SARASOTA COUNTY — When Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon first landed on the coast of Florida 500 years ago, he was in search of the Fountain of Youth. He may not have found what he was looking for, but his group was the first group of Europeans to land on the coast of Florida, or “La Florida,” as it was so named by de Leon in 1513.
Had de Leon ventured further southwest, he may have found the Fountain of Youth in North Port’s Warm Mineral Springs. That’s one of the reasons Sarasota County and the city of North Port are pushing to have the Springs included as an integral part of the Viva Florida 500 celebration next year, a statewide event marking the 500th anniversary of de Leon’s landing on the coast of St. Augustine.
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