This lovely centerpiece is located on the corner of Mission and Atterdag Drive. What I do find is that it is a Ansonia clock that was installed by Edwin Skytt and his father Hans in 1985. It is cast iron clock that was made in 1914, but with a modified electric mechanism. (Thank you, www.edhat.com)
Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau
1639 Copenhagen Drive
Solvang, CA 93463
A native American owned gaming casino, hotel and spa is right next door to Solvang in Santa Ynez at 3400 East Highway 246. This is almost like being in Vegas with all the sounds of the slot machines and the smell of playing cards at the poker and black jack tables. The CHUMASH CASINO RESORT has more than gambling with wonderful restaurants and a great buffet. Must mention the Creekside Buffet. Buffet special days with the "all you can eat Mexican Buffet on Mondays and the all you can eat Lobster on Wednesdays." The best price and value is the lunch buffet. Big name entertainment also appear in the 1,300 seat Samala Showroom like Joe Cocker, Bill Cosby, and Neil Sedaka to name a few. When it gets late in Solvang, it is early at Chumash Casino Resort. Open 24-7.
If you want to stay in the Santa Ynez area, the Chumash Casino Resort has a first class AAA four star hotel and spa. The hotel is a smoke-free property and their rates include a continental breakfast and use of their fitness center, steam room, and swimming pool. The full service spa is the place to relax with a massage or facial. Calling in advance will assure you of total care and service. I have written a travel column for VT called Wine Country Gamble that is a little more in depth. Just click on the color highlighted "Wine Country Gamble" to get my take. As they say to all at the casinos, "Good Luck."
Stagecoaches roamed the land and the El Alamo Pintado Adobe built in 1884, in what is now Solvang, was a stage stop and a delightful Inn. It evolved into a guest ranch and working ranch and was then abandoned in 1985. Iris Rideau, a native of New Orleans, purchased the property in 1995 to restore the two story adobe ranch house and recently turned it into the Tasting Room of Rideau Vineyard. Iris Rideau founded the Rideau Vineyard in 1987 and dedicated her estate vineyard entirely to Rhône varietals. Within the 16 acres of planted vineyard, one can find Syrah, Viognier, Mourvedre, Roussanne and Grenache. To make other varietals of wine, Rideau Vineyards purchases grapes from other California vineyards.
The Tasting Room is the El Alamo Pintado Adobe. The Adobe is listed as a designated Santa Barbara County Historical Monument No. 12. Simple charm of the days of the Vaqueros (Spanish cowboys) this vineyards tasting room is actually rooms of the old Adobe. A little of New Orleans Mardi Gras with the sale of masks and beads within the rooms brings home the flavor that is the history of the owner, Iris Rideau. The rooms are filled with memorabilia of the past including the sale of typical visitor to a winery clothing items such as T-shirts, hats and sweaters embroidered with the winery logo and wine sayings. Of course, the main attraction is the wine and the wine counters were busy with visitors tasting and buying bottles of wine.
Wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley has really blossomed and the growth of wineries is eye-opening as more and more land is being converted to grapevines. So, Solvang, Los Olivos, Ballard and Santa Ynez have become my new playground. Rideau is becoming a first class winery. Being treated to the tasting by my Sister-in-Law, a member of Rideau's wine club, I enjoyed several of the wines that I tasted and was surprised by the Grenache for both color and taste. An excellent red. The varietal that got my attention was the Syrah Iris Bon Temp Vineyard with its bold dense full-bodied flavor of cherries and cassis and a hint of chocolate. The refreshing part of the visit was the knowledge and friendliness of the staff. The Tasting Room of Rideau Vineyard is located at 1562 Alamo Pintado Road, the main street to Los Olivos off Hwy 246, but still in Solvang. Open seven days a week 10:30 am till 5:00 pm, closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas.
A name like Nojoqui is hard to pronounce but it is a Chumash Indian word pronounced na-ho-wee. I always thought it was no-joe-key as I saw the road sign many times on my travels up and down Hwy 101 in California. This time I was in Solvang and decided it was time I saw this Nojoqui Falls for myself. Starting on Hwy 246, I drove south on Alisal Road and after leaving town the drive becomes a delightful journey through tree groves and hills. After a short drive of about 6 miles, you pull into the park and drive up to the parking area near the Falls trail head. Restrooms are available to use at this point. There are also BBQ stands and tables.
A hike, more than a walk, to the Falls takes between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on your ability to stay on the path and physical stamina. There are a few photo ops along the way, small bridges to cross, stone steps to climb, and a few loose stone areas that can have you slip sliding away. When I arrived at the Falls, I realized how out of shape I really was. I had to sit down for a couple of minutes to catch my breath. I then looked up and had to sit down on a rock because the height was making me dizzy as I looked up. 100 feet above my head was the start of the Nojoqui Falls. That is a long way to look straight up. The water is not rushing down as much as it is caressing the walls of the mountain with a gentle flow. This causes a buildup of moss, ferns and plants that thrive on the curved wall that the water runs down. It is worth the hike in to see the beauty of this vertical garden. I also took a video of the falls, not so much for the rush of water which was very little at the time i was visiting, but for the beauty of the walls.
Plan on spending the afternoon here at La Purisima Mission which is located off of Highway 246 near Lompoc. It was the 11th mission of the 21 Spanish Missions established and was founded in 1787 in what would later become California. Learn how the missionaries and Chumash Indian converts lived back in the day. Pick up a map at the visitor's center for a self guided tour or take a guided tour provided daily at 1 pm.
