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J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

Features Animals
1 Wildlife Dr, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-3032
+1 239-472-1100
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Review Highlights
Take the Wildlife Drive

The wildlife drive thru the refuge is over 4 miles long, and winds thru mangroves and tidal areas... read more

Reviewed yesterday
orangysfriend
,
Elkville, Il
Let’s keep Florida beautiful

This is so informative and really makes us appreciate our beautiful state. We must protect and... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
vickirn
,
St. Petersburg
via mobile
Read all 5,335 reviews
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Overview
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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 visit is to stop in the informative FREE visitor center first which is open daily 9am-4pm. Then begin your adventure with many activities including the wildlife drive, tram tour, 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.
  • Excellent66%
  • Very good23%
  • Average8%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“ding darling” (622 reviews)
“tram tour” (354 reviews)
“white pelicans” (238 reviews)
LOCATION
1 Wildlife Dr, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-3032
CONTACT
Website
+1 239-472-1100
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JPMiles / Payback Arrow
50
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Reviews (5,335)
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"ding darling"
in 622 reviews
"tram tour"
in 354 reviews
"white pelicans"
in 238 reviews
"roseate spoonbills"
in 231 reviews
"mile drive"
in 124 reviews
"fish"
in 442 reviews
"indigo trail"
in 122 reviews
"closed on fridays"
in 103 reviews
"visitor center"
in 262 reviews
"the reserve"
in 123 reviews
"drive thru"
in 58 reviews
"tree crabs"
in 85 reviews
"clams"
in 220 reviews
"low tide"
in 287 reviews
"bailey tract"
in 59 reviews
"bird watching"
in 96 reviews
"mangrove trees"
in 64 reviews
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1 - 10 of 5,031 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

The wildlife drive thru the refuge is over 4 miles long, and winds thru mangroves and tidal areas. At low tide, roseate spoonbills and ibis are among the birds feeding in the shallow waters, and usually there are several fish putting on a show jumping...More

Thank orangysfriend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

This is so informative and really makes us appreciate our beautiful state. We must protect and preserve it for all generations. We did the tram tour with Mindy and she was very knowledgeable. Don’t miss the bathrooms... they just redid them.

Thank vickirn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 days ago

Spent about two hours in the park. Wonderful Park. We visited on a Saturday afternoon, it wasn't very busy.

Thank Dave B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 3 days ago

Best to go early in the day when animals may be more active. Saw several water birds, many fiddler crabs, and an alligator. The park is very nice and well maintain. There is a lot of information available at the main building. If you are...More

Thank SCAngler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 days ago

We have visited Ding Darling several times. Love seeing the blue crabs and horseshoe crabs. Also saw fish, spiders, many different birds. The mangrove trees and their root systems are fascinating. Since you drive through you can take your time. I was glad I could...More

Thank robertsl54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 days ago

The number 1 reason to visit Sanibel Island is to visit to the "Ding" Wildlife Refuge. I saw SO.MANY.BIRDS!!! The tram tour is a fun way to get oriented, especially if a member of your party would rather ride than walk. I also rode my...More

Thank SongBird212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 days ago

This is a fantastic nature preserve and wildlife refuge. You can drive or bike the whole thing with plenty of stopping spots along the way. Start your visit at the visitors center to get acclimated.

Thank Joe D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 days ago

Excellent place to go alone or with family on a bike or in a car! Be sure to bring your binoculars! For avid birders, be time to go is in January; yet, I'm never disappointed during any season. Great place to introduce children to birds...More

Thank bk6550
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

This is a nice park and a overall great thing. We went in June and didn’t see very many animals. A few birds and a few crabs is all. I think it would be nice to bike through in the winter time and I would...More

Thank klukan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 days ago

We only went for a short time but it was so fun for our three little boys! We spent the majority of time in the Education center, which they LOVED. Small but informational and interesting. It was National Ocean day so they had activities going...More

Thank Katharine K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Questions & Answers
charleskgto
8 April 2018|
Answer
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!
0
Votes
Mary S
3 April 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from cvaccaro58 | Reviewed this property |
I didn’t see any, but there are lots of birds.
0
Votes
kbleich2018
16 March 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Kathy T | Reviewed this property |
Ive never had an issue.
1
Vote
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