Desoto National Memorial

Desoto National Memorial

Desoto National Memorial

Visit the approximate landing site of Hernando de Soto, Spanish explorer and conquistador. In May 1539, de Soto and over 620 men began their journey north up the west coast of Florida. They would travel over 4000 miles in 4 years, encountering disease, warfare, and rugged terrain. De Soto National Memorial tells the story of this expedition and allows visitors to walk the shores that de Soto and his men first set foot upon. Nature trails have narrative signs and also include the natural history of the area. 45 minute guided tours are available throughout the day. Several small beaches allow for swimming, so be sure to wear your swimsuit during the warmer months.  

The museum features rotating exhibits, so guests can have a new experience with each visit. Try on a conquistador helmet or protective armor at the Visitor Center. The newly remodeled theater shows the film, Hernando De Soto In America. If you wish to read more about Hernando de Soto, books are available for purchase in the bookstore. 

Desoto National Memorial’s Street Address:

8300 De Soto Memorial Hwy

Bradenton, Florida 34209 

Driving Directions: 

From I-75 Take exit 220 SR 64/Manatee Ave, Gulf Beaches exit. Travel west on SR 64 for approximately 12 miles to 75th St. W. Turn right on 75th St. W. Travel north approximately 2 miles until 75th St. W. turns into De Soto Memorial Hwy and dead ends into the park.

From I-275 exit 5, follow US-19 in to Bradenton. Turn west on State Road 64 and proceed approximately five miles to 75th Street West. Turn right (north) on 75th Street West  and proceed two and one half miles to the park entrance.

Heading west on Cortez Road, travel  to 75th St. W. and turn right. Travel north on 75th St. W. approximately 4 miles. 75th St. W. turns in to De Soto Memorial Hwy and will dead end at park entrance. 

Operating HoursThe Visitor Center is open daily, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Park grounds are open dawn to dusk, but the parking lot gates close at 5:00 p.m.

 

De Soto National Memorial is closed on New Years Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

 

 Entrance Fees

De Soto National Memorial is free to the public. Donations are accepted and help support park operations.

Groups tours to the park are welcome free of charge. However, groups tours should register at least 30 days in advance by calling (941)792-0458.