Solvang is a city in Santa Barbara County, California, United States. The city of Solvang is one of the communities that make up the Santa Ynez Valley. The population was 5,332 at the 2000 census.
Solvang was founded in 1911 on 9,000 acres (36 km²) of formerly Spanish land by a group of Danish educators, who traveled west to escape midwestern winters. The city is home to some bakeries, restaurants, and merchants offering a taste of Denmark in California. The architecture of many of the buildings follows traditional Danish style. There is a copy of the famous Little Mermaid statue from Copenhagen, as well as one featuring the bust of famed Danish fable writer Hans Christian Andersen. A replica of the Copenhagen observatory Rundetårn in the scale 1:3 was finished in 1991 and can be seen in the city centre.
Mission Santa Ines, one of the California missions (National Historic Landmark), is located near the center of the town, at the junction of State Route 246 and Alisal Road.
Solvang is located at 34°35′38″N 120°8′23″W / 34.59389°N 120.13972°W / 34.59389; -120.13972 (34.593793, -120.139656).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.4 km²), all of it land. Solvang actually bears very little resemblance to modern Denmark.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,332 people, 2,185 households, and 1,415 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,143.3 people per square mile (826.8/km²). There were 2,288 housing units at an average density of 919.7/sq mi (354.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.24% White, 0.43% African American, 0.66% Native American, 1.05% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 5.51% from other races, and 4.07% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino residents of any race were 19.86% of the population.
There were 2,185 households out of which 26.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.2% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.2% were non-families. 30.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the city the population was spread out with 21.9% under the age of 18, 5.5% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 24.4% from 45 to 64, and 22.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 89.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $45,799, and the median income for a family was $57,703. Males had a median income of $41,429 versus $30,175 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,363. About 2.7% of families and 6.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.5% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department has a sub station in Solvang, while the Solvang Volunteer Fire Department was disbanded in April 2007 and replaced with a contract from the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
In the city is located the Hans Christian Andersen Museum and Elverhoj Museum of History and Art.
- Much of the Oscar-winning 2004 film Sideways was filmed in Solvang and in nearby Buellton.
- Patricia Hitchcock, the only child of the film director Alfred Hitchcock, currently resides in Solvang.
- Solvang was one of the two locations featured in the William Castle film, Homicidal. The location used for the drugstore and flowershop still stands today and remains relatively unchanged.
- Rancho del Cielo, President Ronald Reagan's ranch which served as the "Western White House" during Reagan's two terms in office, is located about six miles (10 km) outside of Solvang.
- In The Simpsons episode "Little Orphan Millie", it was revealed that Milhouse has an uncle from Solvang named Norbert "Zack" Van Houten. Bart has a telephone conversation with a switchboard operator in Solvang, and a wooden "Solvang Air" airliner, whose fuselage resembles buildings in the town, is shown landing at Springfield Airport. Uncle Zack's overwhelming pride in his Danish heritage also reflects Solvang's history from its founding by Danish citizens.
- Ska-punk band Mad Caddies call Solvang their home.
- In American Dad, Roger refers to buying chocolate in Solvang.
- Solvang is the setting for the cult film The_Unseen_(1982_film) starring Barbara Bach who is reporting on the town festival, and Stephen Furst(Kent Dorfman in the 1978 Animal_house) as the title role. The Unseen features many external shots of the Solvang town festival and internal shots of the Hans Christian Andersen museum which in the film is run by the Unseen's father/uncle Mr Keller. (Trivia : Mr & Mrs Keller are known by movie buffs as Mr & Mrs Numberwang from Solvang)
- The town of Solvang was featured on Bravo's hit television show, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, on its third season.
- In an episode of "Pinky and the Brain", Brain forms a basketball team that has a practice session in Solvang.
- The Tour of California cycle race has had time trial stages in Solvang on three occasions; 2007, 2008 and 2009.
- In season 5 episode "Happy Birthday, Anastasia", The Girls Next Door and their guests take a road trip which includes a visit to Solvang; its original airdate was January 4, 2009.