According to Peter Greenberg, a writer known for his expertise in travel to nature attractions, Sanibel’s “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is a top place to bird-watch.

The refuge’s 6,400 acres of salt marshes and mangrove forests host more than 220 species of migrating and resident birds. As a result, bird-watchers are regular visitors to the refuge. Since West Wind Inn is the closest beach resort to the refuge, we see hundreds of guests who stay with us specifically to easily get to Ding Darling NWR.

Of course, they also come here to enjoy the fabulous Sanibel shelling beach on the quiet end of the island. And let’s not forget the happy hospitality of a large heated pool, an adjacent pool deck with a congenial snack and beverage bar, tennis courts, shuffleboard and, for those hearty Normandie Beachside Pub breakfasts to start days of dedicated bird-watching.