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.

“This a must do”

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.
Reviewed February 17, 2014

This is a very well run wildlife refuge. It is our favorite place to visit. They offer great tours. It is the best of the best.

1  Thank 680Dave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (5,263)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages
All reviews
"ding darling"
in 613 reviews
"tram tour"
in 347 reviews
"white pelicans"
in 238 reviews
"roseate spoonbills"
in 230 reviews
"indigo trail"
in 122 reviews
"mile drive"
in 121 reviews
"closed on fridays"
in 100 reviews
"visitor center"
in 254 reviews
"the reserve"
in 122 reviews
"drive thru"
in 57 reviews
"fish"
in 429 reviews
"tree crabs"
in 85 reviews
"low tide"
in 285 reviews
"bailey tract"
in 57 reviews
"mangrove trees"
in 64 reviews
"bird watching"
in 96 reviews
"education center"
in 113 reviews
Filter

3,640 - 3,644 of 5,263 reviews

Reviewed February 17, 2014

You will enjoy this Refuge. A nice drive with plenty of spots to stop and get out of your car and look at all types of birds/wildlife. Bring binocular's. Also recommend going on a day that isn't too windy. Many of the species don't like to fly/fish on a windy day. But you can watch them perched in the trees. Give it a try, you will be very happy....

1  Thank Grandfromage22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2014

Plenty of birds to see. There was a volunteer on one of the platforms helping to identify them. We learned more there than on any other commercial tour. Very pleasant place to bike. Please remember that it is a one-way road. Since we biked, we returned on the gravel path along the canal (where we saw huge alligator). However, I would definitely suggest to go past the point where there is a connection to the gravel path - the huge sandbar with abundance of white pelicans is a bit further.

1  Thank Just_my_opinion_here
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2014

we had an overcast morning and headed here to see burn off some energy and it was great! Highly recommend.

1  Thank tindc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed February 16, 2014

There are several options for touring the refuge. You can drive through, take a tram, ride bike or walk. We first took the tram ride through the refuge. I believe the ride was about and hour and a half long. Our driver was quite knowledgeable on the area wildlife. We stopped at various points along the way. Following the tram ride, we walked a couple of the paths. Ended up walking about six miles. Bring plenty of water. Was a bit disappointed that we didn't see any alligators or other wildlife besides birds. If birding is your "thing," I'm sure you will enjoy visiting the refuge.

2  Thank PennyAnn225
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge also viewed

Sanibel Island, Southwest Gulf Coast
 
Sanibel Island, Southwest Gulf Coast
 

Been to J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing