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J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

Features Animals
1 Wildlife Dr, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-3032
+1 239-472-1100
Review Highlights
Don't miss!!!

The visitor's center has wonderful displays and info, and staff are knowledgeable and friendly... read more

Reviewed 3 days ago
Sanibel Island, Florida
Wonderful relaxing and interesting bike ride

We have biked Sanibel several times but this is the first time we biked "Ding" Darling. We would... read more

Reviewed 4 days ago
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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.
  • Excellent66%
  • Very good23%
  • Average8%
  • Poor2%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“ding darling” (580 reviews)
“tram tour” (329 reviews)
“white pelicans” (212 reviews)
1 Wildlife Dr, Sanibel Island, FL 33957-3032
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1 - 10 of 4,664 reviews

Reviewed 3 days ago

The visitor's center has wonderful displays and info, and staff are knowledgeable and friendly. The drive is excellent because you get to see flora and fauna that are not normally easily accessed. "Ding" Darling's vision is a large part of what makes Sanibel so special!!!

Thank psdavi01
Reviewed 4 days ago

We have biked Sanibel several times but this is the first time we biked "Ding" Darling. We would recommend taking the 2-mile gravel path, stopping at the boardwalk and then continuing on the paved road the last 3 miles. We saw several alligators and many...More

Thank mbtraveler555
Reviewed 5 days ago

Start with the visitors center, the staff had a lot of good information. The 4 mile drive offered quite a bit to see. Good birding and photography opportunities. They also offered a tour which we didn't do but listened in on at one stop. the...More

Thank cbergin
Reviewed 5 days ago

We stopped at the visitor center first which was very informative. Options for touring the area are hiking, biking, driving, or taking the tram. We opted to drive and stopped at our leisure to take photographs. At the visitor center, we were told that the...More

Thank MarleneIllinois
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

Rode to and through the JN Darling sanctuary on bicycles with the family. Great volunteers and so well kept. This is a national treasure. Go here.

Thank TravelingChicagoans
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

We've visited here many times & each time is unique but always fascinating. The Visitor's Center is full of information about the history of the area and the man it is named for. There are lots of docents happy to share information, etc. If this...More

Thank Jan P
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

Remember to bring your National Park Senior Pass along. It will save you a few bucks especially if you go on the four mile wildlife drive. The Wildlife Refugee is located on Captiva Island which is connected by causeway to Sanibel Island. To get Sanibel...More

Thank Bob1600
Reviewed 1 week ago

I was at JN Darling National Wildlife this week. The volunteers were very informative about what it offers to show guests. I walked around the museum inside to learn about the animals who live on this refuge and then took the self drive for $5.00...More

Thank Dakim
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Took the tram through the refuge (1.5 hours, 13$) and it was worth every cent. The guide-driver was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining. Don’t miss it when you are on Sanibel Island.

1  Thank rainer572
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We saw so many beautiful birds. We went to see the Roseate Spoonbills and they are gorgeous! We saw an alligator while taking a nice hike too. This is a cool pit stop if you want to take a break and see some nature.

Thank Pegr007
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Questions & Answers
Stewart T
17 October 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from hwhudson | Reviewed this property |
I agree. There will be many birds you can get just fine with the 200 but my guess is you’ll wish you had the 600 if you don’t take it. Enjoy!
14 August 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from lhamo1953 | Reviewed this property |
Sorry it took me so long to answer your question! I don’t keep up with TripAdvisor that often... Ding Darling only takes a couple of hours at the most... it’s a nice half- day excursion on Sanibel ( in my opinion).
Carrie F
6 July 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from ClaudiLynn | Reviewed this property |
Huge parking lot should have room