De Soto National Memorial – Bradenton

Bradenton – The De Soto National Memorial was created in 1948 to commemorate the 1539 expedition of Spanish conquistador Hernando De Soto. This memorial also reminds us of the impact he made on southeast American Indian societies. Open all year long, the Park offers many different outdoor activities. You’ll also find educational opportunities to learn about the controversial history of the area.

Map of De Soto Memorial
De Soto National Memorial Map

Canoe and Boat

The park is located in Bradenton on a 26 acre plot of land. This is where the Manatee River meets Tampa Bay. De Soto National Memorial offers fabulous kayak and canoeing along the 3000 feet of shoreline. Launch your kayak, canoe or paddle board from the northwest shore of the park. You could also leave from Riverview Point Preserve located just south of De Soto Memorial. Paddle north across the river to explore Emerson Point Nature preserve, or head west through shallow grass flats to Anna Maria Island. De Soto Memorial does not offer a boat launch, however, does offer a temporary anchorage area in the small cove east of De Soto Point.

De Soto National Memorial trails and beaches

The nature trails at De Soto Memorial offer different Florida ecosystems including Mangrove wetlands. Walking trails have signage explaining both the natural history of the area along with information about the 1539 expedition. Pets are welcome on the trails, however bicycles are not.

There are several areas for enjoying the beach at the Memorial with areas located west and south of De Soto Point. Beach goers are urged to swim with caution as there are no lifeguard stations. The beaches south of De Soto Point are more popular as they don’t experience the strong currents sometimes found on the western beaches.

A picnic shelter can be found near the parking lot on a first come first serve basis. Grills and alcohol are not permitted in the park or picnic area.

Seasonal Events

The Memorial offers seasonal events great for the entire family.

December through April the parks living history area “Camp Uzita” is open. The Camp is an example of a 16th century Native village. It’s complete with living history reenactments and educational information.

In the winter the park offers several special events including a Halloween themed event called “Desoween”. This is for adults and kids 7 years and older. In December luminaries light the trials for one night. Also, information is available describing how people from the 16th century celebrated the winter. February brings a music festival to the park. March offers a five centuries of history event. Additionally, April brings a live reenactment of the Landing of the De Soto expedition.

May through October the park offers Ranger led kayak tours. learn how early settlers utilized the bay and estuary along with an explanation of Florida’s unique ecological systems.

In June and July a kids Junior Ranger program is also available. This teaches kids 6-10 about the history, ecology and conservation of the park.

De Soto National Memorial
De Soto National Memorial. Photo Credit: De Soto National Memorial Facebook Page.

Park Information

The visitor center is open daily 9am-5pm, and the parking lot also closes at 5pm. However, the park is open dawn to dusk. Any cars left in the parking lot after 5pm will remain locked in the lot until the next morning. Cars are subject to ticketing. New Years day, Thanksgiving and Christmas the park closes. Entrance into the park is always free, but donations are welcome. Groups may visit the park registering ahead of time. For additional information about the park call 941-792-0458 or visit online.

De Soto National Memorial:
8300 De Soto Memorial Hwy
Bradenton, Florida 34209

Bradenton vacation rentals.

If you are looking for the perfect vacation rental while visiting the area Island Real Estate has almost 300 homes to choose from!

vacation rental
Click on the image to view Bradenton vacation rental Perico Bay Club 1279 Edgewater Circle.

 

Kayak Anna Maria Island -The Latest And Greatest Around

Kayak Anna Maria Island is the latest and greatest pass time around with locals and visitors alike. Kayaks are really the craze!!! They are now starting fishing tournaments just for Yakers(yes that short for kayak).  Have you ever sat in a Kayak for more than an hour?  Ouch!

Kayak Anna Maria Island Yak-Tamer by Ocean-Tamer Marine Bean Bags

The Yak-Tamer marine bean bag by Ocean-Tamer provides superior comfort that other products can’t offer when used alone. It’s specifically designed to use in conjunction with your existing kayak seat.When paired with your existing kayak seat, this light weight, high quality, innovative seating product offers the comfort of a bean bag, 6 inches of elevation for a more comfortable seating position and better visibility when fishing, all while utilizing the backrest of your existing kayak seat. With its built-in tackle and storage system, you have the ability to store lures, pliers, and other important items at your fingertips. The Yak-Tamer can be used with virtually any kayak seating product on the market while providing more comfort than you could ever imagine!

This is the coolest, and you can get it at 10% with the following Coupon code:  4Acause

Check out this and more at OceanTamer.com

 kayak anna maria island

11 Fitness Activities – Anna Maria Island

When visiting Anna Maria Island there are plenty of fitness activities to keep you feeling healthy during your paradise getaway. Enjoy a great vacation guilt free when you try out these Top 11 fitness activities on Anna Maria Island.

Top 11 Fitness Activities

1. Going to the gym: Kick boxing class with Reggie is best! I love working out with my personal trainer Brenda and doing the different boot camps offered!
Island Fitness: 5317 Gulf Dr, Holmes Beach, FL 34217
– Phone: (941) 778-5200

2. Fit Crew: Great boot camp style work out (very similar to CrossFit) sometimes they have a beach work out on AMI!
– First class is free! Come and see if you like it!
– 608 19th Ave West, Bradenton, FL 34205
– Phone : (941) 447-9272

3. Bike riding from the Anna Maria Island to the Robinson Preserve and back. If you are looking for other parks nearby check out our list here.
– I love the 11 mile back ride, easily done in 1 hour, always able to spot local wildlife!
– Robinson Preserve: 1112 Manatee Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34205
Phone: (941) 748-4501

bicycling on anna Maria Island
Riding a bike is a great fitness activity on Anna Maria Island.

4. Bike riding to Harry’s Continental Kitchen on Longboat Key.
– The food is amazing!
– This is about a 16 mile bike ride.
– Harry’s continental Kitchen: 5600 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key, FL 34228
– Phone: (941) 383-0777

Insider tip:  The Coquina Bike path is a great low key bike path that takes you off the streets and lets you bike on a side walk close to the Beach!

5. Paddle boarding or kayaking around the bayous and gulf side. Love the workout and being able to be out on the water while getting a tan!

6. Playing golf at one of the many area golf courses.

7. Rollerblading around the many back streets on Anna Maria Island.

8. Playing tennis at the local free tennis courts, or shooting some hoops at the public Basketball Court.

Fitness activity
Tennis is a great fitness activity during your Anna Maria Island vacation.

9. Go Legs Spin Studio very close to IMG Academies. Hour long spin sessions and toning with weights.
– 2 projectors in the studio to watch music videos and replays of real
Cycle races such as the Tour de France.
– 3549 53rd Ave. West, Bradenton, FL 34210
– Phone: (941) 896-7885

10. Activities at the Anna Maria Island Community Center are great for keeping you in shape during your stay on Anna Maria Island. Purchase a Community Center Membership through Island Real Estate for $25!

fitness activities
The Anna Maria Island Community Center offers great fitness activities

11. Last but not least: going on a sunset beach run along the water. I love taking pictures and watching the day end as I get a good run in!

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rental Homes and Accommodations

Island Real Estate offers the largest selection of Vacation rental homes and accommodations on Anna Maria Island making it the best choice when looking for the perfect vacation destination!

Anna Maria Island Vacation Rental condominium
Runaway Bay offers the perfect Anna Maria Island vacation rentals for those looking to stay fit on vacation. This condominium complex offers a fitness center, tennis court and shuffle board to keep you active during your stay! Click on the image above to reserve your stay at Runaway Bay unimt 279 or 272 today!