Visited: March 2020
Duration: 2-3 hours
Location: Bradenton, Florida
Accommodations: Tortuga Beach Resort for 3 nights. Wonderful place!!
Next up on National Park Trip Season 5 – Spring Break Edition we stayed 3 nights in Bradenton, Florida, enjoying beaches, pools, wonderful restaurants, golf cart cruises and this gem, DeSoto National Memorial. This National Park Service site is a tribute to Hernando de Soto, a Spanish explorer who sailed to America and was granted a license to explore La Florida. He landed on the west coast of Florida in May 1539 and he and his army spent the next 4 years crossing their way across the southeastern United States. At this site you will learn all about De Soto, Spanish conquistadors and the Native Americans that inhabited the land here when the Spanish arrived.
On this blog, you will learn about our journey around DeSoto National Memorial. We begin at the Visitor Center picking up our Junior Ranger Books and embarking on our mission. I highly recommend the Junior Ranger books at this site. They are very well done, you learn a ton and it is fun (for all ages).
We explored the museum and enjoyed trying on the armor that the Spanish army wore in the time of DeSoto.
After we conquered the Visitor Center and Museum we took off on foot – armed only with our brains to help us defeat this Junior Ranger book and take over this land. We marched along the Memorial Trail ready to take on anything. This hike was a fun hike along the coast line (we aren’t used to this in Iowa), so we really enjoyed the sun and sea.
Here on the Memorial trail stations are set up with pictures of Native Americans or Spanish soldiers, you can see the Tabby House Ruin, DeSoto Point, Holy Eucharis Monument, Memorial Cross, De Soto Monument and a replica of what a Spanish camp would have looked like in this era.
We walked all of the foot path and back to the Spanish Camp (shown below)
It was getting hot out here and my soldiers wanted to go swimming. So we marched back to the visitor center where they earned their DeSoto National Memorial Junior Rangers. Badges and cancellations earned and this troop is off to enjoy a few days in sunny Bradenton.
Another great Florida National Park Service site checked off. We are on our way to the beach!! I hope you enjoyed our family’s attack at DeSoto National Memorial.