Many places take pains to preserve their ethnic roots and showcase them during the holidays, but Solvang celebrates its heritage year-round. Settled by Danish immigrants in 1911, this little town -- just 2 1/2 hours north of Los Angeles -- has cobblestone streets, four bakeries, and an old windmill. Today, this walkable village calls itself the Danish capital of America.
Come Thanksgiving, clear white twinkle lights outline Scandinavian-style facades, some of which are topped with thatched or tiled roofs. Each holiday season, Olsen's Bakery builds an 8-foot-tall gingerbread house that sits in the lobby of the Royal Scandinavian Hotel. The bakery also offers stollen and Christmas cookies. The Elverhoj Museum mounts crafts demonstrations, including a display of traditional paper cutouts. And the town stages a live Nativity pageant featuring burros, baby goats, llamas, cows, and ponies. It is narrated by Efrem Zimbalist Jr.
For information, call 800-468-6765 or visit www.solvangusa.com.
Discover Other Winter Wonderlands Across The United States
Cooperstown, New York
The Clark Foundation is responsible for Cooperstown's elegant garlands and Christmas light adornments.
Antebellum architecture and modern-day decor compete for attention during Natchez, Mississippi's annual holiday festival. The highlight of the season is the city's candlelit tours.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Countless farolitos line the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, New Mexico during the holiday season each year, lending further merriment to the city's celebratory bonfires and ornamented trees.
Kansas City, Missouri
"Merry" and "bright" are the watchwords in Kansas City, Missouri during December, when Country Club Plaza is set ablaze in the glow of 280,000 lights.
Seafarers flock to Portland's shores during the holidays to observe the city's many bedecked boats.
Return to Winter Wonderlands
Get Our Best Paper Snowflake Decor Ideas
Watch Them Fill The Windows
If a balmy climate prevents you from enjoying the thrill of frost-adorned windows, fashion your own with pristine paper snowflakes.
Encircle Them in a Wreath
Whether your wall requires an exquisite accent or an interior door begs to be decked out, this snowflake wreath is the solution.
String a Garland for the Mantel
Deck the halls with boughs of snowflakes, courtesy of our simple snowflake template.
Hang a Blizzard from the Ceiling
The weather outside may be frightful, but hanging snowflakes from the ceiling is simply delightful.
Create Gift Tags and Trimmings
Tags and trimmings crafted from ethereal snowflakes transform even simple wrapping into something special.
Decorate the Tree
Add extra twinkle to your tree with paper snowflakes.
Brighten These Snowflake Hurricanes
Illuminate your entryway with flickering snowflake hurricanes.
Put the Sparkle in Snowflake Ornaments
Lend a bit of razzle-dazzle to your decor with glittering snowflake ornaments.
Write on Snowflake Cards
DIY your holiday cards this year with a sophisticated and streamlined snowflake design that is both elegant and understated.
Make Your Cards Pop and Glitter
Presents your peers with a pretty pop-up card that glitters with glamour and sparkles with seasonal charm.
CLICK BELOW FOR ALL OF THESE SNOWFLAKE IDEAS