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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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1,718 reviews from our community

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English first
Michigan
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2014 NEW

we did the scenic drive, only saw a couple of birds. Indoor exihib is informative. will return to do the kayak tour on our next visit.

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Burlington, North Carolina
Top Contributor
98 reviews 98 reviews
15 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2014 NEW

We went around noon in August a few hours before low tide. The birds and wildlife were nowhere to be found on this trip. The drive costs $5 and you can go as many times as you like in the same day. We were planning to do the drive again that evening but did not get the chance to go... More

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Barefoot Bay, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2014 NEW

We took the tram tour of the refuge. Our guide was fun, knowledgeable and stopped often to look at flora and fauna. The gift shop/Refuge Center had something for anyone, and prices were reasonable.

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Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014 NEW

We visited here on an August afternoon walking the Indigo trail. We saw a couple of different birds but that was all. The actual trail is not particularly interesting. Later we drove the wildlife drive. We saw many more types of bird and a lot of fish jumping but again no reptiles or other animals. The $2 we spent on... More

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Clinton, New Jersey
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
8 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2014 NEW

Always a highlight of our trips to Sanibel, and a reason we hope to retire here. We went early in the morning, but came up empty except for a few ibises and egrets. We tried to go slow, but it just wasn't the right time. We returned near sunset, and realized that the tide was totally different, now low. We... More

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Miami, Florida
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014 NEW

My husband and I visited this park on a Sunday morning, we decided to drive through as it was really hot. The cost was $5 per vehicle. We saw a variety of birds throughout our drive, the views were beautiful. This place was quiet, peaceful and very enjoyable. I would visit again by bike next time.

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Miami, FL
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
15 attraction reviews
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014 NEW

This is a beautiful wildlife refuge which is perfect for a nice cool drive through. It is accessible by foot or bike or you can pull over and walk around but just know that it will be HOT and SUNNY! Plan accordingly especially with children. We saw lots of manatee activity and fish jumping - it's definitely worth $5! The... More

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Honesdale, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2014

Liked introducing our children the all the wildlife of the area through their displays. We all learned a great deal about the island, it s formation, history and ecosystem from the beautiful and accurate displays.

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Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2014

We did the drive and while it was pretty, there was very little wildlife to see. It may have been when we went though so I would still recommend going, just chose a different time of day. We only saw one alligator and a couple of birds.

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Atlanta, Georgia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2014

Great wildlife drive! We always go at dusk and see fabulous birds and sometimes an alligator or two. A must do while visiting Sanibel Island!

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