December 5, 2018

Sights to See: Christmas Julefest in Solvang


I first heard of the replica Danish town of Solvang, which is located in California on Highway 101 in between Los Angeles and San Francisco, in reference to it being a great place to go for Christmas shopping.  And though I have visited it many times through the years to enjoy its charming authentic Danish architecture complete with thatched roofs and windmills, it is just within the last few years that I made it there for its annual December Julefest.

Julefest Christmas tree in courtyard in Solvang, California
Julefest Christmas tree in courtyard in Solvang, California

The town’s hundreds of specialty shops offer unusual gift items year-round, but they add more goodies plus seasonal decorations and a festive air around Christmas.  An annual Tree-Lighting Ceremony is held in Solvang Park with live entertainment, caroling, and the arrival of Santa Claus, and a Julefest Parade features hundreds of participants marching, trotting, cruising, and strolling along festively decorated streets.  Additionally, the family-friendly Solvang Nativity Pageant is an elaborate stage presentation that includes narration, music, and live animals.  Visitors during this time also can win a prize while exploring the town in search of the hidden Jule Nisse (mischievous elf-like Danish figures).  When I visited, I witnessed Santa leave a bar, mount a motorcycle, and chug down the street singing “Jingle Bells,” although the singing might be a false memory.”

Christmas decor in Solvang Restaurant in Solvang, California
Christmas decor in Solvang Restaurant in Solvang, California


More things to do in Solvang. 

More information on Solvang.

Travel articles to inspire and help you plan trips. 


images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers