De Soto National Memorial

De Soto National Memorial

Planning Your Visit

Things To Know Before You Come

De Soto National Memorial has special living history presentations at specific times of the year. The Spanish encampment features daily presentations (weather permitting) from mid-December through Easter Sunday. The Saturday of each Memorial Day weekend also includes a special reenactment of De Soto's landing in 1539.

Operating Hours & Seasons

Operating Hours
The 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. Vehicles left within the parking lot after 5:00 p.m. will remain there overnight and may be ticketed. There is no overnight camping in the park.

De Soto National Memorial is closed on New Years Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The park may be closed during hurricane season if the arrival of a hurricane is imminent.

Seasons
Camp Uzita is open and staffed with rangers providing living history programs during the winter season (normally mid-December through Easter Sunday). To confirm that Camp Uzita is open, please call (941) 792-0458.

Fees & Reservations

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 must register at least 30 days in advance by calling (941) 792-0458 ext. 108.

Park Passes
The new America the Beautiful park passes will be available at De Soto National Memorial starting January 2, 2007. Please call (941) 792-0458, ext. 105, to confirm availability of passes before you visit the park. To learn more about the pass program, please click here.

All National Parks Passes, Golden Eagle, Golden Eagle Hologram, Golden Access and Golden Age Passports will continue to be honored according to the provisions of the pass. Only paper Golden Age and Access Passports may be exchanged free of charge for new plastic passes.

Recreational information for all Federal agencies can be found at www.recreation.gov.

Special Use Fees
De Soto National Memorial does require a fee and a permit for special, one time uses of the park. To learn more about the following special use categories, please contact us with the date, time, and details of your proposed event:

  • Weddings
  • Memorial Services
  • Photography and Cinematography
  • Corporate Activities
  • Activities Outside Regular Business Hours
  • Miscellaneous

Use of park grounds for commercial activities requires an Incidental Business Permit before any business activity is planned or executed within park grounds. Contact us for details.

Conducting research studies on park grounds also requires a permit before the activity may take place. Contact us with the details of the proposed investigation.

Conducting an activity on park grounds without a permit is an offense that will result in the immediate suspension of the activity and a possible citation.

Accessibility

Park facilities are wheelchair assessible. A standard wheelchair is available for visitor use on a free loan basis.

Trails have little elevation and are composed of crushed shell. Visitors should use caution at all times.

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
De Soto National Memorial P.O. Box 15390 Bradenton, FL 34280  

Physical address:
De Soto National Memorial 3000 75th Street NW Bradenton, FL 34209

Telephone:
(941) 792-0458

Fax:
(941) 792-5094

Directions

De Soto National Memorial is easily accessible by plane, automobile, public transportation and boat.

Plane
Two major airports are located with a 50 minute drive of the park:

  • 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 in Bradenton, Florida. Visitors can reach the park from I-75 or I-275.

From I-75 take exit #220 (State Road 64) west for approximately twelve miles to 75th Street West. Turn right (north) onto 75th Street West, and proceed two and one half mile 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, and proceed approximately five miles to 75th Street West. Turn right (north) onto 75th Street West, and proceed two and one half mile to the park entrance and the terminus of 75th Street.

Public Transportation
Manatee County Area Transit (MCAT) serves the area, however, no bus routes currently stop at the Memorial. For more information about MCAT see the link below.

Boat
Boaters may access the park via the Manatee River. A small cove east (up river) of De Soto Point offers a temporary anchorage sheltered from south winds. Small craft may be beached at the cove, but boaters may not tie to protected vegetation including mangroves nor to park equipment including signs and benches.

De Soto National Memorial does not have a boat ramp.

Maps

De Soto National Memorial encompasses approximately 26 acres on the south bank of the Manatee River at Bradenton, Florida.

Click here to download a map of the park, with trails and primary visitor facilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is information about De Soto National Memorial available in languages other than English?
Yes, park information is available for download En Español, En Francais, and Auf Deutsch by clicking here.

Does the park have inside facilities for picnics and meetings?
No. Excellent rental facilities are able at the South Florida Museum and the Bishop Planetarium in downtown Bradenton.

Are dogs allowed in the park?
Yes, dogs are allowed in the park as long as they are well behaved and on a leash. Dog owners are responsible for proper disposal of dog excrement.

When are programs offered in the encampment?
Living history programs are offered from mid-December through Easter Sunday in the encampment adjacent to the parking lot.

Who is responsible for keeping the park litter free?
The park staff and volunteers work hard to make sure that the park is well-kept and litter free. However, it is up to every visitor to deposit paper, cans, and other throw away items in the proper receptacles located through out the park.