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J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

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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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Lots of birds and a few other species in natural habitat

Numerous birds were in view on combined drive/walking self-guided tour of refuge. Be sure to take some of the raised boardwalks to see birds, reptiles, fish and other species in... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Charles K
,
Dallas, TX, United States
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4,688 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 4,424: English reviews
Dallas, TX, United States
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed yesterday
NEW

Numerous birds were in view on combined drive/walking self-guided tour of refuge. Be sure to take some of the raised boardwalks to see birds, reptiles, fish and other species in their natural habitats. But be ready to approach quietly and look carefully to discover each. Anything can spook them to run and hide where you will never find them.

Helpful?
Thank Charles K
Level Contributor
26 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed yesterday
NEW
via mobile

I love this place. The birds are amazing. We come every year. One year we came at high tide and the birds on the mud flats weren't out so try to come on a low tide. Also good are excursions with Tarpon Bay Explorers into the park.

Helpful?
Thank heatherCR
Fort Myers, Florida
Level Contributor
118 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed yesterday
NEW

If you get on Sanibel Island for any time period you must at least do the drive through the Park. It is a National Park and an amazing conservation area

Helpful?
Thank Rich062
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
66 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago
NEW
via mobile

The tour is very nice. We come twice: at about 11am and 6pm. At 11am we had nice tour. The problem: it's off season so we did saw some birds but not as much as we expected or hear about. The 6pm tour......no one bird show to with that afternoon. Big disappointment

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Thank amitisraeli
Level Contributor
29 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 2 days ago
NEW
via mobile

Beautiful view . Nice to visit during low tide; better change to see birds. Great place for fishing; you can see the fish trough the water. For $5 per car you can enter the park as many time you want on the same day. It is $1. Only if you walk or ride a bike.

Helpful?
Thank Nati I
Colchester, Connecticut
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago
NEW

For $5 a car or $1 for a bicycle or walk this is a great way to see birds you don't see everyday. I think taking a bicycle would be the best way to do it, but I went in a car. It is 4 miles and you can go as slow as you'd like or stop and get out... More 

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Thank MJL59
Belo Horizonte, MG
Level Contributor
85 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago
NEW

We did some driving, some walking, took lots of pictures, and saw the info center! Really cool place to see wildlife gathering in natural areas. Go here and skip the zoo! See animals in their native spaces, instead :)

Helpful?
Thank Ryan S
Ellicott City, Maryland
Level Contributor
474 reviews
206 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 209 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago
NEW

During the winter months, Ding Darling is always crowded with tourists. At 5:30 pm on a recent Sunday we had the place nearly to ourselves. Always check the tides; you'll see more birds at low tide. Worth a visit every time we go to Sanibel.

Helpful?
Thank EC13091
Level Contributor
32 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 days ago
NEW

Excellent way to learn about nature in both the indoor facility and the drive yourself tour. Trivial cost for the value received. Very well maintained, good staff and nice learning experience.

Helpful?
Thank ShotLugeKirk
Plaistow, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
36 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 days ago
NEW
via mobile

Only saw a few birds on the day I went, nothing exciting... but it was a great bike ride thru. Nice education center, informative.

Helpful?
Thank Ann S

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Grandview, Missouri, United States
over a year ago
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Oak Park
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