Vacation Guide to Southwest Florida

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge


Located on Sanibel Island, the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a 7,000-acre mangrove estuary, which is home to southwest Florida’s wildlife, including over 200 species of birds, alligators, raccoons and more. Here you can take a 5-mile drive through the refuge (by car, bike or foot). There are also a number of walking trails, as well as canoe trails. Guided tours are also available. At the Education Center, you’ll see displays providing information about the various wildlife you may encounter at the refuge. There is also an interactive area called The Discovery Room. Canoes, kayaks and bikes can be rented at the onsite Tarpon Bay Recreation Area. Guided tours are available, either by open-air tram or canoe.

Official Website

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge

Appearing: June 24th thru 27th, 2021


1 Wildlife Drive, Sanibel Island, FL 33957




Nature Preserve - Attraction


In Sanibel Island

Location Map & Directions

Our map of J.N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge is interactive, includes the streets and major attractions in the immediate area and can be easily zoomed, reformatted or repositioned to meet your needs.

NOTE: click/drag map to reposition it, use +/- to rescale or buttons change format


Use the controls in the upper left-hand corner to Move This Map in any direction or to Zoom-In for a closer look or zoom-out to get a wider perspective. You can also Drag the Map in any direction if you hold the left mouse button down. Click the upper-right hand Satellite or Hybrid buttons to change the view to include satellite images and overlay a street map

Area Information

Sanibel and Captiva Islands

Sanibel Island is a short ride from Fort Myers and Fort Myers Beach, running east-west into the Gulf of Mexico. This unique position results in Sanibel being a top shelling destination. Where Sanibel Island ends, the land shifts north and Captiva Island begins. Upscale Sanibel and Captiva Islands have a lush, tropical ambiance. Here you’ll find pristine, quiet beaches and, along Periwinkle Way, intimate settings for boutique shopping and a variety of dining options. The J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge takes up about 7,000 acres of Sanibel Island – a haven for Florida wildlife. You can also enjoy a variety of sightseeing boat cruises. For more information, please see our Sanibel-Captiva Visitor Guide.