Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum
||Santa Barbara, CA|
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The Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum is a private collection of rare motorcycles, a nice way to spend an hour while you're in Solvang. It makes a pleasant getaway from Danish themed food and vineyards.
The museum was established several years ago by Virgil Elings, a wealthy local enterpreneur. I don't know much about bikes, but I appreciate good design, and many of the designs are beautiful. Highlights for me included the Brough Superior, the Rolls Royce of motorcycles that became famous because the writer T.E Lawrence died when he crashed his, and the Britten V100, considered the fastest racing bike of the 1980s, built independently by amateur "backyard visionary" engineer John Britten from New Zealand. There are only five of these in the U.S.
Because the motorcycles are one man's personal collection, the choices and caption descriptions are quirky (which makes it an interesting experience). The decor is weird (wallpaper that looks like it could be in an ice cream shop). It's a fun experience!
-Contributed by Aaron Fry.
Cold Spring Tavern, tucked away in the mountains, is a favorite place for motorcyclists to stop, eat a prime-rib sandwich, and enjoy the live music on a Sunday afternoon. Also great is the short hike to Nojoqui Falls, a tall waterfall near Solvang. At Sunstone Winery you can check out a cool cellar on a hot Solvang day. Solvang town is a colorful place to walk around- don't get scared off by all the tourists! Los Olivos is a hip little town with cafes and wine-tasting rooms. And Santa Ynez town has an old west feel and Vineyard House restaurant with its wide, tree-shaded balcony.
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The Britten V100. Photos by Aaron Fry.
The museum is located in Solvang Village Square at 320 Alisal Rd, Solvang CA 93463, call (805) 686-9722.
Exit Highway 101 at Highway 246 and head east on Highway 246 toward Solvang. After you've driven through some of the town, turn right on Alisal Rd. Once you pass Oak St on the right, there are slanted parking spots along the road on the left, in front of Solvang Village Square. You can park there for free.
Hours are Sat and Sun 11-5 (or at other times by appointment).
Cost is $10, cash only. Children under 10 are free.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.