Hotel at a Glance: Petersen Village Inn
A AAA Four-Diamond property every year since 1984, Petersen Village Inn sits in the heart of Santa Barbara Wine Country. With its tiled roof, onsite restaurant, and tranquil gardens, the inn would easily fit in in a small European town. You’ll find remnants of Old World charm throughout the hotel, from antique furnishings in the guest rooms, to traditional coffee and tea service. The surrounding area also has a wine country vibe thanks to world-class wineries and award-winning restaurants.
- Signature dishes: at Café Provence include pan-fried pork schnitzel and coconut torte with raspberry coulis
- Sip on Cabernet during wine tastings at Lucas & Lewellen tasting room, Carr Vineyards & Wineries, and Toccata Tasting Room.
- Guest-room amenities: poster beds and dimmer lights
- Danish-themed town: Downtown Solvang is filled with Danish bakeries, art galleries, and import shops, steps from the hotel.
- Edible perks: Head down to the lobby for afternoon Danish and fruit-infusion waters.
Solvang, California: Charming Danish Village in the Santa Ynez Valley Wine Region
Often described as “more Danish than Denmark,” the city of Solvang (est. 1911) is the place in California to find windmills, European bakeries, and half-timbered homes with gabled roofs. Families with names like Jensen, Nielsen, and Rasmussen stroll the quiet, tree-lined streets here, which wend past farms, ranches, and the orange and walnut groves that once thrived in this part of California. Solvang (which means “sunny fields”) maintains its heritage with festivals such as Danish Days in September, where vendors dole out sausage, cabbage, and aeble-skivers— famous Danish round pancake snacks. Along Alisal Street, you’ll also find gift shops lined with Scandinavian knick-knacks, antique books, and homages to Hans Christian Andersen.
In 2004, the hit oenophile movie Sideways was filmed here, thrusting the quiet town into the international spotlight. Though no stranger to wine culture—Solvang sits in the renowned Santa Ynez Valley wine region and boasts a handful of its own tasting rooms—the cameo did transform the town into a travel destination for wine lovers. Charming villages throughout this region have boutique wineries where you can sample award-winning chardonnays, sauvignon blancs, and viogniers.