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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
long kayak ride

Good kayaking but be prepared for a workout. You will see some birds and get a good time with the... read more

Reviewed yesterday
dlosh
,
Pekin, Illinois
A Beautiful Tour

We took the tram tour through the preserve and really enjoyed it. The driver was very informative... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
The4travelersnc
,
Asheville, North Carolina
Read all 5,372 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 bird watching. Fees are required for Wildlife Drive, which is open everyday but is closed on Fridays, gate times vary. The best way to plan your visit is to stop in the informative FREE visitor center first which is open daily 9am-4pm. Then begin your adventure with many activities including the wildlife drive, tram tour, 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” (627 reviews)
“tram tour” (360 reviews)
Suggested Duration: More than 3 hours
LOCATION
1 Wildlife Dr, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-3032
CONTACT
Website
+1 239-472-1100
Write a ReviewReviews (5,372)
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1 - 10 of 5,067 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

Good kayaking but be prepared for a workout. You will see some birds and get a good time with the family.

Thank dlosh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 days ago

We took the tram tour through the preserve and really enjoyed it. The driver was very informative and we learned a lot. When we mistakenly went to gift shop at boat tour dock, we got to see manatees. We recommend the tour.

Thank The4travelersnc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 days ago

my wife and I would eat breakfast and then go for a drive through the refuge every morning (except Friday, they are closed).It a four mile drive and you can stop all you want to take pictures. My wife took hundreds. We saw alligators, manatee,...More

1  Thank 989scott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

The welcome center was neat and our oldest (age 12) got to participate in a free Junior Ranger activity and earned a badge. The volunteers were so nice and fun! We took the drive on the trail in our own car and enjoyed the drive....More

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

It has been 14 years since we were last at the refuge. The Nature Center and exhibits are great! Go in the morning before the heat sets in to see more wildlife on the drive through the refuge.

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

we choose the driving in the bus tour, lazy ! to hot to walk. but our guide showed us a lot of stuff I can't remember his nane. but he was great. not a lot to see there in july. but would be great in...More

Thank janetcV2039HO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 6 days ago

Excellant vistor center with knowledgable volunteers working. Gift shop had some great fines. But the nature trail was fantastic even in July when most of the migratory birds have left the area. Roseate Spoonbills were glorious. Saw many other birds as well. We completed the...More

Thank FunGaw4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 6 days ago

There is a tremendous amount to see and learn here, a great place to spend time and take time; to consider the damage we are doing to our world with plastics. The staff and volunteers are knowledgeable and helpful and there's a lot of wildlife...More

Thank PW24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 week ago

Love visiting Ding Darling! We've done the guided tour and the driving tour so this time we did the walking tour. Had our first alligator sighting and he shyly stayed hiden in the waters edge near the road. Thankful for that! Also spotted several nests...More

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

It was hot so we opted for the driving tour and stopped at a few locations recommended by the visitors center. We saw crabs climbing up mangroves. Started down a gravel trail where there are sometimes gators and the heat made us wimp out and...More

Thank B90x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Questions & Answers
charleskgto
8 April 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
3 April 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
16 March 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Kathy T | Reviewed this property |
Ive never had an issue.
1
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