Sanibel, Fort Myers, Everglades Wildlife & Parks

Besides pristine beaches, Southwest Florida is also known for its abundant wildlife and nature parks. If you’re a nature lover, the Everglades are a once-in-a-lifetime experience you simply cannot pass up! These unique tropical wetlands are home to exotic species of fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals of all kinds. You will not find these creatures in other parts of the US outside a zoo. They are only equaled by the 1,392 unique plant species to be found. Day trip safaris, cruises or airboat rides are recommended. Make sure to pack your hiking shoes in anticipation of exploring Sanibel area parks, Sanibel Island wildlife refuges and sanctuaries, nature tours, and the famous Everglades.

J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

This refuge, located on Sanibel Island, is part of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the United States and is world-renowned for its migratory bird populations. The best months to visit for birding are December through March. The Wildlife Drive, which includes three separate trails, is open Saturday - Thursday, from 7:30a.m. to half an hour before sunset. Also, check out the Education Center, featuring interactive exhibits! Call for hours.
Location: 1 Wildlife Dr, Sanibel Island
Phone: (239) 472-1100

Tarpon Bay Explorers/Nature Tours

Located within the J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, the Tarpon Bay Explorers offers guided nature tours and rentals to help you get the best of your Florida wildlife experience. See some amazing wildlife, like birds, dolphins, manatees, alligators, and more! Tours include a Refuge Tram tour, Guided Kayak and Canoe Tours, Nature & Sea Life Cruises, Touch Tank Exploration, and Deck Talks.
Location: 900 Tarpon Bay Rd, Sanibel Island
Phone: (239) 472-8900

C.R.O.W.

The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, a 12.5 acre sanctuary located on Sanibel Island, is a non-profit wildlife hospital devoted to rescue and rehabilitation of injured, sick or orphaned wildlife. This facility has served the wildlife of Southwest Florida for almost 50 years. Their guided presentations, interactive exhibits, and live camera feeds of their patients offer a great educational experience for adults and children!
Location: 3883 Sanibel Captiva Rd, Sanibel Island, FL, 33957
Phone: (239) 472-3644

Lover’s Key State Park

This 712-acre park with 2.5 miles of white-sand beaches has a little bit of everything for outdoor recreation lovers! Picnic tables, bike racks, a beach pavilion, trails, a canoe launching area and public boat ramp, outdoor showers and public restrooms are available. You can also enjoy fishing along the Estero Bay shoreline. And don’t forget about the amazing beach sunsets!
Location: 8700 Estero Blvd, Ft. Myers Beach
Phone: (239) 463-4588

Lakes Regional Park

Take the whole family for a day of outdoor fun! Plenty of picnic tables, barbeque grills, and shelters are available. The 279-acre facility is centered around 158 acres of freshwater quarry lake, great for fishing and viewing an array of wildlife, including the American Alligator. Rent a paddleboat or explore via foot through the 2.5 miles of paved or natural paths for walking, jogging or biking. Bike rentals also available.
Location: 7330 Gladiolus Dr, Ft. Myers, 33908
Phone: (239) 533-7575

Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve

Explore Florida’s wildlife with guided walks, an 11,000 sq. ft. Interpretive Center, a 1.2 mile long boardwalk trail, observation decks, shelters, an Amphitheatre, educational displays, picnic areas and restrooms. Park admittance is free; parking is $1.00 - $5.00.
Location: 7751 Penzance Blvd, Ft. Myers, FL 33966
Phone: (239) 533-7550

Everglades Day Safari

Numerous possibilities with a day trip to the Everglades! Activities include jungle cruises, airboat rides, nature walks, or a 15-minute wildlife drive through four realms of the Everglades. Try alligator appetizers for lunch! Departs from Ft. Myers and Sanibel daily.
Location: 26700 SW 8th St, Miami, Florida 33194
Phone: (305) 226-6923

Koreshan State Park

Open daily from 8 a.m. to sunset. Centered around a unique 19th century pioneer who began his own colony, known as the Koreshan Unity. Visitors can enjoy a number of outdoor activities, including fishing, picnicking, kayak and canoe rentals, boating, hiking and nature trails, camping, wildlife viewing, exhibits, campfire circles, and playgrounds! Self-guided tours or ranger tours of the settlement are available.
Location: 3800 Corkscrew Rd, Estero, 33928
Phone: (239) 992-0311