Solvang Trip : Solvang, California

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Solvang, California

by Veronica Nunez
August 20, 2020

The Scandinavian architecture, food, and shopping are the main attractions for visiting Solvang, California.  I don’t believe the Danish Heritage Festival also referred to as “Danish Days” will be held this year due to the pandemic.  I’d like to return to experience the festival in future years, but we were able to enjoy the shops and the restaurants and bakeries on this trip. 

Map of Solvang

Our first stop was Mortensen’s bakery which had most of its interior blocked off, and they used the front door on the street side of the building for entry and a side door for exiting the building after placing and getting your order.  I bought an apple turnover and a bottle of water then we headed outside to find a place to sit and eat.  We found a table with shade and ate quickly so that others could use our table because seating was extremely limited. 

I was able to add to my pressed penny collections, but I did miss one or two machines and another pressed penny machine was not rolling correctly.  At the Fairy & Frog is a wonderful shop to purchase miniatures for fairy gardens.  They also have quite a selection of soaps and bath salts, and I bought several bars of soap. At the entrance of the shop, there was a large fairy garden with different themed sections, but photography wasn’t permitted so I can’t share its magnificence with you.  It’s something you’ll have to see for yourself. 

I love Christmas so a stop at Jule Haus was a must for me.  I restricted myself to only purchasing a few Christmas ornaments, but I could have easily spent a small fortune in that store.

We stumbled upon the Solvang Amber Museum when we went inside The Copenhagen House.  We hadn’t been aware that a museum was inside this store, and it’s awonderful little gem inside a vault near the amber jewelry section.  We also found a tiny room at the back of the store in a short hallway.  There’s a large carved wood statue of Holger Danske.  You can read about the legend of Holger Danske here.  There were also some busts of a few Danish Royals inside this room.

Holger Danske
Danish Royals

I bought a few bags of Polkagris bits from the Swedish Candy Factory.  You can watch Polkagris being made and even get a free sample.  Apparently, this store is the only place outside of Sweden where they make Polkagris. Polkagris is like a Swedish candy cane, but I don’t recommend trying to bite into it as it’s very, very sticky.  It needs to be stored in an airtight container or will soften and clump together.  Two fo the small bags of bits I bought are stuck into a solid clump even though they were never opened.

Most of the restaurants and shops in Solvang were open, but there was only outside dining due to the pandemic restrictions.  A few restaurants, Paula’s Pancake House for example, put tables and chairs in the parking spaces directly in front of their establishments to accommodate diners.  Umbrellas provided shade, but the tables were a bit too close together for my comfort.  Still, we ate at Paula’s Pancake House quickly before we left Solvang to return to our hotel.

I recommend looking closely at the buildings and up at the roofs.  You’ll find historical information and unexpected decorative accents.  I really want to return to Solvang when we can eat inside the restaurants.  I’m hoping for the Danish Heritage Festival’s return in 2021. 

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