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“great way to spend a morning”

J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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.
Plano, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
607 reviews
171 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“great way to spend a morning”
Reviewed January 11, 2013

The nature preserve was wonderful. You feel like you are in the brush. We opted for the shuttle bus tour. The driver was very knowledgable and made numerous stops to observe various species of birds and animals. We walked along a boardwalk listening to explanations of how the eco system works. An added bonus was observing the flying fish.
ONE MAJOR WARNING: Take bug repellent. There are little bugs (locally called "no-see-ums" for obvious reasons. They bite multiple times and those bites can be painful as one in our party found out). Having said that, Darling NWR is worth the visit.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank nat1225
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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baltimore
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Amazing - birds galore.”
Reviewed January 10, 2013

January is a great time to see: roseates, white pelicans, herons, egrets, bird watchers! Road is closing from May- October- go soon!

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank webteach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Forest, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
117 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“don't miss this place”
Reviewed January 9, 2013

The visitor's center is very educational and well done. Riding bikes or driving by car through the reserve is wonderful. So much wildlife. Right now water levels are a bit low but the migrating birds are beautiful to see.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank RedBuddah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenixville, PA
Level 5 Contributor
79 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Nature abounds”
Reviewed January 9, 2013

If you're a lover of nature, you owe it to yourself to visit here. Learn about Ding Darling and the protection of the island. Take a walk, car, tram. or car ride along the trail and see wildlife in its glory.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank carmik12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
100 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Birds, birds, birds”
Reviewed January 9, 2013

Beautiful and bountiful collection of birds. Go during the winter and early or evening when the birds are feeding. This is a natural refuge for water birds and unsurpassable for the variety and quantity of species. No matter how many times we visit, we always have a terrific experience, sometimes aided by naturalists who share their knowledge and equipment as well as their keen eyes.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank Mel S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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