De Soto National Memorial


In 1539 Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto landed on the Florida coast. Searching for gold, he and his conquistadors spent four years marching through the southeastern section of the present-day United States. De Soto died in 1542, but his men followed the Mississippi south, ultimately reaching Mexico. This memorial gives you a taste of their journey. The visitors center has a short film and changing displays of artifacts that include weaponry and a suit of armor.

December through April, in the re-created Camp Uzita, docents in period costume demonstrate how the conquistadors survived in their new and sometimes hostile environment. You can also follow a ½-mile Nature Trail through mangrove forest, perhaps spotting pelicans, herons, and other birds or animals that de Soto and his men would have encountered as well. Plaques discuss the expedition and the vegetation and wildlife. Plan to spend about an hour at the De Soto National Memorial—or at least some time walking the dog. Leashed pets are permitted.


8300 De Soto Memorial Hwy.
Bradenton, Florida 34209


27.52169200, -82.64348600

Open Hours

Daily 9--5.
Visit Website
(941) 792-0458

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