By Jennifer Raskin
Sometimes, there isn’t time to get out and explore the charming villages over in Europe. When you want to escape to a place that feels worlds away from everything, Solvang is the place to be. This old-world Danish-style town is nestled in the Santa Ynez Valley, a magical place that looks and feels like Christmas every day. Twinkling night lights, delightful bakeries, and a friendly small-town feel make Solvang a truly special experience. Just 45 minutes by car from Santa Barbara, discovering Solvang is like finding a magic door that leads to Denmark yet is home to over 120 wineries, boutique shopping, world-class golf, countless museums, and spectacular seasonal festivals. If you’re looking to get away from it all without having to pull out your passport, make your way to Solvang to spoil yourself in European-style splendor!
Stay In Style
The rustic style of the unique boutique Hotel Corque is one that gives way to guestrooms that boast custom furniture. Sleep upon soft Egyptian cotton linens and wake up to views of the resplendent surrounding wine country. With a newly- renovated pool, in-house restaurant that expertly pairs local wines with the cuisine, and an incredibly accommodating staff, Hotel Corque hits all the right notes for a splendid stay in Solvang. A peaceful retreat for anyone looking to envelop themselves in the famed wine country, it also provides guests full access to the spa and fitness center just a 6-minute drive away in the Chumash Casino Resort. Staying in Hotel Corque in Solvang has its advantages for the Danish charm, plus it boasts a coveted TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and Hall of Fame Award.
To learn more visit www.hotelcorque.com.
Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort
The oasis known as Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort sprawls across 10,000 acres of land in the Santa Ynez Valley. Aptly melding the Old West with the panache of a luxury resort, it boasts 50 miles of riding trails, two 18-hole championship golf courses, a 100-acre lake, tennis courts, pool, spa, impeccable fine dining at an array of spectacular restaurants, and western-themed activities for everyone to enjoy. Ideal for romance or for the entire family to take part in a luxurious resort- style vacation, the Alisal creates many ways to find your own slice of heaven on earth. As magical as the town of Solvang itself, the Alisal is a crown jewel for this special land, one that is surrounded by over 75 famed vineyards and wineries. Ask the highly-detailed staff to arrange wine tastings for you at the numerous places nearby, or for anything you desire to take your retreat to the next echelon.
To learn more visit www.alisal.com; Photo: Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort.
Dine With Opulence
Located within Hotel Corque, Root 246 is the ultimate farm-to-table experience set within this famed slice of wine country. The menu focuses on American cuisine fresh from the farm. Simple, though it is utterly delicious, allowing the freshness of the ingredients to command your attention. Focused on sustainability in all facets while providing inviting, comfortable cuisine, it’s a modern dining experience brought forth by talented chefs and a knowledgeable, accommodating staff. Root 246 features simple pleasures like a straightforward burger or more indulgent offerings like a prime ribeye steak. When you pair either with any of the recommended local wines, you’ll feel delightfully spoiled.
To learn more visit www.root-246.com.
First & Oak
Inside Mirabelle Inn, First & Oak is among the premier dining establishments in the Santa Ynez Valley. The highly- detailed menu of small plates features prized creations by Executive Chef JJ Guerrero, designed for you to select from each course to create a tasting menu, or allow the chef his pleasure in making one for you. Start with Reserve Malossal caviar, move on to the creative selection of kimchi risotto or pan-roasted seabass, then indulge in one of the sinful desserts like the caramel apple tiramisu. Along with Sommelier Jonathan Rosenson, you’ll have the perfect pairing of flavors for every bite.
To learn more visit www.firstandoak.com.
Live In Leisure
With scenic rolling hills and immaculate views of the Santa Ynez River Valley, the stunning surrounds you’ll find in Solvang create the perfect backdrop for a game of golf. You’ll find one of the most famed championship golf courses at The Alisal, though La Purisima is one that will challenge even seasoned golfers. Just nearby in Lompoc, it’s worth the visit. At The Alisal though, it’s hard to ignore such a perfect course, plus the restaurant and lounge on-site are truly spectacular.
While golfing is one surefire way to wile away any day, nothing could be finer than sampling the wine in Solvang. With over 120 vineyards, most that are boutique and family-owned, you’ll be able to craft your own wine tour, or allow your hotel to make your arrangements. It’s something you shouldn’t miss as the east-west orientation of the land here set against the coastal mountains bring a unique topography for the terroir to create some of the best wines you’ll ever taste. In the downtown area of Solvang alone, there are more than 20 different tasting rooms to wander into. You can also arrange to visit the wineries beyond. With boutiques and delicious bakeries in between all those tasting rooms, it’s a beautiful dream for traveling gourmands.