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J.N. (Ding) Darling National Wildlife Refuge

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Address: One Wildlife Drive, Sanibel Island, FL 33957
Phone Number: +1 239-472-1100
Website
Activities: Birdwatching, Viewing wildlife, Kayaking
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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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    Average
  • 62
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    Terrible
An Incredible Experience

On a day trip from Cape Coral we visited Ding Darling and were not disappointed. As avid birders we took the time to explore and observe and saw several lifetime firsts... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed April 25, 2015
vtbiker
,
VERMONT
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2,368 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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VERMONT
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
8 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2015 NEW

On a day trip from Cape Coral we visited Ding Darling and were not disappointed. As avid birders we took the time to explore and observe and saw several lifetime firsts! Impressed that there are a number of means for people to access nature to such a degree. Walkers and cyclists had the best access to move slowly and take... More 

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OKLAHOMA CITY
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
7 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2015 NEW

We visit this every time we are in the Ft. Myers area. Visitor center is very nice and the employees are very informative and helpful. We did the drive through the NWR this time (last time we took the tram), enjoyed both. Will return next time we are in the area.

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Leominster, Massachusetts
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2015 NEW

We enjoyed the tram tour, as the guide was very knowledgeable about the refuge and the wildlife there. We were there in mid April and I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a variety of birds to see, as I am an amateur photographer. Evidently many of the exotic ones have already flown north by then. But the guide... More 

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Cary, Illinois
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2015 NEW

A ride through the refuge is filled with views of birds and wildlife. Interesting views of ospreys. Easy walks and great viewing stations

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Newtown, Connecticut
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2015 NEW

If you love nature you will love Ding Darling! If you are a photographer you will love it even more. Advice, the noseeums are brutal in the morning and evening especially when there is no wind, dress accordingly. Don't do the tram tour. research a bit ahead of time then take your own car. This way you can stop whenever... More 

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Goffstown, New Hampshire
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
9 attraction reviews
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2015 NEW

Love coming to Ding Darling. You can take your time and make as many stops as you like. We different wildlife every visit. The best spent $5.00 on the Island.

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Cleveland, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2015 NEW

You need to walk or ride your bike or take the tram to really get the most out of your trip here. Lots of bird viewing

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Elyria, Ohio
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2015 NEW

We were very disappointed that it was closed for construction when we went to visit. We got to go through the small indoor are with wildlife displays that were interesting but we really wanted to be outside!

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Norfolk, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2015 NEW

Loved the access to the wildlife, museum was extremely educational. Plenty of outdoor exhibits and activities.

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Miami, Florida
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
14 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2015 NEW

We arrived at the visitor center just before the last scheduled tram tour. The tour was one person short of the required 6 people needed and guest solicited our family (ages 10 to 72) to join them. We are glad we did! Barry was an excellent tour guide . . . very knowledgeable and personable. He shared a lot of... More 

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North Shore of MA
Madison, Wisconsin
2 months ago

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?