Weekend Getaway to Solvang, CA
Arts & Culture
Food & Wine
Solvang is a hidden gem, located 30 minute drive from Santa Barbara, and smack dab in the middle of Los Olivos/ Santa Ynez Wine Country. Solvang means "sunny meadow" in Danish and was relatively unheard of until the movie Sideways put it on the map. This is an adorable town where most of the sights can be seen by walking, bicycle or pedicab. There is a town ordinance that prohibits chain restaurants in the city, so all shops and dining are one-of-a-kind and you know you are supporting a local business. Many restaurants pride themselves in serving farm-to-table cuisine and their seasonal menu changes with the ingredients in season.
The Fora Difference
Book with Thizel to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.
Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you
Customized travel planning for your style
Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there
Where to stay
Wine Valley Inn & Cottages
Charming cottage near downtown Solvang with cozy rooms and an on-site spa.
Warm European-style hotel boasting stylish rooms in the heart of Solvang.
The Mirabelle Inn
Elegant boutique hotel located a short walk from downtown Solvang.
Unlock perks by contacting Thizel to book your trip.
3:30pm - Lunch at Rideau Vineyard - Wine tasting and lunch. Charcuterie boards and pizza. Dog-friendly and so many open areas to bring your own snacks, if you choose.
4:00pm - Check into your hotel, Wine Valley Inn & Cottages.
6:30pm - Dinner at Sear Steakhouse - Amazing steakhouse with a fresh, farm-to-table menu and surf and turf selection. It is located directly across the street (a two minute walk) from Wine Valley Inn & Cottages.
Morning - Complimentary hot breakfast at hotel.
11:15am - 12:00pm - Solvang History Tour and Wine Tasting Pedicab. Meet Justin in front of the Solvang Visitor’s Center at 11:15am. Final stop of tour, Casa Cassara Wine Tasting Room for a five wine tasting. Five minute walk from lunch and hotel.
Lunch - TBD - walk to peasants FEAST for lunch from the Solvang Visitor Center. Farm-to-table, locally sourced ingredients. Restaurant does not accept reservations.
Afternoon - Free!
Broken Clock Vinegar Works for wine, shrubs and vinegar tasting.
Stroll down Solvang’s Sweet Treats Trail and visit:
- Birkholm's Bakery - They make sandwiches to go on their fresh baked bread. Great for a picnic at a vineyard.
- Solvang Restaurant for Aebleskiver pastries through the walk-up window.
- Paula’s Pancakes for Danish pancakes.
- Red Viking Restaurant for smorgasbord.
3:30pm - Aperitif at Alma Rosa Wine Tasting Room, one of the top rated must-visit wineries in Santa Barbara, as rated by Food and Wine. The tasting room is only a 5 min walk from the hotel and 4 min walk from dinner.
6:00pm - Dinner at First & Oak, a Michelin starred fine dining restaurant located in the Mirabelle Inn. Seasonal menus highlight the chef's sophisticated talent and local ingredients. Five course menu or prix fixe.
Morning - Complimentary hot breakfast at hotel.
11:00 - After checking out of your hotel, go for a picnic and wine tasting. Get some sandwiches to go from Birkholm's Bakery and head over to Folded Hills for a delicious lunch and wine tasting from their organic winery and farmstead.
Suggestions to try before hitting the road and heading home or for next time:
BRUNCH: Mad & Vin - The Landsby's signature restaurant specializing in delicious wine country-inspired cuisine, each dish is made with fresh, seasonal ingredients from California's central coast. Wonderful restaurant for brunch or dinner if you did not get to try on this trip. Reservations are recommended for dinner on Tock.
OLIVE TASTING: Only at The Olive House can you experience the delicious combination of olives paired with award winning local wines. You will also find the largest selection of olives, olive oils, tapenades and other gourmet delights sure to please your taste buds. Walk-in tastings welcome.
Wineries: There are more than 120+ vineyards in the Solvang. These are some of the best rated and highly recommended.
- Folded Hills Winery - Organic winery and farm - my personal favorite!
- Koehler Winery - Gorgeous outdoor seating & picnic tables - perfect for an afternoon tasting.
- Casa Cassara Winery and Vineyard - Lovely tasting room in town.
Need to Know
For more California travel tips, check out this guide by Fora Advisor Nadia Bess: Best Wineries, Activities & Restaurants in Healdsburg, CA.
Get in touch with Thizel
Did you like this guide? Reach out to customize and book your own experience. Or, just to chat about travel in general.
You can normally expect a response from Thizel within a business day or so. You'll also be subscribed to our travel newsletter (you can unsubscribe at any time).