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J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 1 Wildlife Dr, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-3032
Phone Number:
+1 239-472-1100
Website
Description:

Established in 1945, this wildlife refuge occupies one-third of Sanibel...

Established in 1945, this wildlife refuge occupies one-third of Sanibel Island and is a prime spot for birdwatching. Fees are required for Wildlife Drive. Wildlife Drive is closed on Fridays.

There's an extensive and informative FREE visitor center, a fantastic wildlife drive, tram tours, kayaking, fishing opportunities, picnic benches, and even a free scavenger hunt style game and wildlife spotting app (Discover Ding) if you prefer a self-guided tour.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Stunning at Sunset!

Well worth the $5.00 lots of birds -even saw an alligator! Bring bug spray and a camera! Go at dawn or dusk.

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 October 2015
SMather1
,
Islamorada, Florida
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4,497 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 4,239: English reviews
Islamorada, Florida
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 October 2015

Well worth the $5.00 lots of birds -even saw an alligator! Bring bug spray and a camera! Go at dawn or dusk.

Helpful?
2 Thank SMather1
Dayton, Ohio
Level Contributor
71 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 October 2015

Two years ago, when we came here, the trail through the refuge was closed, so we could only visit the museum. That was interesting and educational on it's own. This time we just poked our heads in the free museum exhibits for about 20 minutes to get a quick look around and pick up some literature on the refuge. If... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank SludgeD
Indiana
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 October 2015

Loved the area. This is a HUGE refuge and we took the 4 mile hiking tour. We were able to see several blue heron, but were disappointed we did not get to see more wild life.

Helpful?
1 Thank Dale W
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
177 reviews
52 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 October 2015 via mobile

There are probably more animals to be seen in other seasons. In October all you see are some fish and a few birds. The road through the park is one way for cars and bicycles. There is a long (8 miles) and short (4 miles) route available. Unfortunately there is no shop selling snacks at the entrance, so bring your... More 

Helpful?
Thank muhkuh77
Boca Raton, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2015

Not to be missed! Drive thru and see Florida in its natural state. You will also see gators herons anhingas spoonbills and much more Florida wildlife!

Helpful?
1 Thank Michelle M
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
34 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2015

Go on the Jitney narrated tour! It is worth every penny and the naturalists find the elusive birds/fowl that migrate during the season. Some of the naturalists also do the narrated tours in Tarpon Bay!

Helpful?
1 Thank Mflowers81
red oak, ia
Level Contributor
48 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 October 2015

This is a must do for every trip to sanibel! The scenic drive is amazing. We saw several different varieties of birds and other wildlife. We usually drive through more than once.

Helpful?
1 Thank luvsummer2
York PA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 October 2015

Take your time, walk the paths, look at the birds, watch the fish jump out of the water, take you time.. This is a US Dept of Interior run park. Done well. 4 miles long, all one way, just pull over on the right and take a picture of that Scarlet Ibis or some other critter

Helpful?
3 Thank Pokeymon
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 October 2015

We visit this park every year and love to take photographs and videos. We normally just walk along the paths and take in the beautiful scenery. Definitely a place to visit!

Helpful?
1 Thank allyth56
Westford, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
72 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2015

On a long weekend in Florida we biked from Billy's Bikes and stopped here to see some genuine gators! What we found instead was the Wildlife Drive closed, on a Friday no less. Who does that; why would anyone close an attraction on a Friday when most maintenance/rest closure dates are Mondays or Tuesdays, earlier in the week. Wildlife don't... More 

Helpful?
4 Thank TominWestford

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Typical questions asked:
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