Carmel Highlands is an unincorporated community in Monterey County, California, United States. It is 3.5 miles (5.6 km) south of Carmel-by-the-Sea (better known as simply, “Carmel”), at an elevation of 318 feet (97 m). Carmel Highlands is also located just south of the Point Lobos State Reserve, and serves as the northern gateway of the Big Sur coastline along California State Route 1. Carmel Highlands was laid out in 1916 by developers Frank Powers and Franklin Devendorf.
The Carmel Highlands was especially important in the development of the regional art colony during the first half of the 20th century. Here many painters and sculptors found inspiration in the rugged scenery and established studio-homes, including: Ferdinand Burgdorff, Alice Comins, Theodore Criley, Arthur Hill Gilbert, Ralph Helm Johonnot, Ada Howe Kent, George Koch, Louise F. MacDougal, John O’Shea, Thomas Parkhurst, Ira Remsen, William Frederic Ritschel, Nora Havel Ritschel., Ansel Adams, and Edward Weston, whose studio home, Wildcat Hill, is preserved and occupied by his grandson, Kim Weston. The local Carmel literati frequently socialized in the Highlands, including Lincoln Steffens, Ella Winter, Robinson Jeffers, and Sinclair Lewis.
The real estate in the Carmel Highlands is some of the most expensive in the United States. Many celebrities have homes and vacation homes in this area. The ZIP Code is 93923, and the community is inside area code 831.