The day after our camping adventure in Yosemite, we finally reached the coast in California! We stayed for one night in a chilly Monterey (i.e. no beach), and had a lovely seafood dinner out on the pier. Even though we missed the famous aquarium, we did have a chance to walk around in the marina and in the city center, and Monterey seemed like a very nice city. I wouldn’t mind coming back!
The next day, we drove down the breathtakingly beautiful part of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH, or Highway 1) between Monterey and Morro Bay, and then continued south on the 101 freeway. Our goal was to spend the next day at the beach in Santa Barbara. However, last minute deals on hotels proved to be scares, so we decided to stay a bit outside instead, in Santa Ynez Valley. We booked a room on hotel.com, at a Holliday Inn Solvang. On our way up from the garage, we shared the lift with two other Swedes and one of them pointed out that running into other Swedes wasn’t so strange given where we were. I thought he meant California, since we Swedes always go where the sun is, but when Jonas and I left the hotel in search of dinner, we realized that we had ended up in Little Denmark. Solvang is apparently the Danish Capital in the U.S. The town was cute and weird at the same time, a little like Disneyland but with people actually living there. As always with immigrant communities, it was a positively skewed replica of the reality in the country a century ago. It didn’t exactly look like today’s Denmark, but Solvang did have its own brewery, which I can highly recommend a visit to!
The Monterey marina and people fishing from the pier
Jonas in Solvang, CA