.pdf

Live Mint (India): “In an enchanted land–Solvang, USA” http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/joWxRvd0G9w1pRf1wqxbIN/In-an-enchanted-land–Solvang-US.html  

Come experience Solvang for yourself very soon! Wishing you and yours merry happy holidays!

Holiday Shopping Stress Relief!

Sweet-Solvang_1136You know that Christmas is only nine days away! I’m not attempting to add to your holiday stress—here’s some relief! Tomorrow (12/17/14) you can enjoy Solvang Third Wednesday deals at local merchants including boutiques of all sorts, restaurants and gourmet food purveyors; the weekly Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market from 2:00-6:00 p.m.; the popular Solvang Third Wednesday Wine & Beer Walk from 4:00-7:00 p.m.; Solvang Third Wednesday discounts at local hotels; and Third Wednesday “Cash Mob” AND caroling around the town, led by Laura Sanchez with members from the Old Mission Santa Inés choir, and local residents starting at 4:30 p.m. after the presentation of the Solvang Julefest decorating awards at the Gazebo in Solvang Park (Mission Drive and First Street). PLUS . . .check out the “Holiday Lights Tour” presented by Solvang Parks & Recreation Department. This 90-minute guided bus tour still has seats left for the 6:00  p.m. departure from the Solvang Veterans Hall (1745 Mission Drive)–advance-purchase tickets are only $10 each by calling 805-688-PLAY. So, are you feeling a bit less stressed already? What’s on your shopping list? Fulfill it here! http://www.solvangusa.com/explore-solvang/what-to-do/shopping/

Solvang Welcomes Santa & More!

100_9139Have you heard that Solvang was named one of Time Magazine’s “Most Christmas-y Towns in America”—come see for yourself! Solvang sparkles during the 2014 annual Julefest (Yule-Fest) Celebration now through January 9, 2015. New this year–free visits with Santa in Solvang Park (Mission Drive & First Street).  When you arrive, it’s first come, first seated with the jolly old elf. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the moments this weekend: Saturday, 12/13/14 from 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, 12/14/14 from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

2014 Solvang Julefest GraphicOther Julefest festivities include the Julefest Living Christmas Trees Display (through December 31); the Julefest Wine & Beer Walk (December 13 & 14) as well as the traditional Nativity Pageant (December 13) and Shop, Mingle & Jingle retail specials December 12-14 and concludes with the Annual Christmas Tree Burn on January 9, 2015. All Solvang Julefest events are open to the public with free admission (except Julefest Holiday Wine & Beer Walk). For more information and Wine & Beer Walk ticket purchases, please call 805-688-6144; stop by the Solvang Visitors Center at 1639 Copenhagen Drive (open daily 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.) or visit www.SolvangUSA.com/julefest

Julefest Lights Up!

Solvang, CaliforniaYou may have noticed some precipitation (not snow, mind you) and the nip in the air this week  . . . yet it feels perfect for the start of 2014 Solvang Julefest! (Say Yule-fest and you’ll sound like a local). Did you see the living Christmas trees sprouting in front of 130+ businesses? It’s the fourth year for this display and such a fragrant one (not to mention the amazing creative decorations). Speaking of living trees, this Friday, 12/5/14 at 5:00 p.m.; it’s time to light the Community Tree in Solvang Park with a free ceremony featuring caroling, live entertainment and dancing ballerinas—plus your chance to meet Chef Bethany Markee, our 2014 Julefest Grand Marshal—an award-winning chef from Solvang School who embodies this year’s “Spirit of Giving” theme.

2014 Solvang Julefest GraphicYou & yours need to experience the Julefest Parade this Saturday, 12/6/14 at 11:00 a.m. with 300+ participants marching, rolling, trotting and strolling west starting at the Vets Hall along festively decorated Mission Drive; to Fourth Place then east on Copenhagen Drive back to Alisal Road.  I’m really looking forward to announcing the parade again, too!

AND we’ve received a memo from the North Pole that Santa Claus will be in Solvang Park for FREE visits after the parade from 12:30-4:30 p.m. PLUS he’ll also be there on Sunday, 12/7/14 from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.; and Saturday, 12/13/14 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, 12/14/14 from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.  Can’t wait! For all the fun and festive Julefest events this month, check out www.SolvangUSA.com/julefest