Looking for a fun day trip? We love to visit Solvang in Santa Barbara County. Solvang is about 90 minutes from me here in Simi Valley. Even less if you’re further in Ventura County. My toddler, Mabel, and I enjoyed a sporadic road trip to the “Danish Capital of America” recently. Having lived in the Santa Ynez Valley for several years, I’m always reminded of how unique their shops are. With the holidays approaching, it’s always great to support local. Here are five of my favorite local stores in Solvang. There’s something for everyone!

Jule Hus

Since having Mabel, I’ve begun a fun tradition of getting a Christmas ornament each year at the Jule Hus. A Solvang staple since the 1960s, this shop brings Christmas year-round to town. There’s every kind of ornament you can think of (many can be personalized), nativity scenes, advent calendars, dolls, and more.

I was surprised at how low a lot of their stock was already. So, plan accordingly and shop here well before December 25th.

The Book Loft

The Book Loft is something special. It reminds me of the bookstore Meg Ryan owned in You’ve Got Mail. Although It may not be ample in size, they manage to squeeze in such a great variety of reads that you still get that “big book store” feeling.

Upstairs, don’t miss their beautiful used book selection and even a Hans Christian Andersen Museum. We are in Solvang, after all.

Treats at Good Seed. (c) Mary FarahTrinkets in the shop windows. (c) Mary Farah


Solvang’s very own department store. Rasmussen’s is one of the oldest businesses still operating today. They began as a general store and have since evolved into a beautiful one-stop shop for fine gifts, kitchen and home goods, stationery, yarn, needlework and even toys in the adjoined Nathalie’s Doll House. I love their Lladro collection and authentic Danish kitchenware like aebleskiver pans for making Danish pancake balls.

Good Seed Coffee Boutique

Not only is Good Seed perfect for a sweet treat and coffee but shop while sipping and munching. In addition to gift cards, Good Seed carries T-shirts, hoodies, beanies, and more fun apparel. If there’s a coffee or pastry lover on the gift list, grab a bag of their locally roasted coffee or special order some decadent baked goods. Super bonus: their famous Monkey Bread is both vegan and gluten-free.

Funnies at Lemo’s. (c) Mary Farah

Lemo’s Feed and Pet Supply

Calling all animal lovers. Lemo’s is an impressive store offering all things for critters. Given the area is strong in agricultural roots, there’s a lot of feed and supplies. Beyond that, there’s an impressive inventory of specialty gifts. Think dog outfits, high-quality leashes, and toys. Their space is ample so plan to browse for a while.

The humans are sure to find something, too. Lemo’s carries fun Solvang souvenirs like T-shirts and magnets. Several poking fun at how much we love our pets. If Fido is in tow and needs a quick bath, I love that they have self-serve bath stations.

Visit Solvang

And to think, this is just a handful. Beyond Solvang, check out Santa Ynez, Ballard, and Los Olivos all within five miles. These small towns combine a blend of chic with hometown vibes. Happy Shopping!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here