Sandstone Island – Everything You Need to Know!



Sandstone Island


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Sandstone Island is an isolated island located in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of North Carolina.

The sandstone cliffs and coastline are a popular tourist destination, and the island has an abundance of natural resources, including coal, oil, timber, and marble. The island’s economy is heavily reliant on tourism and its primary industry is manufacturing.

Sandstone Island


Sandstone Island was first surveyed by the British in 1774, and it became a possession of the United States in 1801. The island initially served as a military outpost and prison, but most of its early history is unknown. It was formally opened to tourism in 1953.

The sandstone cliffs on Sandstone Island are some of the most dramatic examples of coastal erosion ever discovered. The cliffs date back over 1000 years and were formed as a result of large waves, winter storms and strong winds.

The island is approximately 1 mile long by half a mile wide (1 km x 0.5 mi.) and is located just west of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina’s Outer Banks region.



Sandstone Island has a humid subtropical climate. The island experiences four seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter. Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year, with most rainfall occurring in the fall and winter months.

Sea Breeze, Sandstone Island’s primary beach area is located on the western side of the island. Atlantic Ocean water temperatures in this region are approximately 73 degrees Fahrenheit (24 C), and sea breezes from offshore aid in moderating temperature ranges over the summer months.



The culture of Sandstone Island is heavily influenced by its proximity to the mainland and the larger Outer Banks communities. The island’s residents are predominantly of English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh ancestry.

There are a few small businesses on the island that rely primarily on tourism for their income, but most residents live off investments or working with family members.



Sandstone Island is a self-governing jurisdiction governed by an elected Mayor and five appointed Council Members.

The island does not have its own police force, relying on the North Carolina State Police for law enforcement needs. The island also allows the same hunting, fishing and gathering regulations as are enforced by North Carolina State Parks.

Government services

Government Services

Sandstone Island has limited government services. The island’s only medical facility is a small clinic that provides limited obstetric and gynecological care.

The only grocery store on the island is open seasonally, and residents must ferry supplies from the mainland. There are no banks or other financial institutions on Sandstone Island, but residents can access loans from local businesses or through credit unions based in the Outer Banks region.



Sandstone Island is a popular tourist destination for visitors who are interested in experiencing the Outer Banks lifestyle without having to live full-time on the island.

The island’s primary draw is its beautiful beach, which offers swimming and sunbathing opportunities year-round. There are also a few small businesses that offer tourists rentals of villas or cottages, as well as tours of the island’s attractions.



The only way to access Sandstone Island is by ferry, which takes around two hours from the Outer Banks mainland. The island has no road system, and residents must rely on public transportation or car rental services to get around.

The island was settled in the early 1800s, with some settlers from New Jersey being employed to lay track for a railroad between Salisbury, North Carolina and Roanoke Island.

The Virginia-based Holland Land Company is said to have bought about 2200 acres (80 km²) of land on this section of Sandstone Island at that time for $2000 per acre ($4308/ha), expecting eventually to sell or lease it off to settlers.

The railroad was never completed, and Sandstone Island remained undeveloped until the late 19th century.



The primary food source on Sandstone Island is seafood, which is either caught by the island’s residents or transported in from the mainland.

There are a few small restaurants that serve local cuisine, and tourists can also buy provisions at convenience stores or grocery stores on the Outer Banks mainland.


Milman Islet

Sandstone Island is home to a variety of wildlife, including wild ponies, owls, and deer. Visitors can see these animals while hiking or exploring the island’s trails. Tourism

Sandstone Island is very much in the southern U.S. and this means that it’s temperate enough for most visitors, who are attracted to its beaches and natural beauty rather than resort-based recreation or nightlife activities on the Outer Banks mainland itself.

It also lacks many of Cape Hatteras’ popular attractions because it isn’t as easily accessible from other parts of North Carolina or Virginia, making Sandstone an attractive alternative to visitors heading to the Outer Banks.

Peak tourist season is likely in late summer, although it’s unclear at what point demand exceeds availability of accommodation on the island.

Given Sandstone’s lack of development and reliance on local residents for supplies catches some by surprise – its infrastructure isn’t as developed as those found along Big Piney Beach or Kitty Hawk, leaving many renters puzzled when they read their lease agreements that forbid pets or swimming from April through September.


So you’ve decided to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life and head to the beaches. Now, you’re wondering where to stay. A few minutes of browsing through online reviews will lead you to Sandstone Island, an idyllic getaway that’s been praised for its serene surroundings and pristine white sand beaches.

But, before you book your ticket, it’s best to know a few things about this captivating island. From its strategic location to the top attractions that await you, read on to find out everything you need to know about Sandstone Island!


Is Sandstone Island a Safe Place to Visit?

Absolutely! Despite its remote location, Sandstone Island is heavily policed and maintained by the US Coast Guard.

Moreover, there are plenty of tourist attractions and restaurants located on the island that offers ample opportunities for rest and relaxation. In short, you can easily trust this picturesque destination with your safety.

What’s the Temperature Like on Sandstone Island During Summer?

The weather in North Carolina varies greatly throughout the year. But, if our assumptions are correct then you should expect to see temperatures around 20 – 50 degrees Celsius during summer; not much higher than that of New York City!

What’s Better Than Exploring Sandstone Cliffs?

Gazing at a breathtaking sunrise while feeling free and unbothered by crowds anywhere in Sandstone Island ! There’s always enough time to laze on beach while savoring your every sip of coffee or co ke.

Where Do I Cycle to on Sandstone Island ?

Cycling is the best way to get around Sandstone Island. The many cyclists frequenting this island make it a world of their own. You’ll see runners, bikers and even fishermen riding on roads galore while you take root in your vehicle.

Where Do I Find Top Places to Stay When I’m Here?

The island has plenty of accommodation options. For budget minded adventurers, a tent is usually the best option until you find something worthy enough for your money.

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