Some years ago, I was delighted to meet Orlando mayor Carl T. Langford at a public event. To celebrate a friend’s birthday one year, we piled onto the Rivership Romance and ended up spending several hours with the feisty former mayor, who always had a wry comment up his sleeve to get everyone laughing.
I didn’t live in Orlando during his mayorship, but I know from friends he was quite beloved. And so it’s fitting that one of the nicest Orlando city parks to take a stroll in is Mayor Carl T. Langford Park south of downtown along Central Boulevard. Here, a maze of paved trails lead you through hammocks of ancient live oaks, out to an observation deck on an ephemeral pond, across a suspension bridge, and through vast green spaces where kids can play. Honoring “Hizzoner,” who passed away yesterday at the age of 92, it’s a sweet urban retreat.
Langford Park is also the gateway and parking spot for adjacent Dickson Azalea Park, built in the 1920s along the banks of Fern Creek. This linear park is at its finest during February for azalea blooms, but even during these summery months, it’s a jungle of ferns and palms with a bit of 1920s flair.