De Soto National Monument

dishfunctional/Flickr Creative Commons

Once you’ve picked up your new car from SouthTowne Motors, you’ll be ready to take a road trip. And since this fall seems to be cooler than usual, what better place to road trip to than Florida. Bradenton is home to the De Soto National Monument and is a great place to head to for a long weekend in a brand new car.

About Hernando de Soto

De Soto was born in 1500 in Extermadura, Spain. He spent many years trying to get permission to form an expedition for the New World. After many setbacks, he finally made his expedition to La Florida. He was finally able to leave in May 1539. The expedition eventually cost him his fortune and his life.

Park Information

The Visitor’s Center is open from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. every day. The grounds are open from dawn to dusk; however, the parking lot gates are locked at 5:00 p.m. If your vehicle is locked in, it will have to stay overnight – and may be ticketed. The park does not offer overnight camping, so if you come as part of a road trip, be sure to have reservations at a local hotel.

The De Soto National Memorial is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. During hurricane season – June through November – check the weather as the park may close if a hurricane is imminent.

During the winter season, Camp Uzita is open and staffed. Rangers provide living history programs. For more information about the living history programs, call (941) 792-0458.


De Soto National Memorial is free, though donations are accepted. The donations will be used to help support park operations. Group tours are also free, but groups should register at least 30 days in advance.

If you want to use the park for a special use, there is a fee and permit. You can hold your wedding, a memorial service, arrange for photography and cinematography, hold corporate activities or hold after-hours activities at the park.

When you call, we’ll let you know what the fee is and whether you need a permit. For example, if you want to use the park grounds for a commercial activity, you’ll need an Incidental Business Permit. Research studies also require a permit.

Visit SouthTowne Motors

Visit SouthTowne Motors before you head out on your trip to ensure that your vehicle is in road trip condition. However, if you just drove off the lot with a new vehicle, you’re ready to go!

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