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

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. By using our Sanibel Island trip builder app , you can arrange your visit to J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge and other attractions in Sanibel Island.
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J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge Reviews
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5,094 reviews
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  • this was a nice place to see fresh-water nature. It's great if you have mobility issues, as you can drive your car right up to the birding areas without getting scolded by rangers  more »
  • We had a terrific tram tour guide, who was so knowledgeable about the bird life, plant, and general habitat along the JN Ding Darling wildlife drive. I would definitely recommend taking the tram tour ...  more »
  • This place is a gem if you love bird watching and casual hiking and kayaking! What a beautiful place!  more »
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33 days in Fort Myers & Los Angeles BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Fort Myers Beach BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, kids, culture, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, kids, culture, relaxing, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Sanibel Island BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Fort Myers BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Fort Myers BY A USER FROM CANADA July, teens, culture, relaxing, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, culture, relaxing, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Sanibel Island BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: May, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 15 days in East Coast of USA BY A USER FROM INDIA June, kids, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, kids, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 19 days in Florida BY A USER FROM DENMARK July, kids, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: July, kids, relaxing, beaches, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 3 days in Fort Myers SEE PLAN April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in United States BY A USER FROM SWEDEN April, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in Sanibel Island BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in East Coast of USA BY A USER FROM CANADA July, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
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