Road Trip Stop: Ostrichland, USA
If you consider yourself a connoisseur of wacky road trip stops, Ostrichland, USA is a must see on your next drive through Central California. It is a perfect 30 minute to 1 hour stop on your way to the quaint town of Solvang. Whoever knew a bowl of pellets and some really tall birds could bring so much joy?
The main building of Ostrichland is small and unassuming, with a simple sign and dirt parking lot. What you can’t miss from the road, however, is a large, hand-painted billboard of an ostrich near the words “Feed this bad boy!” Trust me, you want to feed the bad boy. Pull over, pay the few dollars, and enjoy a bizarre and delightful stop with these entertaining animals and their caring humans.
Getting to Ostrichland
Located in Solvang, California, Ostrichland can easily be accessed as a road trip stop from the main highway. Here are some more details:
- Address: 610 E Hwy 246, Solvang, CA, 93463
- Hours: Open daily, 9am to dusk
- Entrance Fees: $5 per adult and $2 per child (12 and under)
- Ostrich Feed: $1 per bowl. Plan to buy a couple of bowls per person
- How to book: You can plan ahead and book online, or pay via card or cash upon arrival
- Parking: Plenty of free parking on site
Following COVID Procedures
At the time of writing this article, Ostrichland, USA has plenty of safety and hygiene procedures in place to keep their visitors and staff safe from COVID-19. Upon entry there is a plastic partition in front of the host/cashier so they can safely welcome you and take any payment. They have hand sanitizing stations located throughout the area, all staff are wearing masks, and guests are asked to wear masks as well. The entire visiting and feeding area of Ostrichland is outside and full of wide open spaces, perfect for distancing on your road trip stop. I saw the staff diligently sanitizing common surfaces and especially the feed bowls for the animals.
Follow The Rules
The welcome host advised us of the safety rules on arrival in order to keep us and the animals safe. They have signs posted around the vicinity as well, reminding guests to respect the rules and the animals. For example, you are not allowed to pet the animals, but you can feed them all you like. They advise holding the bowl close so they don’t strain their necks trying to reach you. And, most importantly, to step away from the fences if you’re not holding food (i.e. taking photos of your family), because you will get pecked by a hungry and curious ostrich.
See Two Types of Birds at Ostrichland:
The Infamous Ostriches
The Ostriches can be seen from the highway if you look closely, and their little heads can be seen popping up over the fence as you arrive. They are the stars of the show, and they know it; they proudly parade in front of the fences, fluffing their feathers about and looking to see if you have any food. There is a significant amount of roaming land in the beautiful desert landscape that surrounds them. I must have seen at least a hundred ostriches on my visit, scattered around the grounds. The area is very well kept and the animals look very well taken care of.
Fun Facts About Ostriches
- They are the fastest runners of any birds (can run up to 43 mph or 70 km/h)
- Ostriches have only 2 toes on each foot
- They have the largest eyes of any land animal
- Ostriches have 3 stomachs
The Humble Emus
The emus are the second act you will see on your road trip to Ostrichland, USA. They are much smaller than the ostriches, and are kept in their own section of the grounds. The emus are just as hungry though, so be sure to buy another round of food ($1 per bowl) before heading over to them. They don’t peck the bowl as hard when they eat, but they do like to crowd! I think at one point I had 10 friendly emus all trying to eat from my single bowl.
Fun Facts About Emus
- They are the second largest birds in the world (I’m sure you can guess the first)
- Male emus incubate the eggs
- They appear on Australia’s 50 cent coin
- Emus can’t walk backwards
Embrace The Weird
Adding a road trip stop at Ostrichland, USA is going to give you an experience like no other. The grounds are set up perfectly for animal viewing and are complete with themed decor. There are funky metal sculptures scattered around and painted ostrich murals on the walls. I saw plenty of kids sticking their heads in one of those photo spot paintings with the faces cut out. My personal favorite was the pair of large ostrich wings painted on the side of a building, tailor-made for your photos and social media.
Share The Ostrichland Love
Be sure to take a ton of photos of this place and share your road trip stop at Ostrichland with your family and friends. Find Ostrichland, USA on Instagram and tag them in your photos. Stop in their gift shop to buy some cute ostrich souvenirs (including ostrich eggs!) to help support the business even further. Let’s keep this place up and running so future generations can also stop in and feed these bad boys.
What’s Next on Your Road Trip?
- Heading to Solvang? Get my tips on Planning One Day in Solvang.
- If you’re passing through Lone Pine, California, don’t miss the otherworldly views at Alabama Hills. Check out my article Mobius Arch Loop Trail: A Quick Intro to the Alabama Hills.