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J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

#2 of 56 things to do in Sanibel Island Features Animals
1 Wildlife Dr, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-3032
+1 239-472-1100
Review Highlights
Excellent must do

Must do nature drive while on Sanibel. Always animals to see and it differs each time we've gone... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Katie W
via mobile
Beautiful, But Disappointed

The preserve is beautiful and well kept. It cost $6 to enter by car. We were disappointed by the... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Chattanooga, Tennessee
via mobile
Read all 4,790 reviews
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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.
  • Excellent66%
  • Very good23%
  • Average8%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“ding darling” (551 reviews)
“tram tour” (316 reviews)
“white pelicans” (208 reviews)
1 Wildlife Dr, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-3032
+1 239-472-1100
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Reviews (4,790)
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1 - 10 of 4,521 reviews

Reviewed yesterday via mobile

Must do nature drive while on Sanibel. Always animals to see and it differs each time we've gone. Recommend but spraying yourself if you get out of car much.

Thank Katie W
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

The preserve is beautiful and well kept. It cost $6 to enter by car. We were disappointed by the sheer lack of wildlife. Maybe it was just bad timing for us. We visited at about 4 PM and the tide was going out. In total...More

Thank DealScout
Reviewed 2 days ago

Ding Darling is a fascinating trip through the SW Florida coastal environment - go to the museum - it is excellent and it really sets the table for your journey (whether on bike - recommended - or by car). Great exhibits. The refuge itself is...More

Thank Planegator
Reviewed 3 days ago

This is a place best seen at a leisurely pace, with eyes and ears wide open, on a bicycle or in a canoe or kayak. Even in a car, there are plenty of places to stop and take a long look at the wildlife and...More

Thank JMH41in3
Reviewed 3 days ago

Informative and great museum. Walking trails and driving loop were scenic and the wildlife was amazing.

Thank 5fromMN
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

Great place to take the kids. Even the grown-up kids. Make sure you go at low tides, when the massive array of different birds are more visible. Drive slow and be on the lookout for a few alligators. A fun place to go.

Thank Dan M
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

Specially nice place if you bike and take your time at the trails. Walking is great if you line it too! Dogs are welcome here!!! $5 entrance per vehicle.

Thank nabeab
Reviewed 6 days ago

We drove through it, got out a couple of times. Saw plenty of wildlife, not too many in water but lots of pretty birds. We didn't see anything super cool (my son was hoping for a croc) when we were there. We did however, get...More

Thank echaid1
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

All though we did not see a whole lot of wildlife, a couple of gators and some birds It was just nice to be somewhere where you can hear the sounds of nature. And just watch the water...also hear some Mozzies...take the spray! It's a...More

Thank TexasTravelingkitty
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

A must when visiting Sanibel! Drive around to see lots of birds, geckos and maybe even an alligator. Stop whenever you want and have a walk on tiny footpaths down to the sea.

Thank Björn G
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
Carrie F
6 July 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from ClaudiLynn | Reviewed this property |
Huge parking lot should have room
Deborah K
21 May 2017|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from Lsterry | Reviewed this property |
Yes. It costs $5 but it's a beautiful drive.
19 May 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Amanda H | Reviewed this property |
I think you'll be fine. You are in an enclosed vehicle that drives along a paved road. There is one bit where you can get out and walk along a boardwalk through some mangroves so you can learn how they grow and see the crabs... More