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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
Kayaking, visitor center and scenic drive.

The visitor center is good (not great but free) and the 4 mile drive is a little boring ($5 for... read more

Reviewed yesterday
SidneyVoyager
,
Keys
via mobile
Always have to do the kayak self guided nature trail

No matter what time of day, we always love doing the kayak/ canoe nature trail. We have done it... read more

Reviewed yesterday
shiftchick
,
Indianapolis, Indiana
Read all 5,260 reviews
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Overview
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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%
Travelers talk about
“ding darling” (613 reviews)
“tram tour” (347 reviews)
“white pelicans” (238 reviews)
LOCATION
1 Wildlife Dr, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-3032
CONTACT
Website
+1 239-472-1100
Write a ReviewReviews (5,260)
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All reviews
"ding darling"
in 613 reviews
"tram tour"
in 347 reviews
"white pelicans"
in 238 reviews
"roseate spoonbills"
in 230 reviews
"indigo trail"
in 122 reviews
"mile drive"
in 121 reviews
"closed on fridays"
in 100 reviews
"visitor center"
in 254 reviews
"the reserve"
in 122 reviews
"drive thru"
in 57 reviews
"fish"
in 429 reviews
"tree crabs"
in 85 reviews
"low tide"
in 285 reviews
"bailey tract"
in 57 reviews
"mangrove trees"
in 64 reviews
"bird watching"
in 96 reviews
"education center"
in 113 reviews
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1 - 10 of 4,959 reviews

Reviewed yesterday via mobile

The visitor center is good (not great but free) and the 4 mile drive is a little boring ($5 for cars or $1 per bike). It would be a lovely bike ride when it’s not too hot. Kayaking the well marked “Commodore Creek” with Tarpon...More

1  Thank SidneyVoyager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed yesterday

No matter what time of day, we always love doing the kayak/ canoe nature trail. We have done it over 10 times in the last 20 years and always see or experience something new.

Thank shiftchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

Taking the tram with a local scientist was eye opening. We saw more wild life in 45 minutes than I could believe. Very informative and entertaining. A must on Sanibel. .

Thank Margieobyrne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed 2 days ago

We started with an informative overview by a guide in the visitors' center. While we had little time and did not see any wildlife :-( the landscape is beautiful and relaxing while we drove through the 4 mile loop.

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

Great place to see wildlife & nature. Many types of birds! Nice day trip. Relaxing! Lots to see. Fun & educational.

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

Loved the park but hated sharing it with cars...we were on our bikes. Plenty of birds to see and great ride.

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

I have been here twice, fist time was exceptional, second was good. the fist time I went I was amazed by all of the wading birds,pelicans and ducks that where all out on the mudflats. This was over winter break, so not too crowded with...More

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

The tram tour is an outside company with a contract with the refuge. Don’t let that deter you from taking the ride for $12 or whatever it is. It is well worth it to learn about the mangrove and the estuary. Do you know that...More

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

Like most national parks and wildlife refuges, this is a great place for those who want to see native plants and animals, and learn about the history and science of the area. We loved it - saw dozens of bird types, including ospreys and eagles...More

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

Visit the main center to learn about "Ding" and the conservation movement then take the highly informative tram tour to see the mangrove hammcok and fauna.

Thank danielle m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
charleskgto
April 8, 2018|
Answer
Response from PrMichaelM | Reviewed this property |
Yes it is. The visitor center is open every day but the wildlife drive does close on Fridays. So don't wait until the last day of your vacation to visit Ding Darling!
0
Votes
Mary S
April 3, 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from cvaccaro58 | Reviewed this property |
I didn’t see any, but there are lots of birds.
0
Votes
kbleich2018
March 16, 2018|
Answer
Response from Kathy T | Reviewed this property |
Ive never had an issue.
1
Vote