The Saving Asian Travel Edition: Solvang (Pastries & Farmers Market)

I absolutely LOVE Solvang. 
One of these days, Mr. Saving and I will pack our bags and move up to the Santa Ynez Valley :) ... just so I can go to Solvang every weekend.

And now I can sit down and FINALLY answer your most asked question:
What exactly is there to do in Solvang?!

If you don't know already... just 40 miles north of Santa Barbara is a small Danish community called Solvang. This little Danish town bustles all year long with fun activites and is filled with windmills, wineries and pastry. With a population in the entire Santa Ynez Valley of about twenty thousand, this is a place where you run into people you know everywhere you go. The best way to appreciate the beauty and old-world ambiance of Solvang is to stroll along the streets, savoring the fragrance of fresh Danish pastries.

Directly across Mission Drive, you will see Olsen's Danish Village Bakery, a well established business owned and operated by Bent Olsen himself. If you love love love pastries (and don't care about gaining any weight, while on vacation) ... then you MUST order the following items:

Photo of Olsen's Danish Village Bakery - Solvang, CA, United States. Assorted Danishes and Treats

Olsen's Danish Almond Custard Kringle 
Big enough to feed 10-12 people, this delicious item is filled with almond paste, custard cream and raisins. Mr. Saving and I (mostly me) can gobble this treat up in 2 days :)

 Danish Pastries 
An array of fillings which includes: Almond, Cream Cheese, Custard, Raspberry, and Apricot.

Danish Fruit Strips
Have a specific Danish Pastry flavor you prefer? I suggest you order the Fruit Strip instead! Bigger, longer, cheaper, and more assortment of flavors: Apricot, Blueberry, Raspberry, Custard, Cream Cheese, Lemon, and Cherry.

If you're drooling or I have hit your curiosity spot... click HERE and you can order online! :)

Due to the varied microclimates and soil types of Santa Barbara County, many different food crops can be grown there. If you're lucky enough, one has only to visit a farmer's market to see the amazing diversity of produce that is raised in the area. During our countless trips up north, Mr. Saving and I visited a few nice farm stands and nursery on Highway 154. Many provide locals and visitors with a bounty of fresh produce and plants from their garden.

Solvang Farmer's Market
Held on First Street in downtown Solvang every Wednesday from 2:30 - 6:30pm. Zac and I were able to attend this only once 2 years ago... and we noticed a colorful array of fresh seasonal organic produce, locally produced jams, honey, bread, nuts and pies. DELICIOUS pies.

Marcie's Pie
Zac is obsessed with Marcie's Pie. Whenever we are in town, he is on a scavenger hunt to look for one, or two... or even three. Marcie's was one of the BIGGEST highlights during our first trip to the Solvang Farmers' Market. Their pies are fabulous and one look at the short list of ingredients highlights their uniqueness from a chain or store bought pie.

Yummm... Tri-Berry Crumble Pie *drools*

If you can't make it to the Solvang's Farmer Market, Marcie's Pies are sold at local supermarkets.
Click HERE for locations and more information about Marcie's Pies :)

Summerset Farm & Dale's Nursery 
You MUST make sure you take the time to visit Summerset Farm & Dale's Nursery and purchase some fresh, organic fruits, berries and vegetables. They specialize in organic produce grown on site as well as a wide range of herbs and plants that you can repot in your garden.

I hope this post will give you some food for thought to where you may search for fine things to grace your tables. It is fun to shop at farmer's markets and farm stands here; you will help to support and encourage our local small farmers... and it is interesting to discover how many fewer trips you will then need to make to the grocery store (if you're lucky enough to stay at a hotel with a kitchen). Along the way, you will also be able to pick up some unique gifts for your friends and family.