Worth the Drive: Julefest

Worth the Drive is NBCLA's twice weekly look at nearby getaways

Your job: Decide to get out of town and fast. Our job: Help you find where you're headed. This week, NBCLA's Worth the Drive takes us to...

Julefest: It's the annual, nearly-two-months-long holiday party that lends Solvang that extra sparkle right about now. As if Solvang needs more. That windmill-laden village practically owns the trademark on sparkle.

Julefestivities: There's the grand tree to admire at the corner of Mission Drive and First Street. Brassy notes ring on Saturday, December 19th, dancers dance and carolers carol. In fact, the 19th is a big day on the Solvang seasonal calendar, if you're wanting to revel in Yuletidery. About the Nativity event: It's canceled, due to rain. It was scheduled for Saturday the 12th.

Other Solvang-close charms: Well, Solvang itself, of course, and all of its Danish history. Those pastry-nice aebleskivers. The shopping for things you might not find down this-a-way. And we've mentioned a particular pea soup that is not far from Solvang. Warming.

A Europe-like getaway: You're a Rick Steves fan? KCET? All those European vacation shows. Dreams delivered in half hour segments. We were just watching his Christmas special and wishing we could get a dose of that quaintness this year. We can. Because while we're still wanting to jaunt over to the continent, a jaunt north to Solvang is doable in a day. Yes, you must jaunt, and you must say "jaunt" when you do so.

Also: Wine. "Sideways" was filmed in the area. Wineries everywhere. Wine for gifts. Wine in stockings. Wine for the boss. Wine.

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