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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
Mid February Visit

I guess February is the one of the busy months in Fort Myers and Sanibel Island area. Traffic is... read more

Reviewed yesterday
Jim T
via mobile
Great water birds

We’ve been to Sanibel for a weeks stay five times. Every time we make it a point to drive though... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
KitVirginiaBeach
,
Virginia Beach
Read all 5,126 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” (599 reviews)
“tram tour” (342 reviews)
“white pelicans” (234 reviews)
LOCATION
1 Wildlife Dr, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-3032
CONTACT
Website
+1 239-472-1100
Write a ReviewReviews (5,126)
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"ding darling"
in 599 reviews
"tram tour"
in 342 reviews
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in 234 reviews
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in 120 reviews
"indigo trail"
in 115 reviews
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in 94 reviews
"the reserve"
in 119 reviews
"visitor center"
in 233 reviews
"drive thru"
in 57 reviews
"bird watchers"
in 61 reviews
"fish"
in 410 reviews
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in 81 reviews
"low tide"
in 278 reviews
"bailey tract"
in 52 reviews
"education center"
in 111 reviews
"mangrove trees"
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1 - 10 of 4,830 reviews

Reviewed yesterday via mobile

I guess February is the one of the busy months in Fort Myers and Sanibel Island area. Traffic is heavy everywhere you go. We spent about 30 minutes in the visitor education center. We could have spent more but it was crowded so we moved...More

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

We’ve been to Sanibel for a weeks stay five times. Every time we make it a point to drive though “Ding”. Usually several times. We have seen many beautiful birds here (plus a couple alligators). If you don’t see many birds on your first visit,...More

Thank KitVirginiaBeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 days ago

I was here on this island in the late 1960s when Sanibel was being plundered for shells and Captiva did not yet have a causeway-- and I was petrified starting out on this trip that the island would have been paved over. It has been...More

Thank Dave C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 days ago

We took a later afternoon walk and saw some amazing wildlife, I was mostly scared of the spiders which fortunately were some way away but were as big as your hand sat in their enormous web. We then saw a huge alligator track, the ranger...More

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

What a great place! You can drive your own car, take their shuttle or walk if you're up to an 8 mile walk! We drove our own car. There was plenty of wildlife to see and photograph. I just wish I had take binoculars....Well worth...More

Thank Carol M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 days ago

It was a bigger refuge than we thought and we saw many birds. We biked part of the way, but would do the auto tour or tram the next time.

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

We have been here once before. We were looking forward to a leisure drive thru the nature drive, our fault for not checking ahead, the nature dive is closed on Fridays, oh well next time.

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

Especially now as sea levels rise and species are endangered, this site is critically important both for its preservation as well as education of visitors.

Thank Katherine F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We took the self drive tour for $5 and glad we didn't spend money on bike rentals. The center was free and very informative. Bathrooms were very clean. The best part of the trail was parking just inside the trail, going down the walking path...More

Thank Jessie O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Plan to walk or bike. Car view was boring. Didn't see anything but birds and water. There were people who walked it and I think that would have been the better way to plan to go.

Thank Jessica J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Questions & Answers
Stewart T
17 October 2017|
AnswerShow all 5 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!
1
Vote
248gerritg
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).
1
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Carrie F
6 July 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from ClaudiLynn | Reviewed this property |
Huge parking lot should have room
1
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