Our Story

The Santa Lucia Preserve is a community dedicated to appreciating and respecting the natural beauty of The Preserve and its geographical, historical and cultural setting. Our comfortable ranch community includes just under 300 families, the non-profit Santa Lucia Conservancy land trust and a team of multi-talented staff. The Preserve embodies the intersection of nature and nurture with an innovative community design that ensures the long term protection of the unique natural and scenic resources to assure the beauty and vitality of the land. Located minutes from downtown Carmel, this is where wilderness, community and culture converge, creating an idyllic place suited for ranch living with ocean views.

A Ranch History

Here the past is a vivid and inspiring part of the present.

The Preserve has a rich history dating back to the indigenous Rumsen American Indians, whose legacy and spirit remain within the 31-square miles of land today. The trails provide a walking history lesson where you will find mussel and abalone shells exposed in the soil and nearby grinding rocks where acorn was ground into mash. In the 1800’s the land was parceled out as “Ranchos” under California’s Mexican land grant system where thousands of head of cattle and several hundred horses roamed the land. During the Roaring Twenties, George Gordon Moore, rumored to be F. Scott Fitzgerald’s model for the iconic Great Gatsby character, Jay Gatsby, turned the ranch into a gentlemen’s paradise for the rich and famous. Beginning in 1939, business tycoon and avid sailor, Arthur Oppenheimer, bought the property, reverting it to a private working ranch for a half century, prior to Santa Lucia Preserve being established in the 1990’s.


By design, The Preserve resembles a national park more than an elite housing development.

Permanent conservation agreements held by the Santa Lucia Conservancy ensure that that open space, coined “Wildlands” and “Openlands,” remain protected in partnership with homeowners. In total, just 10% of Preserve lands will be developed, which includes homes, roads, Golf and Ranch Clubs, and additional amenities. Treading lightly on the land is the guiding ethos of The Preserve. When the time comes to design your own home, the Design Review team helps to guide that journey to make your vision a reality, while ensuring that the connection to the land and the ecological health and beauty of The Preserve is protected.


A generosity of spirit and wildly comfortable lifestyle.

It's always hiking season on The Preserve with nearly 100-miles of trails to explore California’s rich coastal landscapes through multiple microclimates on foot or horseback. The member-owned community is situated on a 20,000 acre preserve with two private clubs featuring equestrian, golf and outdoor recreational activities, offering ample opportunities for members to play year-round.

Located at the heart of The Preserve through an oak-lined tree tunnel, the Ranch Club features a Spanish Colonial style Hacienda, the social pulse of the community. The Hacienda offers fresh farm to table cuisine sourced from an organic garden onsite, and overnight accommodations for guests. A state of the art fitness center, tennis courts, outdoor swimming pools, Equestrian Center and an 18 acre recreational lake, complete with luxurious glamp sites, provide just a few of The Preserve’s wildly comfortable lifestyle enhancements.

The Preserve Golf Club features a top 100 Tom Fazio designed golf course spanning 365 acres, which blends effortlessly into its stunning surroundings and is frequently described as a “dream course” where “every hole rolls naturally and beautifully with the contour of the land.” The design and execution of the golf course is indicative of the homage paid to the land, like everything else that exists here.

Meet the Team

A rich heritage of extraordinary service.

The tapestry that is coastal California begins with picture perfect scenery but the richness of this place is owed to the incredible staff here. Meet the team of passionate people who work on The Preserve and are interwoven into the community.


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