Blogs from JN Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida, United States, North America


Biking on Florida's Sanibel and Captiva Islands Bikes can be rented at Billy’s Rentals at 1509 Perriwinkle way (located not far from the Perriwinkle campground) near the Sanibel causeway Biking on Sanibel and Captiva islands (off the coast of Ft. Myers) is a real pleasure. The two boomarang shaped islands have one main road and a few parallel roads and most of them have a bike path running beside the streets. Even though parallel to roads there is usually a thick hedge and it actually appears rural On Captivia Island there is no path but there is very little road traffic. Paths also along the southern beach areas and through J N Ding Wildlife Refuge area. The paths are well used as many visitors (lots of condos) simply leave the car be... read more
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The truth is touring the J.N. ("Ding") Darling National Wildlife Refuge was not our first choice for the last day of our short trip to Sanibel Island. The main reason we decided to tour Wildlife Drive was because the Sanibel Thriller, which is touted as Sanibel and Captiva Islands' most exciting tour boat that circumnavigates both islands while luring acrobatic dolphins in its wake, was closed for the entire month of September. And as much as we wanted to be able to brag about having a Cheeseburger in Paradise on Cabbage Key, we decided to leave that for another day. So after being sold on the eco friendly tram that carts visitors through Sanibel Island's J.N. Darling National Wildlife Drive that we saw advertised in a brochure, Liz and I decided it would be worth shelling ... read more
Great Egret
Gathering on the Mud Flat
Towering Gumbo Limbo Tree

Today, Jen and I spent the day on Sanibel Island, famous for its shelling. A great variety of shells from all over the world tend to roll up on the shores here, and so many people walk around leaning over to look for them that they have termed this the "Sanibel Stoop." I was mostly interested in looking for shells on the beaches whereas Jen was mainly interested in renting bikes and cruising the island that way. We both were being stubborn and kind of ignoring what the other person was saying, hoping that we would each just get our own way. In the end, Jen flat out called me on it and I consented to riding the bikes. Once we drove over the causeway (ie bridge) that leads to the island, we drove around a ... read more
Wildlife Refuge
Flotsom or Jetsom
Mangrove Crab

Here are some of the real gems & highlights of our Florida trips. The beaches of Sanibel and Captiva deserve their great reputation. You estimate how much time you want to stay at each and pay to park accordingly. Most have bath houses for changing. All have restrooms. The shelling is wonderful. We did the Sanibel walk - slightly stooped over to spot shells. Beach shoes and a container for collected shells will add to your comfort. Great spot for sunsets. The Bailey Mathews Shell Museum and the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, both at Sanibel are interesting for all ages. We saw a very large female crocodile at Ding Darling. Sanibel is very bicycle friendly. We are only reluctant to highly recommend Sanibel and Captiva because we want to guard it from too many visitors. ... read more

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