Friday, March 31, 2017

Day 5 So Cal - Solvang

March 2017 - Monterey CA

Weekly Recap
Day 1 Los Angeles
Day 2 LA to Monterey
Day 3 Monterey and area
Day 4 Montery to Solvang including Hearst Castle

After a delicious complimentary breakfast which included eggs, sausages and potatoes we headed out to explore the area.

The picturesque Santa Ynez Valley encompasses six communities clustered closely together like wine grapes. From the charming, tiny gem of rural Ballard, the bustling gateway city of Buellton, the vintage western town of Los Alamos, the arts-influenced wine-infused town of Los Olivos and the turn-of-the-20th-century township of Santa Ynez, to the northern European atmosphere of the city of Solvang founded by Danish-Americans in 1911.

First stop was the town of Santa Ynez.

Santa Ynez (population 4,418), it’s sometimes hard to tell what year it is with its period-style false-front building facades housing shops, saloons, feed stores and random horses hitched to posts. However, this rather sophisticated cowboy town also boasts plenty of conveniences for modern-day trail riders. A variety of restaurants serve up delicious options from casual burgers, pancakes, and waffles (beloved by locals), to steaks, seafood, regional Italian fare, Latin fusion and locavore cuisine. There are also some wineries.

We wandered into this saddlery and spent an interesting thirty minutes with the owner, Juan.

Besides wineries there are many ranches in the valley.

Walking along Main St.

Fancy ladies' boots.

Santa Inés Mission is the 19th of 21 California missions established by the Franciscan Fathers. Padre Junipero Serra founded the first 8 missions beginning with mission San Diego de Alcala in San Diego in 1769.
Santa Inés was founded by Fr. Estévan Tapis on September 17, 1804. Fr. José Calzada and Fr. Romualdo Gutiérrez remained at the mission to begin the building and teaching of the Chumash. They are buried under the altar of the church. Also at the new mission were 5 soldiers and their families and neophytes (Indians (Chumash) learning to become Christians) from Santa Barbara and La Purisima.

Not sure if this land belongs to the mission.

Off to Los Olivos.
California history melds with modern-day wine tasting rooms, art galleries and upscale shops in this picture-perfect country town in the northeast part of the valley (population 1,132). Centered by an iconic flagpole, Victorian homes and businesses cluster nearby around the community hub at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Alamo Pintado Avenue. Vineyards, lavender farms, orchards, ranches and horse trails surround Los Olivos. This is a charming place to visit for a one-stop wine country experience. The town dates back to the 1860s, when the stagecoach route began to pass through.

We decde it's time to go back to Solvang, park the car, do some sightseeing, have a late lunch and imbibe some wine!

Sit back and just enjoy soaking up some authentic Denmark!

Where we had dinner last night.

Lunch today.

Of course there had to be The Little Mermaid, we can attest that she looks the same as the one in Amsterdam.


  1. Terrific shots! The European architecture was unexpected!

  2. Ah Solvang - when we still lived in the L.A. area, we spent the last years there for the 4th of July - so many pleasent memories. Love the header Jackie! When you come in California again, visit Nappa Valley and East of Sacramento - so many, many vineyards! Many thanks for sharing with All Seasons and the lovely memories they brought(for me):) Have a beautiful week of travel!

  3. Solvang looks like a very interesting place. I loved the cowboy boots and pictures of our old heroes on the wall. Denmark revisited was good too. I popped over here from Our World Tuesday. Have a great day. Jo (South Africa)

  4. WOW! Looks like an amazing place! Those cowboy boots are awesome! Lovely little Buddha's too!

  5. You found a number of cute towns in S. Cal. I never made it to Solvang but I have heard a lot about it. I think the western style towns are quite interesting and quaint (even with the modern conveniences).

  6. I love the patterned boots


  7. That looks like a really fun area to explore - I haven't spent much leisure time in California, but this might be worth a detour on my way to Baja later this year!

  8. Solvang is amazing! I was there back in 2009 and would love to go back again and show my husband, when we do our big Cali road trip! #FarawayFiles (

  9. The Santa Ynez Valley is one of my favorite gateway from Los Angeles. I try to visit twice or three times a year. The great things is that new restaurants and businesses keep opening on the area but the charm is not lost. Great you had the opportunity to visit. #TPThursday

  10. Hi Jackie, lovely photos. I bet the smell in the saddlery was a treat for the nose.

    Thank you for linking up with the #MMBC.


  11. Looks like a great travel day. Considering how much time I've spent visiting relatives in the vicinity of Santa Barbara, I've spent hardly any time in the Santa Ynez area. Your photos make it seem like it'd be a fun daytrip for me. I do fondly remember visiting Solvang as a kid, but I haven't been back as an adult.

  12. You explore very interesting places. Great images as well.

  13. Love the concept of a sophisticated Cowboy Town and especially those ladies boots. It would be fun to own a pair of them.


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