As guests of the Signal Inn we know that you share Sanibel’s unique appreciation of all things natural on our island! We have created a beautiful sanctuary for you to enjoy time after time.

Another sanctuary worth your time is the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge located just minutes away on Sanibel Captiva Road. This is one of the oldest wildlife refuges in the U.S. and it’s open 6 days a week for you and your family to visit and discover.

Who was J.N. “Ding” Darling? That is a question asked us constantly and we love telling everyone just how important a figure he was to our island. Ding Darling was the individual instrumental in blocking the sale of sensitive lands on Sanibel to developers and bringing this into the park itself. For this the name of the sanctuary was named for him in 1967.

A native of Michigan originally he moved around the Midwest with his family and eventually landed a job in Sioux City newspaper as a reporter in 1900. He ended up becoming a cartoonist and was very much involved in conservation, initiating the Duck Stamp Program.

After being appointed by Franklin Roosevelt as of head of the U.S. Biological Survey, the forerunner of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Servicehe gained even more fame and influence on the Wildlife stage.

This love of nature and wildlife has come to complete fruition at our very special island sanctuary. Take a drive through this 6,400 acre tract of mangroves, seagrass beds, cordgrass marshes that all create the perfect rookery and habitat for at least 245 species of birds and other animals.

Join us for a drive, bike or walk through this beautiful landscape and as long as your dogs are leashed they are more than welcome to accompany you as well for a wonderful day of discovery!

You can find the Refuge at 1 Wildlife Drive off of Sanibel Captiva Road, open year round, closed on Fridays. Check the tides the day you’d like to visit: Low tide is best!
(239) 472-1100