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J.N. (Ding) Darling National Wildlife Refuge

Address: One Wildlife Drive, Sanibel Island, FL
Phone Number: 239 472 1100
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88%
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Nature & wildlife areas, National Parks, State Parks, Nature & Parks
Activities: Birdwatching, Viewing wildlife, Kayaking
Owner description: Established in 1945, this wildlife refuge occupies one-third of Sanibel Island and is a prime spot...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Nature & wildlife areas, National Parks, State Parks, Nature & Parks
Activities: Birdwatching, Viewing wildlife, Kayaking
Owner description: Established in 1945, this wildlife refuge occupies one-third of Sanibel Island and is a prime spot for birdwatching.

Hotels near J.N. (Ding) Darling National Wildlife Refuge

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2,185 reviews from our community

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Opelika AL
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
54 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2015 NEW

we saw pink spoonbills !! Wow...also the little black crabs climbing in the trees in the swampy area is amazing. Loved the trails and the quiet.

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Santa Cruz, California
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
26 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2015 NEW

We are fortunate indeed that Ding Darling led the charge to safe this gem of a refuge. The Visitor Center is worth a visit and then take the four mile slow car ride through the reserve, stopping as you wish to view the spectacular view and birds. Also park and take the short Native American shell mound hike - very... More 

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London
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2015 NEW

We took our 5 kids here and it was super dull. We paid the $5 to drive through and see a few birds we'd already saw throughout Florida (for free!) and a ton of mangrove trees. There was nothing else to see except old people bird watching (sorry old people!) and taking endless pictures of the birds (oh and people... More 

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Greensboro, North Carolina
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2015 NEW

We took the tram tour. The guide was entertaining, but we didn't see much. Some birds, and a lot of tourists.

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Massachusetts
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
15 attraction reviews
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2015 NEW

The bird viewing is spectacular. On a 2-hour tram ride, there were anhingas, white and brown pelicans, grebes, black bellied plovers, cormorants, sandpipers, several species of egrets and herons, and more. For a tree lover, the mangroves with their huge, tangled, above-ground roots were amazing and not to be missed. You can drive the loop and stop at overlooks or... More 

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Dunlap, Illinois
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12 reviews 12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2015 NEW

We took the guided tour on the tram; we did not extend our tour to include a lot of walking. The tour guide was extremely well versed on the refuge, its history, and the flora and fauna therein. The tour guide made the tour worthwhile; it was $13.50 per person as I recall so it wasn't cheap. We have been... More 

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Paducah, Kentucky
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
7 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2015 NEW

The docents were very knowledgeable and helpful upon entering the welcome center which featured many different specimens and replicas of various wildlife and fauna, native to the area. They quickly and politely offered us maps and a description of the various driving and walking trails throughout the preserve. We had seen much of the wildlife on previous trips through the... More 

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Cleveland, Ohio
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
13 attraction reviews
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2015 NEW

Today was my first visit to Ding Darling. I'm visiting a friend who has taken guests multiple times as "Everyone wants to go based on the great reviews." She really is a Saint for tolerating the drive and traffic both to and from the refuge and there lack of wildlife after. The reviews that say the wildlife at Ding Darling... More 

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Cleveland, Ohio
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
41 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2015 NEW

A very nice 4 mile drive, bike or walk through the preserve will take you upon small bodies of water great for bird watching. They also have a very nice education center. Tip, bike through the preserve to experience nature up close. We have driven, walked and biked through the preserve and biking was our favorite.

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Carmi, Illinois
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15 reviews 15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2015 NEW

Some beautiful scenes. Lots of birds. It was chilly the day we visited so we did not get out and walk nearly as much as I would have liked to. Hope to go back when I can get out and walk some of the "path / trails". As you drive through there are places to stop, for pictures or take... More 

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?