Plan Your Visit

De Soto Landing
Re-live history at De Soto National Memorial
 
De Soto National Memorial offers many special events and programs annually. To insure that you maximize your enjoyment of the park resources, please use the options below to plan your visit.
 
De Soto Landing Event
Conquistador Hernando de Soto Claims La Florida for Spain

Park Photo

The 79th Annual De Soto Landing Event on Saturday, April 14th at De Soto National Memorial

Join De Soto National Memorial on Saturday, April14th as we recreate the landing of Hernando de Soto. It was 479 years ago, that De Soto landed on the shores of Florida and began a quest that would change the fate of North America forever.

Watch the Landing — Witness history as De Soto’s boats make landfall, claiming the land of La Florida for the crown of Spain. Landing times are at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm by the monuments along the cove.

Unique Weapons and Demonstrations — Walk through time and hear first-hand accounts of the Europeans who trudged over 4,000 miles in search of riches and glory. Hear the stories of their clashes with the tribes of the American Southeast, and their ultimate failure in the cursed land of La Florida. Watch reenactors demonstrate the unique weapons used by the Native Americans and the European invaders. Black powder weapons will be fired throughout the day.

Experience History — Follow the footsteps of history, as our experts will take visitors on historical walks. Join Living history park rangers and reenactors from all over Florida recount life during the 16th Century.

 
Ranger Led Kayaking at De Soto
Rangers lead visitors on a free tour around the park

Park Photo

De Soto National Memorial Ranger led Kayak Tours.

On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from May through October, De Soto National Memorial offers free ranger led kayak tours. Explore the waters that Native American Indians and Spanish Conquistadors traveled hundreds of years ago.

First time or experienced —For all skill levels, our trained rangers will ensure your first time will be safe and enjoyable. For kayakers with more experience, our tour will offer a different way for you to view the natural resources and vibrant history of the Manatee River.

No Equipment, No Problem —We supply Kayak, paddles, personal flotation devices, and other safety equipment. This is an excellent way to try out a new hobby before spending all the money.

A unique look at Florida’s coastal resources — Paddle through time as you explore the coastal estuaries. Learn how native peoples and European settlers used the water ways for transportation and food. Learn about several of Florida’s unique coastal ecosystems. Find out how you can help preserve and protect these fragile ecosystems for future generations.


Tour Information — We begin taking reservation on April 1st. Move quickly as spaces fill up fast! Kayak tours will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sundays from May 11th through October 28th at 9:30 am The kayak tours and all equipment rentals are free. RSVP is mandatory for space is limited please call 941-792-0458. All children between the ages of 8-16 must be accompanied by an adult. Due to life jacket restrictions children less than 50 lbs. are not allowed on tours. Free paddle is only allowed under supervision of a park ranger, all participants must stay with the tour. All gear will be checked and a safety briefing will be held before the tour begins
 
Fun at Junior Ranger Camp!
Junior Ranger having a blast at Summer Camp!

Park Photo

Join us at DeSoto National Memorial
For our Annual Junior Ranger Summer Camp

Junior Ranger Summer Camp is an educational and fun way for your kids to learn about Florida’s native and Spanish history and experience the outdoors. Park Rangers will instruct kids about what it means to be a Junior Ranger and discover the importance of America’s National Parks.

Open enrollment — We offer open enrolment for children between the ages of 6 to 10, who are interested in exploring and being outdoors!
Registration is free — That is right all registration and activities are 100% free of charge.
Experience History — Junior Ranger will learn about all aspects of the place they live and the National Parks. Topics range from Florida’s environments, orienteering, archaeology, and commemorating 500 years of Florida’s history.
Two Weeks to Choose from— This year Junior Ranger Summer Camp will run from Tuesday to Friday from 9:30 until 1:00. The first week offered for camp will be May 29th through June 1st. the second camp will run June 12th though the 15th. Sign up will begin May 1st.There will 1520 spots open either week so sign up early! Parents are welcome to sign up and volunteer with their children making this a memorable family event!
Registration is easy— Register your child beginning May 1st by visiting our web site www.nps.gov/deso. Click on the Junior Ranger Summer Camp link and download the registration form, or pick one up at the Visitor Center. Registration must be done in person at the park’s visitor center. Parents can only sign up their children.

Last updated: March 29, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

8300 De Soto Memorial Hwy
Bradenton, FL 34209

Phone:

(941) 792-0458 x105

Contact Us