Are you a fan of fairy tales? April 2nd is the birth date of Hans Christian Andersen, one of the world’s most famous Danes and father of the modern fairytale—including favorites such as The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, The Princess & The Pea and The Ugly Duckling. Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark on April 2, 1805 and lived until August 4, 1875 and would have been 212 years old this year! To celebrate, pay a visit to the Hans Christian Andersen Museum located at 1680 Mission Drive in the cozy second floor above The Book Loft and Solvang Coffee Company. Year-round, you can discover so much about this fascinating author. Did you know that this FREE museum is the only one in the USA dedicated to him? It’s filled to the rafters with originals and copies of Andersen’s books, sketches, paper cutouts, silhouettes and collages that kids of all ages can enjoy. And just a block away, don’t miss the bronze statue Andersen in Solvang Park. For more details, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/directory/hans-christian-andersen-museum/
It’s official, Spring has sprung here! Of course, year-round, there’s plenty of room to run, jump, play and experience family fun in Solvang, yet especially this time since it’s “spring break,” vacations are in full bloom. Do be sure to enjoy the wildflowers practically everywhere you look! One of my favorite places for viewing nature’s colorful flora is off Figueroa Mountain Road in the nearby Los Padres National Forest. Remember, all Solvang public parks around town have free admission and are open daily sunrise to sunset. Solvang’s Hans Christian Andersen Park is a woodsy green space with picnic areas, tennis courts, a playground and free Skate Park for boarders.
The whimsical wooden playground and ball field at Sunny Fields Park is one of our personal family favorites—and just dedicated this week, you can play volleyball on brand new courts called “Sunny Beach.” Did you know that 2008 Olympic Beach Volleyball Gold Medalist Todd Rogers hails from Solvang? (see photo at left)
For some two-horse powered fun that kids of all ages can enjoy, hop aboard the Solvang Trolley–a historic wooden streetcar pulled by a pair of impressive draft horses. If you’re feeling really adventurous, how about the two-wheel Segway of Solvang tour? Visit nearby OstrichLand USA to see & feed the largest & fastest birds in the world. Discover Quicksilver Miniature Horse Ranch offering free viewing of 34-inch-and-under equines from 10am-3pm Monday-Saturday. For more ideas, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/explore-solvang/what-to-do/family-fun/
THE most delicious, desirable “foodie” events are happening from Wednesday, March 15 through Sunday, March 19, 2017 during the 25th annual Taste of Solvang! Tickets are still available—so get yours today! Remember, there’s the popular Farmers Market Chef Walk & Dinner on Wednesday, 3/15 with Chef Pink of Bacon & Brine. Then on Thursday evening, 3/16, Learn To Blind Taste Like a Sommelier at Wandering Dog Wine Bar.
Sip + Savor Opening Night with 25 Santa Ynez Valley chefs, bakers, caterers, winemakers, and brewers plus music from the Sean Wiggins Band is Friday evening 3/1. The Tasting Trail with 30+ taste stops around the village is Saturday, 3/18 from 11am-4pm. The always popular Wine & Beer Walk on Saturday & Sunday has extended hours this year. On Saturday evening, there’ll be a Buttonwood Farm Winery Winemaker Dinner at Cecco Ristorante AND on Sunday morning, 3/19 at 11am, Brunch at Mad & Vin at The Landsby.
Purchase your Taste of Solvang ticket package OR individual event tickets “ala carte” now. Get more tasty, tempting details and buy your tix here: www.solvangusa.com/taste-of-solvang-2017
Riding your bike year-round is truly fun here in Solvang and the surrounding Santa Ynez Valley. Whether you’re astride a beach cruiser, skinny-tire road cycle or a rugged mountain bike, savor year-round warm sun, blue skies, quiet country roads loaded with spectacular scenery as well as some challenging dips and climbs. Many pro bicycling teams train on our local roads and mountain passes. Plenty of amateur bike riding camps and vacation bike tours headquarter here. Be on the lookout for those matching kits (cycling outfits)! Did you know that Solvang proudly hosted the Individual Time Trial Stage of the professional cyclists’ Amgen Tour of California in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011? Some of the largest amateur rides (think 3,000+) in the USA visit us every year including the Solvang Century (coming up on 3/11/17). Bring your own wheels or rent a set from local shops (maybe even a 4-wheel surrey cycle for the whole family)! And if you really want an amazing adventure on two wheels, climb aboard a Segway of Solvang self-balancing personal transport vehicle (Yes, I’ve ridden one and it’s a blast!) For some two-wheeled route ideas, visit http://www.solvangusa.com/explore-solvang/what-to-do/cycling/