On the side of Route 246, just minutes off Highway 101 near Buellton, is a curious sight indeed. Hundreds of ostriches and emus roam an enormous enclosure with a scenic mountain backdrop. Pull over at OstrichLand USA, and you can see these impressive birds up close as well as feed them.
OstrichLand USA is one of the most iconic attractions of the Central Coast, and you can experience it in a small pocket of time for a nominal fee. Be sure to purchase a tray of ostrich food to feed the beasts – it’s an unforgettable experience. Hold on tight to the metal pan, put your arms out and stand back, as these birds’ beaks are sharp and posses quite the disarming peck. The emus are very cool as well, smaller and just a scooch more approachable.
Ostriches are remarkable birds, and it’s a real treat to watch them. Under a dense cloud of ruffling feathers they have an intimidating mass. Their tennis-ball-sized eyeballs are intense, and their strong, sinewy legs reminiscent of prehistoric raptors. Ostriches can reach 8 to 9 feet tall, weigh up to 350 pounds and sprint at up to 45 m.p.h. You won’t see them bury their heads in the sand – that’s a myth – but angry scuffles between the massive males are something to see.
If you’re on your way to Solvang or the Santa Ynez wine country, or just need a break during a California road trip, stop in at OstrichLand. It’s one of the most fun things to do on the Central Coast, and great for kids. Don’t skip the gift shop for all your ostrich and emu-themed needs. Maybe pick up an ostrich egg and make a monster omelet?
OstrichLand USA, 610 E Highway 246, Solvang, CA 93463