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  • Writer's pictureJesica Yap

Solvang and Santa Barbara, California

Updated: Jun 16, 2022


On the way to Solvang, we met a beautiful landscape of lush greenery and foggy mountains. The drive took approximately 2 hours, and before we knew it, Solvang was already greeting us. The first place where we went was Birkholm Bakery, quite popular for its cosy cup of coffee and Danishes. While it was as comfortable as promised, we were more amused with the wooden plank on the front of the bakery, which detailed lineages of kings and queens. We visited Rasmussen’s, a dainty gift shop and then explored--what we believe--one of the most picturesque streets we’ve seen. By the time we reached Solvang Bakery, we were really hungry, so we went with a Danish waffle and a Princess waffle. One bite of the waffles, and we knew why people kept popping in and out.

After giving our taste buds a ride, we decided it was time to hit the streets again. Cobblestone streets marked by old-fashioned buildings make Solvang look like it came straight out of a fairy tale, and the few buildings with massive clocks that we spotted really added to the vibe.

Our next stop became Denmark Square, where a beautiful fountain of a woman resting on rocks caught our attention. The slow gurgling of water joined with the beautifully sculpted woman, added a nice tone to the entire square. After capturing some pictures and exploring the stores nearby, we made our way back to Birkholm Bakery, where a delicious and cool lavender lemonade quenched our thirst.

Santa Barbara

Our next stop was Santa Barbara, which is thankfully only 40 minutes from Solvang. Right into the city, our first point of attraction became the Botanic Garden of Santa Barbara, which was literally blossoming into spring. A bright blue sky surrounded by mountains and filled with rows and rows of colorful flowers is a sight I’ll never forget. We ventured along the botanic garden’s trail for visitors, which leads to various attractions like the tea house and discovery garden. The Easton Aqueduct Trail is quite popular for its scenic nature walks, where you’ll find extremely tall trees which provide cool shade, massive boulders (which are suspiciously calm) and a little brook which runs through smaller boulders. I must add: being in the garden itself is a great way to be close to mother nature.

The Santa Barbara County Courthouse was an unforgettable attraction; the beautiful architecture really mesmerized us. If that wasn’t enough, its interior was decorated with the most beautiful detail you’ll find, making it a really attractive place. The view from the top of the floor is nothing short of phenomenal, and coupled with the weather; the visit is simply heavenly.

Paseo Nuevo shopping mall became our next stellar destination, where we clicked some pictures at the infamous Paseo Nuevo signature stairs and devoured a mouth-watering cup of gelato and macarons from Le Macaron French Pastries.

The Santa Barbara Public Market was no joke either; a hub where cultures of all kinds meet, the market was really a fun place to be. You can buy practically anything from here, and I did buy a 25 year old star-aged balsamic, which did not disappoint.

The Chromatic Gate Art, Arco Circle is a 21 ft structure which reflects positive emotions and is a brilliant place to take Instagram-worthy pictures. Similarly, Stearns Wharf, marked by flags of different nations and a beautiful pier, made our visit to Santa Barbara even more stunning. To top it off, we were able to sit at Shellfish Company, a prestigious restaurant with long waiting times, but the Dungeness crab and lobster are really worth every minute.

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