“This town used to be much cuter…” confessed Bill Martin, sole proprietor of Martin’s Used Books in Solvang, California. He’s probably right, but in truth, I thought the town was plenty cute. A Danish town, just 45 minutes north of Santa Barbara in the middle of Southern California wine country, the town was founded back in 1911 as a Danish colony, far from their Denmark’s harsh winters. Danish architecture, windmills, bakeries and restaurants cover the town including a copy of the famous Little Mermaid statue from Copenhagen, as well as a Hans Christian Andersen Museum. And though Martin did complain a bit about the how the town wasn’t nearly as cute as it used to be as no one really dressed up as much and some of the older more traditional businesses have closed down, (Martin even confessed that he didn’t wear his traditional Danish vest anymore) I had nothing to compare it to and found Solvang to be charming and downright adorable.
You can check a little bit more of the Solvang town charm with images from a previous photo essay on Solvang’s 3rd Annual Scarecrow Festival.