The rural municipality Höganäs, in which the first municipalsamhälle (a kind of borough managing matters of urban character) of Sweden had been established in 1875, received the title of a city in 1936. In 1967 it was merged with Väsby. The present municipality was created with the reform in 1971 when the city was amalgamated with Brunnby and Jonstorp.
The municipality is located on the Kullen peninsula, the extreme part of which is known as the nature reserve Kullaberg hill, with the picturesque villages of Mölle and Arild. The nature reserve is an Important Bird Area of Sweden and a location of several rare plant species.
The Kullen Lighthouse, the most powerful lighthouse in Scandinavia, is located on the western point of Kullaberg. The nature reserve is also home to a series of wooden structures along the coastline, which were begun by artist by Lars Vilks in 1980, and which have become known as Nimis. This is a tourist attraction despite being unauthorised by the Swedish authorities and therefore not marked on maps or signposted.