J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island

4.3
#1 of 132 in Wildlife in Southwest Gulf Coast
Considered Florida's prime bird-watching area, J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge protects one of the nation's largest mangrove ecosystems. Named after cartoonist "Ding" Darling, an important figure in the conservationist movement of the 1930s, the refuge provides a temporary home for migratory bird populations and attracts almost a million annual visitors with its "wildlife drive," a windy road through the mangrove forest and the tidal flats. You can watch thousands of birds from the comfort of your car, or drop into the visitor center to see interactive exhibits about great egrets, wood storks, blue herons, white pelicans, cormorants, ospreys, and bald eagles. The center also includes a bookstore that sells nature books and field guides. Our Sanibel Island itinerary planner makes visiting J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge and other Sanibel Island attractions simple, and helps you make a travel plan personal to you.
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4,828 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • August 14, 2017
    A quiet Park, few visitors. Gives an excellent impression of scenery and wildlife on Sanibel Island. Beautiful trails with explanatory signs. Visit a must! In August alligators seen anywhere, neither here nor in the Everglades - shark Valley.
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  • August 14, 2017
    Ding Darling Preserve is a special treasure: estuary, mangroves, birds, fish, alligators, etc. We chose to take the tram tour with Dick Anderson, a naturalist who shared so much good information with ...  more »
  • August 13, 2017
    A great view of Florida wildlife. Take your good camera for birding or all types of animals. If you plan on spending some time take some bug stuff for no seeums.  more »

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