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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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Awesome! A must see and do!

Highly recommend getting the tickets for the tram ride! Very informative about the landscape, birds, and animals that live on Sanibel Island.

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Holly H
via mobile
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4,377 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 4,125: English reviews
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Highly recommend getting the tickets for the tram ride! Very informative about the landscape, birds, and animals that live on Sanibel Island.

Helpful?
Thank Holly H
Jackson, Tennessee
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

This is a must do in Sanibel. So much natural birds alligator birds. We took tram was about 1hr 30 minutes very leisurely tram would stop and patient wait till all could see

Helpful?
Thank 88nealb
Miami
Level Contributor
24 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Love ❤️ this place to see Florida's variety of birds and wildlife.. I highly recommend this for nature lovers and families with children. Highly educational as well.

Helpful?
Thank MalouSJRNBSNCEN
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Nice place to ride bikes through the trails or just a casual stroll. The wildlife to view is plentiful..

Helpful?
Thank Christine L
Jenison, Michigan
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Although you can drive your car through the refuge, you'll better enjoy the sights and sounds of nature by walking or biking through. There are plenty of spots to stop and take in the vast beauty of the refuge. If you're patient, you're certain to see fish exploding out of the water or the soundless soaring of a bald eagle... More 

Helpful?
Thank RevRay1212
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

This is a special place to be in a natural setting observing migratory birds. The visitor center is full of information about Sanibel's environment and the drive through the refuge. The volunteers are knowledgeable and friendly, and will help anyone who is interested in understanding the birds. But even if the birds are off resting in the trees, it is... More 

Helpful?
Thank Barbara M
Paris, Tennessee
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

This was a well structured and maintained natural park that made for an enjoyable day of bike riding and getting close to nature.

Helpful?
Thank Elaine C
Ohio
Level Contributor
41 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

While in Sanibel we visited the Ding Darling Wildlife Preserve on the island. It is well worth the time to visit. The guide was very knowledgeable and we saw wildlife in their natural habitat. There were many birds including white egrets, cormorants, wading birds and blue herrings. We didn't get to see an alligator, but they are very shy and... More 

Helpful?
Thank FatmanRob
Califon,NJ
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge is the best place we have ever seen so many flocks of different species of birds enjoying their winter vacation in Florida; Osprey, White Pelicans, Rosette Spoonbills, Herons, Egrets.....even Bald Eagles! First stop is the very informative Education Center where you can inquire about special programs for the day, including lectures and films, no charge. The... More 

Helpful?
Thank Millie H
Eaton, Ohio, United States
Level Contributor
179 reviews
90 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Only $5 for are car to drive through at our own pace. The time and day we were here was not loaded with birds and had no alligators, but that is not there fault. They are trapped here. I guess we needed to research when to drive through. The visitor's center was large and informative also.

Helpful?
Thank Steve L

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge and other visitors
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Stillwater, Minnesota
Grandview, Missouri, United States
over a year ago
Plattsmouth, Nebraska
seattle

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Questions? Get answers from J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge staff and past visitors.
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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?