Festivals / Southwest Florida

Sanibel Island in fall: ‘Ding’ Darling Days, Oct. 16-22, 2016

Ding Darling Days at the national wildlife refuge on Sanibel Island.

Ding Darling Days at the national wildlife refuge on Sanibel Island.

Fall is an ideal time to escape to Sanibel Island — lodging prices are at their lowest and the weather is a tiny bit cooler.

If you can get away between Oct. 16 and 22, another excellent reason to visit is Ding Darling Days at J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The event offers lots of activities for families and adult nature lovers with a big emphasis on FREE.

Oct. 16-22, 2016
J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge
1 Wildlife Drive, Sanibel, FL 33957
Phone: 239- 472-1100

The refuge is a must-do on any visit. It’s famous for its abundant bird life, which is easy to spot on a drive along its four-mile-long one-way Wildlife Drive. The road is even better by bike.

The refuge also has an education center with interactive exhibits on refuge ecosystems, the work of “Ding” Darling, migratory flyways, the National Wildlife Refuge System and a hands-on area for children.

Family festival Sunday at Ding Darling

Ding Darling Days begins with a free family day, Sunday, Oct. 16. (Admission is normally $5 per vehicle.)

There will be several free programs, including free naturalist-led tram tour.

Special free stuff every day during Ding Darling Days

Here are  highlights for the rest of the week.

 

Map of 'Ding' Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island

Map of ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island

Other ways to enjoy Sanibel Island

Whether you visit Sanibel for Ding Darling Days or at another time, there are plenty of ways to enjoy this unspoiled island.

  • Sanibel and Captiva are kayak heaven. One of the best spots to rent or put in kayaks is at Ding Darling Refuge. You also can rent kayaks for a great paddle off Captiva. Here’s  a report on how to kayak Sanibel.
  • Sanibel has 25 miles of bike trails, so it’s one of the best places to explore by bike. Here’s how to enjoy Sanibel by bike.
  • From hidden beaches to free bird shows, there’s a lot to see. Here are nine ways to enjoy Sanibel.
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