De Soto National Memorial offers unique hands-on experiences for visitors of all ages year round. In our Visitor Center guests can try on reproduction 16th century armor and helmets. Kids can participate in the parks popular Junior Ranger program were they can have fun learning about history and the environment, While earning a Junior Ranger badge. The Visitor Center also shows the 22 minute movie Hernando de Soto in America about De Soto's 1539 expedition and its impact on the American Indians of the Southeast.
De Soto National Memorial also offers a mile worth of hiking trails were park visitors can experience the tranquility of a coastal mangrove ecosystem, featuring a 480 foot boardwalk. Guests will also have the opportunity to see much of Florida's native animals in their natural environment. Park Rangers offer daily schedule trail walks along the trails for visitors who would like to learn more about the history and environment. The park also offers several small sandy beaches for relaxation and watersport for those who would love to get away form it all.
From mid-December to the mid-April, De Soto National Memorial offers living history talks and demonstrations at Camp Uzita, located in the Western portion of the park. Here visitiors can experience the life of 16th Century Spanish explorers and American Indians first hand. Please contact the Visitor Center from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for a schedule of events (941) 792-0458 ext 105
Did You Know?
Hernando de Soto brought the first herd of pigs to Florida in 1539 to provide food for his expedition. Many pigs escaped and flourished in the wild. Their descendents cause havoc in yards, golf courses, and fields in many parts of the state. Visit De Soto National Memorial, Bradenton, Florida. More...