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J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

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If you would like to see birds, go at low tide. Most bird photographers already know this. You will... read more

Reviewed today
Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Wonderful visit to Darling National Wildlife Refuge

While staying on Sanibel Island we spent time at the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Indianapolis, Indiana
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  • Excellent67%
  • Very good23%
  • Average7%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
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“ding darling”(662 reviews)
“tram tour”(386 reviews)
Established in 1945, this wildlife refuge occupies one-third of Sanibel Island and is a prime spot for bird watching. Fees are required for Wildlife Drive, which is open everyday but is closed on Fridays, gate times vary. The best way to plan your...more
Suggested duration: More than 3 hours
1 Wildlife Dr, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-3032
+1 239-472-1100
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All reviews ding darling tram tour roseate spoonbills white pelicans mile drive indigo trail closed on fridays visitor center the reserve drive thru tree crabs fish low tide bailey tract mangrove trees bird watching nature center
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1 - 10 of 5,353 reviews
Reviewed today

If you would like to see birds, go at low tide. Most bird photographers already know this. You will see the largest collection at low tide when wading birds are best able to feed. The refuge has charts available that will show you when the...More

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank photoguywisconsin
Reviewed yesterday

While staying on Sanibel Island we spent time at the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The visitors center was great but the drive through the reserve was wonderful. We saw many water fowl including several large groups of white pelicans and a couple of...More

Date of experience: March 2019
Thank Jrussell1218
Reviewed 2 days ago

Great place to stroll or bike thru if staying on Sanibel. Plenty of area to watch the wildlife and experience the refuge. Dirt road(s) going thru area are wide thus don't feel cramped or insecure about being too close to woods. Amazing that habitat flourishes...More

Date of experience: March 2019
Thank SC2763
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

Just nice to spend time in nature. Sometimes we see birds and sometimes we don’t.. it really doesn’t matter!

Date of experience: March 2019
Thank Ltsimon12
Reviewed 2 days ago

We love visiting "Ding" It is different each time we go. The Visitor Center is informative and handicapped accessible. The gift shop has a lot of varied and quality offerings in a small space. The wildlife drive is a treat with several places to stop,...More

Date of experience: March 2019
Thank CSW343
Reviewed 2 days ago

We had a great time touring the preserve. Lots of opportunities to see all types of birds along with snakes, raccoons and other species. You can park your car and go at your own pace. Very nice way to spend a couple of hours. I...More

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank Tom J J
Reviewed 2 days ago

I am in awe of this place. The visitor's center is beautiful and informative. They charged us only one dollar per bicycle to enter the actual preserve, where we saw heron, pelicans, an alligator and other wildlife. Beautifully maintained and organized. A real treasure. Don't...More

Date of experience: March 2019
Thank Barbara M
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

We loved this place...so peaceful and not crowded. Only thing they should try to have only biking and no cars allowed! People can take the tram if the cant bike or walk the sanctuary.

Date of experience: March 2019
Thank Corrina B
Reviewed 4 days ago

My husband and I spent the entire day at the National Wildlife Refuge. We have never seen so many birds in one place! The park guides were extremely helpful and shared their telescopes. We biked the paths, and they were mostly flat and in good...More

Date of experience: February 2019
1  Thank Torchgal
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

Visit the visitors center, makes self guided tour more enjoyable. Ideal for all ages and tour the way you like. Driving and stopping is best for family members that may have mobility problems. Abundance of wildlife Birds, large lizards, and small snakes. Observation decks well...More

Date of experience: March 2019
Thank robertgZ4512CZ
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Questions & Answers
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14 October 2018|
Response from ckckckckckck | Reviewed this property |
Yes. We saw a ton a few days ago.
8 April 2018|
Response from PrMichaelM | Reviewed this property |
Yes it is. The visitor center is open every day but the wildlife drive does close on Fridays. So don't wait until the last day of your vacation to visit Ding Darling!
Mary S
3 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from 684sherrib |
We’ve seen sharks while kayaking to the mangroves.