Superb bakeries are reason enough to move here permanently. Descended from generations of Danish bakers, Bent Olsen of Olsenâ€™s Danish Bakery and Torben Petersen of Danish Mill Bakery are up well before the sun, preparing mouth watering pastry and breads, fresh daily. Add Mortensenâ€™s Bakery and Solvang Bakery, and youâ€™re never more than a block from blowing your diet.
The Solvang shopping directory lists 190 businesses, some truly great stores. Marianne Larsenâ€™s Gaveaesken (â€œThe Gift Boxâ€ in Danish) at 433 Alisal Rd. is a local favorite. Born in Denmark, former Danish Maid Marianne specializes in hand made Scandinavian gifts. The Solvang Children's Shop at 1661 Copenhagen is great for outfitting the kids. Across the street, Ingeborgâ€™s Danish Chocolates at 1679 Copenhagen Dr. creates old-fashioned Danish chocolates and candy, which they ship all over the globe. Sweet! The Royal Copenhagen Shop next door clearly shows the impact of many buying trips to Denmark in the varied inventory, including a superb Danish cookware collection. You can get your own ableskiver pan across the street at Birgitte and Steen Pedersenâ€™s Iron Art Gift Shop. Kathy Mullinâ€™s Book Loft at 1680 Mission Dr. is a fine bookstore, with a Hans Christian Andersen Museum upstairs. Theyâ€™ve inspired thousands of young writers with their essay contests over the years. The Solvang Antique Center collective at 486 First Street has an overwhelming array of fine antiques and kitschy esoterica. Phil Grantâ€™s First Street Leather at 1634 Copenhagen is a model for retailers and a joy for buyers. An outstanding collection of coats, hats, belts, bags and more since 1972, plus Philâ€™s personable presence. The Jule Hus, Solvangâ€™s Christmas store at 1580 Mission Dr., is ornament heaven. Owners Lauren and David Watts often travel to Europe to seek out unique finds. Donâ€™t miss Pearls of Provence at 485 Alisal for a cheery â€œBonjour!â€ and a quick idyllic trip to the lavender laden south of France, complete with period antiques and colorful linens. More tasting rooms are opening. Lucas & Lewellen is at 1645 Copenhagen Dr. Legendary Louis Lucas is one of the pioneers of viticulture in this area. Digital Instruments founder physicist Virgil Elings' Solvang Motorcycle Museum way down at 320 Alisal Rd is one of the best collections of classic and vintage bikes in the USA. For more info visit my website.