It looks like these weekly road trips are going to be a thing for us! Last week we went to the Lavender Fields and this week we took a slightly longer drive up to Ostrichland and Solvang! It’s been really nice to get out of the house and it turns out, there are a lot of fun things to do around us!
I had no idea this place existed until I started to do some research for our trip to Solvang. It’s only a couple minutes away from Solvang so it made sense to stop by on our way to the Danish town!
Ostrichland USA is home to over 100 Ostriches and Emus that have been trained to eat out of a bowl so you can feed them! It’s basically a zoo for Ostriches. There is a lot of land for the birds to run around but you’ll find a lot of them at the fence waiting for some food!
There isn’t a lot to do at Ostrichland besides feed the Ostriches and walk around. There are a few benches and sitting areas but other than that it’s very dusty and dirty – because you are on an Ostrich farm! I believe there is a gift shop indoors that is usually open but because of Covid, it’s closed. Instead they have a little stand set up outside where you can buy some souvenirs. My husband bought some Ostrich jerky!
Overall, it’s a fun little stop on your way to Solvang. I wouldn’t go out of my way to visit Ostichland unless you reaallly like Ostriches though. My 3 year old son did really like feeding the birds so I think he enjoyed it the most. We spent about a half hour there which was enough time to make our way around the fences, feed a few birds, and take some photos.
You have to make reservations to go there but it seems like there are usually a lot of tickets available. It costs $5 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under. We brought our 6 month old but we didn’t buy a ticket for him and they still let us in. You can also buy a bowl of feed for $1 which I highly recommend you do because that’s the whole point of going! Ostrichland is open from 9am – 6pm and there’s a small parking lot on site. We got there around 11:30am and it wasn’t packed but there were still a good amount of people there. Also, masks are required.
The City of Solvang is “A little slice of Denmark in Southern California”. Solvang was found in 1911 by Danish-American educators on land surrounding the Old Mission Santa Ines. You really do feel like you are in a European city when you are walking around!
There’s definitely a lot more to do in Solvang and activities vary depending on what time of the year you visit. I’m really looking forward to coming back during the holidays for Julefest! However, because of Covid, I’m not really sure if everything is open so you just have to check before you plan a trip. Other things to note – it seemed like there was a good amount of parking there. We found a free parking lot that wasn’t too full. And everyone is required to wear masks in the city (unless you are eating).
We ended up stopping by on a Wednesday around noon and I was surprised that it still seemed pretty busy. The popular restaurants had a lot of people eating outside at tables. But Solvang is pretty big so we were able to get around without running into too many people.
We ended up eating lunch at the Solvang Restaurant. All of the restaurants aren’t allowed to serve indoors so we didn’t get to check out the Danish decor inside the restaurant. But the main streets are closed off so that restaurants can set up tables off the sidewalk. It was busy but we were able to grab a small table. I will say that it was pretty hard to social distance around the restaurant. There were a lot of people in line/walking the sidewalks/eating around the more popular shops and restaurants.
But the food at the Solvang Restaurant was DELICIOUS! Steve and I both got the Danish Dip Sandwhich and it was SO. GOOD. Make sure to get a side of their homemade mustard because that was the best part! We also grabbed some Aebleskiver, which are like fried pancake balls, because they are a Solvang specialty.
Next we stopped to get some fudge at the Old Danish Fudge Kitchen and Harrison got some ice cream. You really need to visit Solvang with an empty stomach because there are soooo many good things to eat there. There are also a ton of bakeries but I was too full to eat anything else…haha. But next time I’ll make sure to pick up some goodies to take home.
Overall, Solvang is really cool and you could definitely spend a few days there if you wanted to check everything out. I’d love to visit some of the wineries but since we had two kids with us, it wasn’t really a possibility. But my husband and I definitely want to come back sans kids sometime!