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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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1,764 reviews from our community

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English first
Atlanta
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014 NEW

Great place to see mostly birds and free -annuel pass... a little too hot to walk in the middle of July. We did not see any alligators!

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Ypsilanti, Michigan
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014 NEW

Early morning or early evening are the best times to visit, as sometimes the birds are away during the daytime. It costs $5 to drive through, which supports the maintenance of the Refuge. We drove through mid-day this time (my 3rd tour) and saw only 4 or 5 birds. If you stop off at the walkway into the mangroves you... More

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Oceanport, New Jersey
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014 NEW

The tour/gude was very good. Information from museum and tour guide was very interesting. Unfortunatly on our visit we did not get to see very much. Guess it just wasn't a good day to see things. It's nice to see, especially if you are a bird watcher. I guess I am not.

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Lochristi, Belgium
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014 NEW

We went 2 weeks ago, with 2 friends who loves birds watching, and they had the time of there live. It's a fun drive and you can take your time. Patience is a good thing, you will be rewarded for that.

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New York City, New York
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2014 NEW

Unforgettable experience!! we took a narrated tram tour and learned so much. Barry L, the guide was very knowledgeable and eager to share his knowledge. The staff at the Visitors Center was so pleasant. Thank you for this experience

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New Iberia, Louisiana
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2014 NEW

My husband and I took the TRAM TOUR of the Ding Darling Wildlife refuge and enjoyed the guided tour very much. You must make reservations . Our guide was very knowledgeable and shared her years of experience with us. She was ready to answer any of the group's questions. She was asked if the python/boa infusion in the Everglades had... More

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Tallahassee, Florida
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
7 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2014 NEW

Have visited Sanibel many, many times over the years and have seen most of what the island has to offer. One of my favorite activities is the canoe trips at Ding Darling. Used to take my kids when they were (much) younger and it was one of the activities that could hold a child's interest for any length of time.... More

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Irvine, United Kingdom
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
8 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2014 NEW

Very well laid out visitor centre with informative and helpful staff. The drive round the 4 mile trail was a bit "samey" but plenty places to stop and take in the views and watch the birds and horseshoe crabs. Didn't take the guided tram trip so unable to comment if we would have seen more from that or not. Tip... More

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Northbrook, IL
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
7 attraction reviews
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2014

Bring your camera and binoculars as this is one of the top birding spots in the US. Go at low tide for a better chance of seeing the spectacular roseate spoonbills feeding (low tide is more important than time of day). Some days there are not as many birds, so you may want to visit multiple times if you can.... More

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Canton, Georgia
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
26 attraction reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2014

Loved visiting Ding Darling. We went twice on our week trip. I love driving through and spotting wildlife. Also enjoy walking along the paths. On a rainy day we enjoyed the exhibits inside, especially the Sea Turtle display that is new this year. You have got to take your time when driving thru. Remember they are closed on Fridays. Also,... More

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