One of the best parts of a vacation is exploring a new destination. When you rent your Sanibel Island vacation rental with Sanibel Vacations, you’ll be in the thick of it. See all the island has to offer by exploring the area around your rental. Get back in touch with nature and see the wildlife that calls Sanibel Island home by visiting the nearby wildlife refuge.
Surround Yourself with Nature
Just a short drive away from your home away from home is the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge is known for its migratory bird populations and is made up of over 6,400 acres of submerged seagrass beds, mangrove forest, West Indian hardwood hammocks, and cordgrass marshes. Created to protect endangered species, this refuge is the perfect place to see native Sanibel wildlife.
After starting your visit at the visitor center, start exploring. Drive, bike, or hike the four-mile Wildlife Drive and keep an eye out for any of the wildlife that calls the refuge home, like:
- Birds, such as the American white pelican
- Mammals, like manatees and marsh rabbits
- Turtles and other reptiles
- American green tree frog, eastern narrow-mouthed toad, and other amphibians
- Fish, including mullets or tarpons
- Invertebrates from spiders to butterflies
- Endangered species, like loggerhead sea turtles or smalltooth sawfish
- Invasive and non-native species
Home to over 200 species of birds, the Darling Wildlife Refuge is perfect for a day of bird watching. Try to spot everything from waterfowls like a mallard to wading birds like a great blue heron. Download the bird checklist to keep track of what birds you spot.
Tips for Visiting the Darling Wildlife Refuge
The best time to visit the refuge is when the tide is low, so be sure to check the tide charts before heading out. If you don’t feel like exploring the area on your own, take the 90-minute tram tour. Traveling along Wildlife drive, a knowledgeable and experienced naturalist will help you spot wildlife.
Relax at Your Sanibel Island Rental Home
There’s nothing better than returning to your Sanibel vacation rental after a full day of exploring. You’ll be able to relax and get ready for another fun-filled day when you stay at one of Sanibel Vacations’ spacious accommodations. Use the fully-stocked kitchen to recreate a Florida recipe or relax by the pool. To learn more about availability or any offers, please call 239-579-0348.