Florida was the first region of the continental United States to be visited and settled by Europeans. The earliest known European explorers came with the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce De Leon. Ponce de León spotted and landed on the peninsula on April 2, 1513. He named it La Florida in recognition of the verdant landscape and because it was the Easter season, which the Spaniards called Pascua Florida (Festival of Flowers). The following day they came ashore to seek information and take possession of this new land. The story that he was searching for the Fountain of Youth is mythical and only appeared long after his death.