We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

Features Animals
Save
Share
Review Highlights
J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge

The echo tour by Tarpon Bay Explorers at 900 Tarpon Bay Rd. Sanibel Iskand Was relaxing and... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
JoanneinPensacola
,
Pensacola, Florida
via mobile
A Must Do!!!

I accidentally drove into the Ding Darling Preserve and as there was no backing out allowed, I paid... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
Amy M
,
De Leon Springs, Florida
Read all 5,426 reviews
2,142
All photos (2,142)
Full view
Certificate of Excellence
Traveler Overview
  • Excellent66%
  • Very good23%
  • Average8%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
Travelers talk about
“ding darling”(621 reviews)
“tram tour”(355 reviews)
“white pelicans”(238 reviews)
About
Established in 1945, this wildlife refuge occupies one-third of Sanibel Island and is a prime spot for bird watching. Fees are required for Wildlife Drive, which is open everyday but is closed on Fridays, gate times vary. The best way to plan your...more
Suggested duration: More than 3 hours
Contact
1 Wildlife Dr, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-3032
Website
+1 239-472-1100
Call
Reviews (5,426)
Filter reviews
5,109 results
Traveler rating
3,433
1,164
377
100
35
Traveler type
Time of year
LanguageEnglish
More languages
3,433
1,164
377
100
35
Show reviews that mention
All reviewsding darlingtram tourwhite pelicansroseate spoonbillsmile driveindigo trailclosed on fridaysvisitor centerthe reservedrive thrufishtree crabslow tidebailey tractmangrove treesbird watchingeducation center
FilterEnglish
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 5,109 reviews
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

The echo tour by Tarpon Bay Explorers at 900 Tarpon Bay Rd. Sanibel Iskand Was relaxing and peaceful on their pontoon boat into Tarpon Bay. Our guide was very knowledgeable on nature and explained the nature of the wild birds, plants, trees, etc. I loaded...More

Thank JoanneinPensacola
Reviewed 4 days ago

I accidentally drove into the Ding Darling Preserve and as there was no backing out allowed, I paid my $4.00 and decided to drive on. BOY WAS I GLAD I DID! The slow, one way drive is filled with lush scenery and natural landscaping. The...More

Thank Amy M
Toni W, Guest Relations Manager at J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, responded to this reviewResponded 3 days ago

We love the story that your visit was by accident! lol! We are glad that you enjoyed it too! thanks for the kind words and we hope that you will come back to visit again soon.

Reviewed 6 days ago

The refuge includes a very detailed museum as well as an auto trail through the property with many marked overlooks with wonderful opportunities to see all the wildlife, mostly birds of great beauty

Thank caiogirl
Reviewed 1 week ago

Nice little relaxing drive looking for wildlife. Did not see much but it was raining. Will go back for sure

Thank sissyjohnson350
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

It was lovely, got to see the sunset alittle. Due to the red tide, it was a bit smelly. The gift shop had some of the best things.

1  Thank slengyeljr
Reviewed 1 week ago

If you're a nature lover, please don't make a trip to Sanibel without driving through this refuge! We absolutely loved driving through and seeing all the birds and beautiful landscapes. Last time we were there, there were volunteers there for the Audubon Society doing the...More

Thank SandyToes82
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Whether driving along or walking you see so many beautiful birds along the road in the trees and on water.

Thank CarolynS2094
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Any time of year at low tide in particular this is a must see. All kinds of wildlife at each stop. Easy to do a self guide and take your time

Thank Jill S
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

My own rating would have been perhaps 3-dots. I have given 5-dots, because of my w teenage daughters who simply loved that place. One should start the visit with ~Visitor/Education Center. There are competent people there, advising on your visit and also providing more in-depth...More

Thank JanuszRoman
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This place can be a total disappointment if you go mid-day like we did. We literally barely saw anything except vegetation. While it is beautiful to get out of the car and climb the look out points we sincerely were disappointed in this as we...More

Thank FeedbackYouNeed2Hear
View more reviews
Nearby
Nearby HotelsSee all 20 hotels in Sanibel Island
Castaways Cottages of Sanibel
578 reviews
1.87 miles away
Mitchell's Sandcastles
378 reviews
3.28 miles away
'Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa
3,443 reviews
3.52 miles away
Jensen's "On the Gulf"
185 reviews
4.06 miles away
Nearby RestaurantsSee all 85 restaurants in Sanibel Island
Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille Captiva
2,044 reviews
4.48 miles away
Mad Hatter Restaurant
1,430 reviews
1.88 miles away
Old Captiva House
873 reviews
3.56 miles away
Sunshine Seafood Cafe and Wine Bar
643 reviews
4.30 miles away
Nearby AttractionsSee all 121 attractions in Sanibel Island
Captiva Chapel By-The-Sea
184 reviews
4.16 miles away
Sanibel Recreation Center
19 reviews
2.55 miles away
Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW)
373 reviews
2.90 miles away
Questions & Answers
Ask a question
charleskgto
April 8, 2018|
Answer
Response from PrMichaelM | Reviewed this property |
Yes it is. The visitor center is open every day but the wildlife drive does close on Fridays. So don't wait until the last day of your vacation to visit Ding Darling!
0
Votes
Mary S
April 2, 2018|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from cvaccaro58 | Reviewed this property |
I didn’t see any, but there are lots of birds.
0
Votes
kbleich2018
March 15, 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from Kathy T | Reviewed this property |
Ive never had an issue.
1
Vote