Picture yourself motoring blissfully south along California’s fabled Pacific Coast Highway. Passing Monterey and the charming seaside village of Carmel-by-the-Sea, but before you reach the spectacular sea cliffs of Big Sur, you turn inland. Two short miles later you reach the weathered stone wall that marks the entrance to Santa Lucia Preserve. In an instance you are transported to another world. The Santa Lucia Preserve is 20,000 acres of unspoiled California – one and half times the area of Manhattan Island and home for 300 families in Carmel.

This landscape of ridge tops, redwoods, oak woodlands and native grasslands encompasses the last of Central California’s great Mexican land grants. Through a unique collaboration with the Santa Lucia Conservancy, 90% of the land is protected as natural, wild, open space in perpetuity, undisturbed and virtually undeveloped.

With the completion of 115 residences and more on the way, The Preserve has transformed from a collection of families into a deeply connected community dedicated to living gently on the land, enjoying the pleasure and satisfaction derived from their collective stewardship of this irreplaceable California habitat.

When you visit for the first time and stay at the historic Hacienda, there is a ringing sense of quiet that settles into your core and your senses become acutely aware. From the scents of wildflowers or chanterelles just off the trail to the sight of a bobcat sunning on the green to the feeling of the fresh, ocean air in early morning while the sun warms the day, it is a true awakening. This is just one day at The Ranch Club’s Hacienda. Can you imagine a lifetime shared with family and friends? 

Twenty-year residents and newcomers alike agree that there exists some guide posts that set The Preserve apart from other communities. The first is the sheer scale of 300 homes on 20,000 acres next to Carmel and Pebble Beach, California. A sense of casual gracious hospitality prevails throughout the culture and clubs, which are rooted in the early California vaquero traditions. Each landowner enjoys their own sense of geography as each home site is unique and unto itself. Homeowners take great pride in designing residences that are subordinate to the large-scale landscape and fit quietly into the land, protecting the views for all to enjoy.

The Ranch Club is the heart of the community, creating magical experiences from The Fandango, an annual celebration of the vaquero traditions of horsemanship skills, style and craftsmanship with exhibitions, competitions, a dance and art exhibits, to an opera in the redwood grove, to children’s summer camps and, of course, the annual dog show. This is a place where kids can enjoy the freedoms of another era and dogs can hike off leash or swim in the lake.

The Preserve Golf Club is a private, sun-filled experience. In fact, it is so private that tee times are not necessary. Veiled by towering oaks, crossed with seasonal streams, Tom Fazio’s Preserve Course winds almost imperceptibly through its wild upland valley. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Santa Lucia Range, the course never trumpets its presence; it whispers. The Preserve Golf Club is the conservationist’s course exemplifying The Preserve’s commitment to conservation – a nearly finished renovation results in new turf in the fairways, redesigned bunkers, new tees, and a marked decrease in its water use—by as much as 35 million gallons a year. The fairways of the golf course have been changed from bent grass to Santa Ana Hybrid Bermuda grass. The replanted fairways are firmer and faster, and provide consistently superior playing conditions, thereby enhancing shot making, playability, and enjoyment for all players. The Preserve Golf Club is among Golf Digest’s Top 100 Courses in America and is a treasured experience for all those that have played it. Just west of Santa Lucia Preserve are the legendary courses of Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and Spanish Bay.

Every once in a rare while, history and geography conspire to produce a phenomenon like Santa Lucia Preserve. Where a pristine 19th century California landscape can be assured of remaining forever. Where a fast disappearing way of life can be nurtured and reinterpreted for the modern day. And, where the families and values that define a community areable to flourish unthreatened for generations to come.

Join us at a place where abundant services smooth the rough edges of an adventurous life and conservation is the cornerstone of a life well lived. Today there are homesites available from $775,000 to $2.3 million and custom homes from $3.6 to $11.8 million. To learn more about opportunities for real estate and memberships visit santaluciapreserve.com or contact Lisa Guthrie Director of Sales & Marketing at 831.620.6762 or lisa@thepreservelife.com.



1 Rancho San Carlos Road

Carmel, California 93923




Image Credits: Photo from Santa Lucia Preserve.