There's a parking/entry fee of $4
Actually considered to be in Buellton, Ostrich Land is home to herds of ostrich and emus. There's a gift shop consisting of everything ostrich including ostrich steaks. You pay a minimal fee to feed these ravenous beasts and it's worth every penny avoiding getting your fingers munched off.
Oh, FYI -- if you think that you can just stop here without paying to view these lovely birds by just peeking over the chain link fence you may as well keep going. The management is strict and will chase you off like "Granny" from "The Beverly Hill Billies".
Located 610 E. Hwy. 246 between Buellton and Solvang of the 101 hwy
The kids learned how the Mission people made bread and tortillas. Also, they made there own butter and something that looked like jam.
The taste to everything was very bland but I suppose it was like that in their time.
The following pictures are from our most recent vivist to the Solvang area. We went to the Mission La Purisima which is located on the way to Lompoc.
Afew months ago we came here and we got here late. Most of the goings on were over and they were getting ready to close. I did get a schedule of upcoming events and I planned my next trip to Solvang around these events.
We come to the Mission on Mission Life Days. Here at the Mission the dressed up like they would have in olden times and showed us what life was like back then. It was very interesting and the kids enjoyed it too.
In these pictures the kids are feeding the horses and burros. They also have cows, a bull, sheep, turkeys, and alot of other animals. My kids are crazy about animals so they loved this.
Gavoita State Beach- Take hwy 101 South toward Santa Barbara. 15 minutes then take Gaviota Beach Rd exit.
Refugio State Beach- Take hwy 101 South toward Santa Barbara, about 25 minutes then take exit 120
Jalama State Beach- take 101 south toward Santa Barbara, take Lompoc exit hwy 1, Approx 10 miles take Jalama rd turn off. Approx13 miles
Sunny Fields Park-from Mission dr turn left Alamo Pintado rd. Park on the right 1 mile.
Hans Christian Andersen Park- From on Mission dr. turn right on Atterdag. Park on the left about 1/2 mile.
Well i have always seen the signs from the freway so i had to check this place out. Its not in Solvang but in Buelton but you are so close to Solvang. I was told that the Pea soup was really good and since we stopped here to eat i decided to try it.
The restaurant is really big and looks like its been around for a long time.(1922)
The split pea soup wasnt really to my liking but everyone else seemed to love it. The other food on the menu looked pretty good. I had the meatloaf , mashed potatoes and gravy with steamed veggies. Alexis had the chicken alfredo. All the dishes were served with so much food that sharing is a good idea. Lets put it like this, the chicken alfredo was split by three people. The service was good, servings were more than generous and the price wasnt too bad.
Inside you can see pictures and history of how they got sarted. You will also get to shop in the gift shop/market place.
La Purisima Mission is actually in Buelton, in the opposite direction of Mission Santa Ynez. Its not so far from Solvang so if you are interested in the missions like I am, its worth the 16 mile trip.
It cost $4 per car to park at the Mission which is also a historic State Park. The grounds are huge and you can do self guided or guided tours. Its open from 9am to 5pm but beware...come early because they start closing the Mission at 4pm. The park ranger told me that he starts locking up the huge mission at 4pm and he makes it to the main gates by 5pm. We got here at 4:30 and most of the Mission was closed to us but he was very nice and "closed very slowly" as we looked inside.
Outside the Mission theres like a little farm with sheep, goats, cows and a bull. Check out an activities schedule before you come because they usually have fun activities going on here at the Mission, like village days, Purisima's people days, mission life days, etc... arts and crafts. This is a great way to learn about how life was like in the 1820's, you can also learn about the early settlers and the Chumash people.
This little side trip is great if you have kids. They will be talking about it for days. You will see the worlds biggest birds and learn alittle information on them. This is an Ostrich Farm and you get to see the size of their eggs! HUGE!!! The average egg is about 3 1/2 lbs.
This place is home to about 100 ostrich and they can grow to about 8 1/2 ft and weigh more than 350 lb.
It is located 610 E. Highway 246 in Buelton
We bought some Ostrich food for a dollar and the kids took turns feeding the animals. They really enjoyed it but you have to be careful because the ostrich bite!
Lake Cachuma is located about 15 minutes from Solvang on Highway 154. It not uncommon to see wildlife in this area so be careful. It is most popular for its eagle cruises. There are 275 different species of birds but the eagles are what most people come to see. You might also see fish, deer, and bobcats.
This is also the spot for fishing. Because of their aquatic plant beds this is one of the best fishing lakes in the region. You can also take a two hour narrated tour
This little waterfall is a nice stop if you feel like stretching your legs and getting into nature. The hike to the falls is only 10-15 minutes from the parking area. You have a good chance of seeing deer ~ who love to hang out in that area. It's a nice 15 minute bicycle ride from downtown Solvang. Best time to go is after heavy rains ~ during normal times there is not a lot of water. From Mission (Hwy 246) take Alisal Road south for approximately 10 minutes. You will see it on the left. Park at the back of the parking lot and follow signs to the path leading to the falls.
This delightful county park is located approximately 10 minutes from Solvang (on Alisal Road). One of the secret wonders of the park is Nojoqui Falls (about a 10 - 15 minute walk reached via a canyon trail) where in the winter it provides a silvery cascade off the cliff and in the summer offers a cool bank of moss, ferns and dripping runoff. It's also a great place to walk your dogs.