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DIng Darling

New York City, New...
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DIng Darling

I want to visit when I am there..please tell me how I should work this into my itinerary. What time of day to go and what to do...

The Bakery
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1. Re: DIng Darling

May to Sept, the Wild Life Refuge will be closed as they redo Wildlife Drive. You can take a limited tour thru Tarpon Bay Explorers in a restricted area not usually open to cars or trams. It will be tram only during the closure. Wather the Ding Darling website for updates.

http://www.fws.gov/dingdarling/

If you are there before or after Wildlife drive is closed, I find the best time is late afternoon, as the birds come back in. If you go during high tide, you will see more diving birds, like osprey, pelicans, and anhinga. If you go at low tide, you'll see more wading birds like heron, ibis, cranes, and spoonbills (seasonal). Going near dusk means you MUST use insect repellent - a good idea regardless if you take any of the walkways thru the mangroves. The no-see-ums can be fierce.

You can rent binoculars at the information office/visitor center.

Edited: 24 March 2013, 18:35
United States
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6,537 posts
24 reviews
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2. Re: DIng Darling

I hate to complain about anything on Sanibel as I love it there, but I thought Ding Darling was very overrated when I visited. Maybe I'm not enough of a nature lover, but we saw very few birds, and one Alligator sunning himself. He looked very old. It was a dull trip. I always wonder what people see in it. Okay, you can blast me now, but it's my personal opinion, and I wouldn't go again.

The Bakery
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3. Re: DIng Darling

Many people feel that way, StL. It really is amazing at certain times of day, but the most impressive is the sunset cruise on Tarpon Bay. You'll see thousands of birds coming in to roost.

But hey, you don't like it, it's OK. Sometimes it can be boring, esp in summer.

Missouri
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4. Re: DIng Darling

I think, like everything else, some times Ding Darling gets over-hyped. The great thing about San/Cap is that it is pretty natural which means the animals are in charge of the show. We have walked the Indigo Trail through Ding when we saw lots of gators/birds we have walked it when we saw nothing at all. At worst you get some exercise in an rather unique environment.

United States
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5. Re: DIng Darling

Plus, I'm there for the beach and other fun. I've never been into nature watching. But I do admit, I feel a little guilty that I see nothing in the place. Like maybe I'm supposed to think it's great because people do.

Fort Myers, Florida
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606 posts
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6. Re: DIng Darling

If you're not into nature, then of course you won't appreciate Ding Darling. Wildlife is not there to put on a show for you. A lot of people think that arch in your hometown is overrated. :)

United States
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7. Re: DIng Darling

Whoa! That wasn't exactly nice! Someone has mentioned to me that you don't comment in a very polite way, 16Traveler. I guess I just found out for myself. Please don't take it personally that I don't care for Ding Darling.

United States
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8. Re: DIng Darling

And I don't take offense at your Arch comment. I'm not even from St. Louis anyway. I just live there right now. But you need to learn some respect for people's right to comment.

Boston...
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9. Re: DIng Darling

It's not a zoo and you won't see animals or birds in set places, and sometimes not at all. Sometimes you have to be still and just look at the trees or water, and you will see things you didn't even notice at first glance. We were surprised by an otter last time we went

Madison, Indiana
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272 posts
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10. Re: DIng Darling

@ StL " to each his own"--don't feel bad for expressing your feelings....there are things on Sanibel that each of us doesn't get a "thrill" from, so we're entitled to find and enjoy our own activities. Personally, for me, it's the "thriller." I have no desire to plunk down that much money and speed around paradise.

I've had family visit and they found the beach scene "boring." That I don't understand! LOL

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