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J.N. (Ding) Darling National Wildlife Refuge

One Wildlife Drive, Sanibel Island, FL
239 472 1100
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, National Parks, State Parks
Activities: Birdwatching, Viewing wildlife, Kayaking
Description: Established in 1945, this wildlife refuge occupies one-third of Sanibel Island and is a prime spot for birdwatching.
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1,751 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Saint Louis, Missouri
Top Contributor
549 reviews 549 reviews
159 attraction reviews
240 helpful votes 240 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2014 NEW

We started our visit by going through the educational building. This gave us a good basis for what we saw as we toured the refuge. We took the tram so we'd have a guide. So glad we did! Our guide was Wendy and it so great to have her explain what we were seeing and to give us the background... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Port Charlotte, Florida
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
15 attraction reviews
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2014 NEW

Rented a kayak and went through the entire trail. Totally relaxing and there is a great gift shop. Canoes are also available. Once done there you have the option of biking along a trail to see more wildlife. I suggest early morning (they open at 7AM) to see wading birds.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Coral Springs, Florida
Top Contributor
233 reviews 233 reviews
80 attraction reviews
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2014

They do a very good job, with all the various Florida wildlife. Need more volunteers to work with the animals, keep the facilities up. I enjoyed my visit.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2014

But take a guide - we couldn't recognize all of the various birds and other creatures we came across.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
12 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2014

We rented bikes at the park concessionaire, which is located a few miles down the road from the park. Half day rental is $10 for one speed cruiser bike. It has a basket which is handy for carrying backpacks, etc. we got started a t 930 and it was starting to warm up.you need to take the bike path from... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2014

This place is a national treasure. It is best to go at low tide to see the most birds. the tram ride is very well done and you can learn a great deal about the birds and their environment while riding on the tram.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Rockaway, New Jersey
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2014

We thoroughly enjoyed the drive through the refuge stopping all along the way...especially the observation platform where we saw some beautiful unique pink birds!!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Newark, Delaware
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
5 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2014

We visited on 9/1, and it was very quiet. There were not many tourists going through at 10:30am. Beautiful drive, with restrooms midway through. Definitely recommend!!

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Houston, Texas
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2014

We took the tram tour. Even though our guide was very knowledgeable, the actual visit was boring as can be. The tram tour started out really really really slow pointing out vegetation and trees - I mean who goes on a wildlife tour to learn about plants and trees?? There were hardly any animals to be seen save a few... More

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Tampa, Florida
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
19 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2014

We always pay to take the guided tram ride and then explore more on our own. Got the suggestion from the tram guide/driver to come back just before the nature trail closes to see the birds ‘happy hour’ at the water. The sunset from the tower was fabulous! The people staffing the visitor’s center were willing to share lots of... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2

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