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  • Las Vegas on Foot: 7 Places to Take in Nature and Culture

    Las Vegas may be defined by its world-famous restaurant and nightlife scene, but to truly experience the home of AAO 2015, you’ll have to put on your walking shoes. Here are some tips from local ophthalmologists on the best places to take a hike or explore the city.

    The Great Outdoors

    Zion National Park.
    Zion National Park.

    Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. If you need to get away from the city and want to see the area’s beautiful red stone canyons, you definitely need to make the short jaunt to this national conservation area. It’s only about 20 to 30 minutes from the city by car. Take Charleston Blvd. west. About five minutes away from civilization, you’ll find this gem! — Matthew Swanic, MD, cornea specialist and owner of the Las Vegas Eye Institute

    Start with the 12-mile scenic loop drive through the Mojave Desert. You can then add one of the gorgeous hikes available at every level, from easy to difficult. It’s an amazing place to immerse yourself in the desert landscape of the West. — Rachel Lieberman, MD, Maj USAF

    Valley of Fire. This beautiful state park boasts petrified logs, slot canyons and some of the best rock formations available in the area. I’ve even seen bighorn sheep! It’s only about 1 hour north of Las Vegas. — R.L.

    Hoover Dam.
    Hoover Dam.

    Zion National Park. This epic canyon can be visited on a day trip from Las Vegas, but there’s enough there to make a stay for a week. The brave can climb to the sky on Angel’s Landing, and everyone can get their feet wet walking through the Narrows. — R.L.

    Hoover Dam and Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Did you know the concrete in the center of Hoover Dam is still setting? Take a tour deep inside and learn how this engineering marvel provides clean energy throughout the Southwest and Mexico. — R.L.

    Quick Takes on City Classics

    • Mob Museum. Discover the dirty secrets behind the mob and Las Vegas casinos. — L.
    • Neon Museum. Wander outdoors as you explore Las Vegas history via hundreds of old neon signs. — L.
    • The Container Park. Stroll through the boxcars made into interesting little restaurants and boutiques, with outdoor music, a wine bar and even a playground for kids. — L.

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    Matthew Swanic, MD
    Rachel Lieberman, MD

    About the authors: Matthew Swanic, MD, is a cornea and refractive subspecialist who is originally from Las Vegas. He works at his own practice, Las Vegas Eye Institute, which he started two years ago.

    Rachel Lieberman, MD, is an active-duty ophthalmologist currently serving as a Major in the U.S. Air Force. After earning her medical degree from New York Medical College. Dr. Lieberman completed her transitional-year internship and ophthalmology residency at San Antonio Military Medical Center. In 2013, she moved to Las Vegas, where she takes care of patients at a military hospital at Nellis Air Force Base. She is also a participant of the Academy’s Leadership Development Program Class of 2015 and is the president-elect of the Society of Military Ophthalmologists.