DESSERT'S THE BEGINNING: Very often a cooking or recipe article starts with the sentiment "dessert's just the beginning." But at Taste of Solvang, which runs from Friday, March 15 through Sunday, March 17, it really is actually the beginning. This is a smart move in two ways. One? Dessert first. And two? It shows off what the windmill-dotted village is famous for: pastries and sweets and cookies and such. We know, it's also famous for wine and Danish Days and several other things, but if a group of people is driving in the 246 and the word "aebleskiver" isn't mentioned somewhere between Buellton and Solvang, well. We absolutely wouldn't believe it. Everyone but everyone talks about aebleskivers on their way into the town. Discussing the light pockets of fried doughy goodness is practically a prerequisite for visiting.
BEYOND DESSERT: The Dessert Reception gets the foodie weekend going on Friday night, March 15; there's a contest as well, plus wine (this is the Santa Ynez Valley, after all). We realize getting to the town might be a bit of work on a Friday afternoon, but if you can swing it, you really need a full-on dessert experience. It's the Solvang Way. Other recs? Choose one of the weekend's other activities, either the Walking Smorgaasbord or the Beer & Tasting Tour, and jump in. We probably don't need to explain that one will emphasize edibles while one will emphasize drinkables.
INTO THE VINEYARD: If you can get to Solvang at the end of the week, before the weekend, well, lucky you. Don't rub it in. But when you get there, look into the picnic and wine tours. You'll get to see some of the nearby countryside which, we don't need to tell you, would make the average postcard of most anywhere else weep in outright envy. That particular wine country is just that beyond. Fact.