Sanibel Island, Jan. 2016 ~ J.N. Ding Darling National Refuge & Sanibel Island Cow

Our mission for the day was to visit the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. We had been hearing about all the birds and wildlife, so wanted to check it out.The visitor’s center has a great little gift shop, interactive exhibits for families and an exhibit telling about the refuge’s founder, J.N. Ding Darling. Here’s their official website to find out lots more info about this great wildlife refuge, and I highly recommend a visit when you’re on Sanibel!

We did the drive through, which costs $10 per car. You can also take one of their buses. They have an observation tower where you can get a good view of all the birds that flock to the still waters. And there were soo many birds! The pelicans were so active, and the pink roseate spoonbills were fun to spot among all the white birds.

IMG_1640IMG_1643IMG_1646IMG_1647IMG_1633IMG_1649IMG_1650Time for lunch! See the whole fish in the lead pelican’s gullet?IMG_1653IMG_1656IMG_1658Look at all those birds!!!

IMG_1664IMG_1665IMG_1674IMG_1683Next stop was the alligator hang out.

And further on is a boardwalk style trail through the mangroves where the Calusa Indians used to live.

An osprey!

You can walk, bike, drive, canoe, kayak and boat through the refuge.IMG_2533For our lunch, we decided on the Island Cow just down the road. This is always a popular dining spot and we were lucky to get two seats at the bar without a wait. Family friendly with an extensive menu, they pack in the customers. There’s also a patio out back that is pet friendly. We ordered up cold beers and a dozen oysters to start, followed by fried shrimp and scallop baskets. Mmmmm! Happy Happy!

Sanibel Island is so family friendly! Paths and sidewalks are all over the island so you can bike or walk everywhere. IMG_2534###

Categories: Travel: FLORIDA | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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