Discover DeSoto

High-rise condos? Crowded shopping districts? Expensive show tickets? Waiting in long lines to eat? Nope. None of that.

Located just one-hour east of Sarasota and Bradenton and one-hour north of Fort Myers, DeSoto County is the exact opposite of what so many visitors coming to Florida experience. We’re 100% natural. For visitors that means a rejuvenating experience that is refreshingly carefree. The land is unspoiled and our pace is unhurried. But, don’t let our easy-going ways fool you… With boat ramps and miles of walking paths, there’s fun to be found all around from fossil hunting, airboat and swamp buggy tours & rides to kayaking and canoeing down the Peace River.

If nature’s not your thing, we can easily win over history buffs and serious shoppers too. Arcadia is the county seat for DeSoto County. Founded in 1886, Arcadia is a designated District on the National Register of Historic Places. Known for its large number of early 20th century homes and historic shopping district with more than 25 unique stores, including antique shops, boutiques and cafes. Mark your calendar– on the fourth Saturday of each month, more than 100 vendors take over the streets for one of the largest antique fairs in Florida.

Arcadia and DeSoto County display elements of old-fashioned “niceness” and southern charm. It’s old Florida at its best and we offer a fresh wholesome lifestyle quite different from the rest.   

A few of our gems: 

Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo: Home to Florida’s longest running and largest rodeo, featuring bull riding, barrel racing and steer wrestling. With events throughout the year, the March and October rodeos draw spectators and athletes from all over the country.

Historic District: Arcadia’s downtown has 374 buildings in the National Register of Historic Places, including the Opera House and the restored Train Depot. Easy to find and fun to visit!

John Morgan Ingraham House Museum: A prime example of an unaltered turn of the century “Cracker House” in Arcadia.  The restored home is a memorial to the early pioneer families of Arcadia and DeSoto County.

Citrus Groves: How about visiting a working orange grove while you’re here? Taste Florida’s freshest orange juice and amazing soft serve ice cream too.  Fun fact: DeSoto was the top producer of oranges during the 2018-2019 season.

Camping: There are plenty of options for camping including full-facility campsites for tent campers and RVers along with water, electricity, grilling and picnic areas, plus play areas for the kids.

Lions, Tigers & Bears: Just north of Arcadia, the 40-acre wildlife sanctuary provides a “permanent, loving home to unwanted exotic pets, non-releasable wildlife and endangered species.” It’s open to the public 10-months of the year.

Discover DeSoto and plan your trip today, www.VisitDeSoto.com.

Fun on the Peace River: With boat ramps and miles of walking paths, there’s a TON of fun to be found all around from fossil hunting, airboat and buggy tours & rides to kayaking and canoeing down the Peace River.