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Florida State Parks

USA Parks
Florida
Central West Region
De Soto National Memorial
De Soto National Memorial © Chris Schlosser
De Soto National Memorial © Chris Schlosser
DE SOTO NATIONAL MEMORIAL
DE SOTO NATIONAL MEMORIAL
P. O. Box 15390
Bradenton, Florida   34280-5390
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On a sweltering day in May of 1539, Hernando de Soto and an army of over 600 soldiers splashed ashore in the Tampa Bay area. They arrived in nine ships laden with supplies: two hundred and twenty horses, a herd of pigs, a pack of vicious war dogs, cannon, matchlock muskets, armor, tools and rations. It was everything they would need to execute the order of King Charles V: sail to La Florida and "conquer, populate and pacify" the land.

But this expedition would never yield the gold and treasure these men so desperately sought. Instead, they marched from one village to the next, taking food and enslaving the native peoples to use as guides and porters. Hopes were dashed, fortunes squandered, and hundreds of lives lost on this calamitous journey. The de Soto expedition would change the face of the American Southeast forever, and cause Spain to drastically reevaluate her role in the New World. Ultimately, it was the first hand accounts of survivors, describing the native cultures and the richness of the land, which became the journey's enduring legacy.

The mission of De Soto National Memorial is to preserve the controversial story of this four year, four thousand mile odyssey and interpret it's significance in American history. Visitors can attend living history demonstrations, try on a piece of armor, or walk the nature trail through a Florida coastal landscape similar to the one encountered by conquistadors almost five hundred years ago.
FACILITIES AND ACTIVITIES OVERVIEW
Day-UseFishingyes
 Hiking Trailyes



Things To Do in the Area
Tampa Bay Ferry - Tierra Verde, FL
Boating
Daily Egmont Key Ferry from Fort DeSoto County Park. US Coast Guard Certified Tour Boats. Private Charters Available for any Occasion
8.1 miles from park*

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews

Area Campgrounds
Holiday Cove RV Resort
11900 Cortez Road West
Cortez, FL
800-346-9224
Palm Bay RV Park
751 10th Street East US 301 North
Palmetto, FL
941-722-7048
Booking.com

Directions
Plane - Sarasota-Bradenton Airport (20 miles) Tampa International Airport (50 miles)

Car - De Soto National Memorial is located at the northern terminus of 75th Street North West, Bradenton, Florida. Visitors can reach the park from I-75 or I-275. From I-75 follow State Road 64 west (also Manatee Avenue), for approximately twelve miles to 75th Street West. Turn right (north) onto 75th Street West, and proceed two and five-tenths miles to the park entrance and the terminus of 75th Street.

From I-275 exit 1, follow US-19 into Bradenton. Turn west onto State Road 64, for approximately five miles to 75th Street West. Turn right (north) onto 75th Street West, and proceed two and five-tenths miles to the park entrance and the terminus of 75th Street.

Public Transportation - Several commercial bus lines serve the area, however, none stop at the memorial.

Florida
17

Florida State Parks

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