City Spotlight on Solvang
Where is the best place to stay and have fun in Solvang?
Solvang, in the heart of the Santa Ynez Valley, is always a delightful place to visit for a quick getaway. If you want to check out the numerous wineries and tasting rooms that this region offers, you’ll need to make several trips or plan an extended stay.
There is so much to see and do in the Santa Ynez Valley, which sits between the Santa Ynez Mountains to the south and the San Rafael Mountains to the north. The area is breathtaking.
This Danish town is a beautiful sight to see
Driving there is a feast for the eyes. To put a spotlight on some of the best things to do in Solvang, I would be remiss to not mention the joy of getting there. It’s hard to explain such beauty, especially after it rains. The rolling hills, dotted with oak trees and surrounding mountains, are a deep verdant green, with lush swaths of bright orange and yellow poppies and purple and blue lupin, offering a display of color that you won’t ever forget.
Our Keys 2 the Coast 48-hour getaway was a wine and food adventure. Once we arrived in Solvang, we spotted the Landsby Hotel at 1576 Mission Dr., which is the main road through town, aka Route 246. When we walked in to check it out, we immediately knew it was where we wanted to stay.
The Landsby has 50 charming rooms. It’s one of the nicest boutique hotels that I’ve had the pleasure to stay in.
The bartenders were great and made impressive drinks
It is bright and spacious and has a contemporary, clean and simple, yet elegant, Scandinavian design. The decor is bright with neutral colors and lively artwork. It is interesting and unusual to see comical pictures of llamas throughout the property, created by Rachel Brown.
The hotel lobby bar is a fun place to sit, with the cast of attractive, interesting characters behind the bar making impressive signature cocktails, like their blackberry mule. You simply must try a shrub cocktail if you haven’t had one. They originated in San Francisco and the Landsby introduced it to our area. It’s fresh fruit, vinegar, flavored vinegars and sugar, boiled down into a shrub syrup and pour it into the drinks. Or you can do a cold saturation. It’s one-third shrub, one-third spirit and one-third tonic water. It’s unique and delicious. It’s important to mention that they do happy hour seven days a week, which the locals love.
The blackberry mule is a must try drink
After a great cocktail we decided to wander around the village. There is something for everyone. Interesting shops, museums and bakeries are in abundance. The Mission Santa Ines is a nice place to visit and enjoy the beautiful garden.
For dinner, we decided to dine at the Mad & Vin Restaurant, which means food and wine in Danish, inside the Landsby. This restaurant is awesome, offering wine country-inspired dishes made with fresh, local produce and seasonal ingredients. The wine selection is immense, with a limited beer selection.
We were lucky to be in Solvang on Wednesday. We were able to check out the farmers market. Local honey, fruit and vegetables and tons of flowers can all be had for reasonable prices.
Dinner was paired with the perfect wine
One of my favorite things about coming back to our suite after a long day of exploring, was pouring myself a glass of Sanger 2014 Tre Anelli Movedre, then sinking into the deep tub of warm water and L’Occitane bath crystals. Even if you’re not a bath person, you will want to take a bath in this enormous tub that could seat six people. Ok, four people, if you’ve been hitting the bakeries all day.
Next step, throw on the luxurious robe and sit downstairs by the fire. What a treat it was to wake up in a big comfortable bed, in the loft at the Landsby.
At checkout, we met Barry Prescott, the general manager and he told us that he took on the challenge to totally redo the hotel and adding a restaurant and bar. The bar is so popular, that plans are underway to expand it next year.
In addition, Barry is working on a project for one of their sister properties, the Santa Ynez Inn, to redo the restaurant. Previously, it was the Vineyard House. The new restaurant, slated to open in 2020, will undergo a two million dollar renovation. Barry mentioned, “We provide an experience that is comfortable, relaxing and fun and elegant, all rolled into one.” Barry has born in England and he has opened hotels, bars and restaurants in New York, Chicago and Santa Barbara. He decided to settle in Santa Barbara County. And were glad he did.
Treat yourself and enjoy a shake or a malt at Chomp
Before you leave town, you might want to treat yourself to one more delight. Stop into Chomp, at 1693 Mission Drive, and let Mattie make you the most delicious strawberry malt known to mankind.
It doesn’t get any sweeter that a trip to wine, dine and explore in Solvang!