Best Of 2016

Sports and Recreation: Orlando's best dog parks, sports leagues, tourist attractions and more

Sports and Recreation
Best Tree

The Mayor

Loch Haven Park 900 E. Princeton St.

This 200-year-old live oak outside the Mennello Museum is the best tree on Orlando's Significant Tree Tour. (Yes, that is a real thing; download the map at cityoforlando.net.) The Mayor is one of the oldest trees in the area and is a testament to its species. Live oak limbs grow upward and outward as they get older, touching down to the ground for added support and then curling back up into the air, creating a dome of resurrection-fern-filled goodness. This is one of the only trees on the map that has had enough uninterrupted space to extend its canopy outward naturally, and reach out to wiggle its branches freely. It's had only two major breaks in its lifetime – one time in 1998 and another in 2008 – though recently two teens managed to break off a branch by jumping up and down on it. Not cool.

Best Bugs in the Teeth

The Iron Lilies Harley group

theironlilies.com

Motorcycle clubs have come a long way from their scary stereotype of meth-dealing white supremacist biker gangs. These days you'll find riding groups made up of every kind of people: accountants, AARP members, church pastors ... all bound by the need for speed and the desire to feel the wind in their hair. The Iron Lilies are one such group: Eight women who ride Harley-Davidsons, inspired by three historic "Lilies" – Lillian LaFrance, who became a "wall of death" rider in 1924; Lillian Hauerwas, who logged more than 65,000 miles on her Harley by 1921; and Lillian Farrow, who became the first female motorcycle dealer in the world in 1927. Among the eight are a scientist, a psychologist, a journalist, a hairdresser, an MBA, a burlesque dancer and a few Harley techs – they may come from different walks of life, but they're all badasses.

Best Adult Sports League

1. Orlando Psycho City Derby Girls

2. Orlando Sport and Social Club

3. XL Soccer

Best Beach

1. New Smyrna Beach

2. Clearwater Beach

3. Siesta Key

Best Billiards Hall

1. Sportstown Billiards, 2414 E. Robinson St., 407-894-6258, sportstownbilliards.com

2. Trick Shots, multiple locations, trickshotsbilliards.com

3. Clicks, 2524 S. Semoran Blvd., 407-275-6064, clicks.com

Best Bowling Alley

1. Colonial Lanes, 400 N. Primrose Drive, 407-894-0361, coloniallanes.net

2. Splitsville, 1494 E. Buena Vista Drive, 407-938-7467, splitsvillelanes.com

3. Boardwalk Bowl, 10749 E. Colonial Drive, 407-384-0003, alomabowlingcenters.com

Best Canoeing/Kayaking

1. Wekiwa Springs State Park, 1800 Wekiwa Circle, Apopka, 407-884-2009, floridastateparks.org

2. Blue Springs State Park, 2100 W. French Ave., Orange City, 386-775-3663, floridastateparks.org

3. Kelly Park/Rock Springs, 400 E. Kelly Park Road, Apopka, 407-254-1902, ocfl.net/cultureparks

Best City Park

1. Lake Eola Park

2. Lake Baldwin Park

3. Mead Botanical Garden, Winter Park

Best Dog Park

1. Lake Baldwin Park Dog Park (formerly Fleet Peeples), Winter Park

2. Paw Park, Sanford

3. Barber Park Dog Park