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“A beautiful sanctuary” 3 of 5 stars
Review of J.N. (Ding) Darling National Wildlife Refuge

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.
Des Moines, Iowa
Top Contributor
144 reviews 144 reviews
35 attraction reviews
Reviews in 91 cities Reviews in 91 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
“A beautiful sanctuary”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

If you are a Florida bird or alligator, this is a super place. If you're wanting to see wildlife, of course it's unpredictable. So go ahead, go and take your chances.

Visited February 2013
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2,380 reviews from our community

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Carmel, Indiana
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Nice Drive Through”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

You drive your car through this wildlife refuge at the pace your car wants. We didn't see any alligators but saw lots of birds. It's probably better to go in the morning.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kennett Square PA
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Bike riding a little bumpy, but the birding is worth it.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2013

We really enjoyed all the variety of beautiful birds to be seen here. Egrets, herons, others. Quite reasonable for bikers and walkers.

Visited February 2013
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Carver, Minnesota
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“My favorite place on Sanibel Island”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

If you are on the island this is a must, at least take the 4mile drive.
We saw lots of different birds, great spots to pull over, walking trails, education center.

Visited February 2013
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Carol Stream, Illinois
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Birds Birds and more Birds”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

Nice low cost low key wild life drive. One way drive via car ($5) or can do by bike ($1) - if you bike make sure you're up to ride back on bike trail as drive is about 4 to 5 miles long one way. Can also take a tram tour (additional $13 fee) Many different bird types. Been there a couple of times - 2nd time less birds - depends on tide - better at low tide. Be sure to stop at the visitor center (free) and talk to one of the volunteers who can let you know what people have been seeing and where. Have some nice exhibits there too. Birds are not close by so a pair of binoculars or a telephoto lens would bring them closer to you for viewing. Time here depends on how much you want to stop and observe and/or take pictures. Went to a nice talk about alligators and another about the local ancient indian residents along the drive. Drivers - watch out for the bicyclists!!

Visited January 2013
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