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J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

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Nice Ride

This refuge is a "must do" when on Sanibel Island. Nice to drive, walk or bike, or all three... read more

Reviewed today
Myakka City, Florida
Well Kept Facility with Supper Viewing platforms.

This is a grand family outing and easy going on your own. They have dosan guidance if you care to... read more

Reviewed today
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  • Excellent67%
  • Very good23%
  • Average7%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“ding darling”(641 reviews)
“tram tour”(368 reviews)
“white pelicans”(239 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 white pelicans roseate spoonbills mile drive indigo trail closed on fridays visitor center the reserve drive thru fish tree crabs low tide bailey tract mangrove trees education center bird watching
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1 - 10 of 5,177 reviews
Reviewed today

This refuge is a "must do" when on Sanibel Island. Nice to drive, walk or bike, or all three! Several paths to take out to the water, many different birds to see. The Visitors center is awesome and even the bathrooms have fantastic art work...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank Mangzz
Reviewed today

This is a grand family outing and easy going on your own. They have dosan guidance if you care to listen but you find lots about the enviornment and that the red tide is not caused by the enviornmental negitives. Try not to miss this...More

Date of experience: March 2018
Thank whatmorecanyousay
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

This was a treat! It was worth the ride out there but bring water. The scenery was beautiful. The paths were wide. Wish we had more time there.

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank 936kerris
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

My boyfriend and I rented a couple bicycles at Finnimores and biked to the refuge. It’s a couple miles but the island is extremely bike friendly. IMO riding a bike through the refuge is the way to do it. It was only a dollar each...More

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank Q2953QCrachelm
Reviewed 6 days ago

I had the opportunity to visit the Darling National Wildlife Refuge recently with a local. It's a very visitor friendly place. There is an exhibit center with restrooms at the entrance. I believe there is a store there as well. The parking is free and...More

Date of experience: December 2018
1  Thank Indi237
Reviewed 6 days ago

A great way to explore is by bike. Tarpon Bay has them to rent at a fair price. Our family chose the 12 mile route and had the bikes back with time to spare. Take your time.

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank Jeremiah Y
Reviewed 6 days ago

We love nature, it was a hot day - and we are glad we took the trolley/bus tour. I suggest you visit early in the morning though so you can see more of the birds. We did get to see a few birds, an alligator,...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank K B
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We went on a dreary day and it was a great addition to our vacation. The learning center and gift shop is clean and well organized. Enjoyed the drive through the park as well.

Date of experience: December 2018
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Amazing board walk that leads to a crushed stone walking path through the foliage. We had our rented bicycles with us, which we had to walk on the board walk. However it is allowed to bike on the crushed stone pathway. We saw many anoles,...More

Date of experience: November 2018
1  Thank Debie3682
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

My dad and I drove through the wildlife refuge today and really enjoyed it. We saw a ton of different birds (like blue heron, osprey, pelican, egret, roseate spoonbill). I brought my camera and took a bunch of great pictures. This is a great stop...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank TobiesTravels
Toni W, Public Relations Manager at J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thanks for the review and letting people know that you saw a "ton of birds" and had a great experience here. As always, visit during low tide for the best wildlife viewing- call 239/472-1100 ext 2 for low tide schedule for the Wildlife Drive.

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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
15 October 2018|
Response from ckckckckckck | Reviewed this property |
Yes. We saw a ton a few days ago.
9 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 cvaccaro58 | Reviewed this property |
I didn’t see any, but there are lots of birds.