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J.N. (Ding) Darling National Wildlife Refuge
One Wildlife Drive, Sanibel Island, FL 33957
+1 239-472-1100
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Birdwatching, Viewing wildlife, Kayaking
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
FORT WAYNE
Top Contributor
183 reviews 183 reviews
40 attraction reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Nice”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

Great little drive thru nature park (for a fee). Many places to park & view wildlife or picnic or whatever.

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2,380 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Fox Point, WI
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“$5 drive not just for sissies”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

Don't miss the $5 drive around the Ding Darling Nature Preserve. At first we thought the drive must be for the disabled, but in actuality it gives you access to the best birding spots in the preserve. You can park your car anywhere along the drive and get out to observe the abundant birds up close: Great Blue Herons, Ibis, Egrets, etc, etc. Bring your binoulars!

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Moines, Iowa
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Do not miss!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

Do not miss at least one visit to this place and, if possible, get out of your car and walk or bike through the refuge. The Visitor Center is a good place to begin your visit- loads of information and very helpful volunteers. We went back many times and each experience was different - birds, animals, etc.

Visited January 2013
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Coral Gables, Florida
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Don't MIss”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

We were glad we took the tram, as it was most enlightening, adding to this rich experience. The center is excellent, as well. We were there for most of a day. The center is closed on Fridays.

Visited February 2013
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Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Bring your camera”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

I just had my iPhone camera to use but should have brought my camera with a zoom lens. Also binoculars are a must. The bird sightings were just spectacular. We saw dozens of magnificent white pelicans, blue herons- big and small, great white egrets just to name a few. The tram tours were all booked but I would recommend taking one. We were able to listen to the guide several times along the way and his knowledge of the area made our drive so much better.

Visited February 2013
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