solvang and santa barbara

A Weekend Getaway in Solvang and Santa Barbara

Looking to spend a weekend in Santa Barbara? If so, consider adding Solvang to your travels as well. It is about 30 some odd miles from Santa Barbara. Solvang is known for its Danish appearing architecture (think lots of windmills), wineries, and also bakeries. It’s appearance is distinctive, so you will know when you have arrived. We traveled to Solvang on Saturday morning and spent the majority of the day here stopping at a couple of wineries in the area as we left. The best thing to do when you arrive is find a place to park and start wandering around town. It doesn’t take long to feel like you have gotten the lay of the land here.

We stopped at Succulent Cafe for lunch. This is such a fantastic, casual lunch spot. You first order at the counter and then find a place to sit. They had the best charcuterie board I have had in a while with jams, sun-dried tomatoes, candied nuts, raisins, and olives all as accompaniment. We started our meal with that. In addition, I also ordered the curried chicken salad sandwich. This meal was so good! Very happy with this place. On a return visit, I would absolutely go back.

After lunch we wandered the streets to various small shops and bakeries. The winery that we went to was Dascomb Cellars. We stood at the counter here and did their wine tasting. One thing I enjoyed the most is their cheese pairing with each wine. With their dessert wine, they provide a piece of chocolate. This made things more interesting and the cheeses were really fantastic additions to the wine.

Next, we left downtown Solvang and went to Rusack Wineries. This winery has a beautiful backdrop that I will share a photo from. We also did the tasting here and sat on the porch for the amazing views. This place was rather busy when we were there in the afternoon. It still wasn’t an issue to find seating, and it did not take long to get a pour of the next wine. For my taste, I didn’t find the wines to be anything remarkable. In other words, it was a good experience, but I didn’t want to purchase any bottles to take home with me.

For dinner in Santa Barbara, consider The Lark. We started out the meal with a couple of craft cocktails. Our food included the pimento cheese sliders and Wagyu Bavette. I thought the food was very tasty with great atmosphere. The place was packed on Saturday night, so I would recommend making a reservation. I was celebrating my birthday, so we had a small dessert as well. Following dinner, we walked outside and ended up stumbling upon a bar called Test Pilot. This turned out to be such a good find! It was a tiki style bar with great cocktails. I tried the bananacapa with rum, banana, maple, cinnamon, sea salt and lime. This combination was really spectacular. This bar was great. They had some unique options with fantastic presentation.

Santa Barbara has so many wine tasting rooms. We went into the Santa Barbara Winery and tried their tasting. Another option is to get a glass at Pali Wine Co. The pour here was very generous. In reality, you could spend your entire weekend just in Santa Barbara going to different wineries. We had lunch at Tyger Tyger. The malaysian curried cauliflower starter was yum! My pork larb noddle bowl was another good option. This place is casual and you order at the counter then sit down to wait for your food. They do serve alcohol, and I had a glass of wine with my lunch.

To recap my thoughts, I feel that Solvang is such a fun place to visit. You could absolutely spend more time here and stay at a bed and breakfast in town. The Landsby is one that I was really interested in, but it was completely full for the majority of the upcoming weekends. A popular place … if you are interested, book ahead! As an alternative, drive to Solvang during the day as we did and spend the rest of your time in Santa Barbara.

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