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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
Review Highlights
Great sanctuary

Rode to and through the JN Darling sanctuary on bicycles with the family. Great volunteers and so... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Chicago, Illinois
via mobile

We've visited here many times & each time is unique but always fascinating. The Visitor's Center... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Jan P
via mobile
Read all 4,952 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” (580 reviews)
“tram tour” (329 reviews)
“white pelicans” (212 reviews)
1 Wildlife Dr, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-3032
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1 - 10 of 4,660 reviews

Reviewed yesterday via mobile

Rode to and through the JN Darling sanctuary on bicycles with the family. Great volunteers and so well kept. This is a national treasure. Go here.

Thank TravelingChicagoans
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

We've visited here many times & each time is unique but always fascinating. The Visitor's Center is full of information about the history of the area and the man it is named for. There are lots of docents happy to share information, etc. If this...More

Thank Jan P
Reviewed yesterday via mobile

Remember to bring your National Park Senior Pass along. It will save you a few bucks especially if you go on the four mile wildlife drive. The Wildlife Refugee is located on Captiva Island which is connected by causeway to Sanibel Island. To get Sanibel...More

Thank Bob1600
Reviewed 2 days ago

I was at JN Darling National Wildlife this week. The volunteers were very informative about what it offers to show guests. I walked around the museum inside to learn about the animals who live on this refuge and then took the self drive for $5.00...More

Thank Dakim
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

Took the tram through the refuge (1.5 hours, 13$) and it was worth every cent. The guide-driver was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining. Don’t miss it when you are on Sanibel Island.

1  Thank rainer572
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

We saw so many beautiful birds. We went to see the Roseate Spoonbills and they are gorgeous! We saw an alligator while taking a nice hike too. This is a cool pit stop if you want to take a break and see some nature.

Thank Pegr007
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

Go at low tide. At high tide this refuge looks like any regular lake. At low tide the number of birds is huge. Some can be seen at close quarters. There are some boardwalks, a four-mile tarred road, an observation tower and a visitors' center....More

1  Thank Fred W
Reviewed 4 days ago

While staying in Fort Myers beach on a mini vacation we decided to shoot some nature photography here in the park. The park facilities were greater than expected and well maintained. You can tell that the community values the park and its wildlife. We decided...More

1  Thank MD4383
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

We biked thru the park, about 4 miles. Nice in November!! Heard there is big difference between high and low tide. Lots of jumping mullet, big birds, multi color pelicans, and nice bikeable route. One way loop is 4+ miles. Bring bug repellent, camera, field...More

Thank John W
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

We had a wonderful ride through this Refuge. We opted for the entire loop which is 8 miles total. Make sure you bring water. The fee is $1 per biker. It’s a very easy ride and very pretty. There is also a nature center which...More

Thank Charley5555
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Questions & Answers
Stewart T
17 October 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from hwhudson | Reviewed this property |
I agree. There will be many birds you can get just fine with the 200 but my guess is you’ll wish you had the 600 if you don’t take it. Enjoy!
14 August 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from lhamo1953 | Reviewed this property |
Sorry it took me so long to answer your question! I don’t keep up with TripAdvisor that often... Ding Darling only takes a couple of hours at the most... it’s a nice half- day excursion on Sanibel ( in my opinion).
Carrie F
6 July 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from ClaudiLynn | Reviewed this property |
Huge parking lot should have room