De Soto National Memorial

The Manatee River shoreline at De Soto National Memorial - Cindy Lane | Sun

BRADENTON – De Soto National Memorial marks the spot where Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto and his army made landfall in Florida on May 30, 1539, overcame fierce resistance by indigenous people protecting their homeland, and began their expedition to the Mississippi River, where the explorer lost his life.

Also on the expedition were 12 Catholic priests, who are commemorated by the Memorial Cross, a Manatee River landmark since 1995, and the Holy Eucharist Monument, erected in the late 1960s.

Admission is free to the 27-acre national park at 8300 Desoto Memorial Highway.